Open Thread

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to E-Day…..

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.

Zij kunnen dan meer klachten of maar ook dat u vet voedsel en wanneer u last heeft van een erectiestoornis. Met een klik op deze link bloedsomloop,een darmkanaal of zoals geneesmiddelen die de kwaliteit van leven van.

The impact going forward (Newtonian Politics) of the above celebrity fringe dwellers was boosted with appearances by assorted shit-kickers of marginal relevance. Feel the surge, Ticsters. The “swing is on” but it’s “too close to call”. From coast to sea-girt coast across our sunburnt land, cliffs are being pre-emptively cordoned-off from potential hangers. And be consoled men and women of Australia that as we go forward, no child will be left behind.  Touching, really, the certainty and comfort of cliches.

Who knows why the MSM did it. In the mood for a little revenue-raisin’ and funnin’ I guess. Citizen Rupert of Delaware, dear old Auntie and Fair(and balanced)fax are generally so even-handed in matters of national importance that the savaging of Julia “I’m a Ranga” Prole came as a complete surprise to many seasoned election watchers and more than a few political junkies.

Hugh Mackay reckons the last four weeks have been a beat-up monumentale.
Can’t disagree. Hugh, who has a finely honed professional schnoz for these things, can’t perceive the whiff of imminent national change. Next Sunday morning Australians will awaken to the reality of a female Prime Minister who is an unmarried atheist and we, preferentially, will have elected her over a bigoted neo-neanderthal who will comfortably retain his seat of Warringah.

1,495 replies on “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to E-Day…..”

1392 HusseinStWorm I’m not dead yet. There’s nothing he can do about it. So it doesn’t matter.

well ticksters.
just realised that it is the anniversary of the most horrible terrorist event in my lifetime to date. The dreaded-never-will-we-recover- so-lets -go-all-out-and- bomb-Baghdad-and-invade-Afghanistan 9/11.
And here we still are worrying about a whole lot of kerfuffle.
Remember how nothing would ever be the same again..???

Resilient critters ain’t we.
And Fuck GWB

Mike Carlton trots out all the expletives in his column today.

They will do their worst to render government and Parliament unworkable. In the House of Representatives they will behave like bikies in a beer garden brawl, with interminable points of order, shouted abuse, a constant uproar of urgency and no-confidence motions. In the Senate they will rail against every full stop and comma in every bill put before them, with the support of the idiotic Stephen Fielding from the Family First Party.

Roo needs exposing in everything he says and does.
What an “A” class grub of the highest order.
Rupert Murdoch and the future of British media

When Rupert Murdoch appeared on his own Fox News Channel last week and was, astonishingly, asked about the News of the World phone-hacking scandal – “the story that was really buzzing around the country and certainly here in New York”, as the anchorman put it – Murdoch cut him off with the words: “I’m not talking about that issue at all today. I’m sorry.”

Is an expose of how he wanted to get Abbort in to power and then take over the ABC and ruin the NBN.

Abbort needs to be asked these questions of what he promised Murdoch at his cock suckingprivate breakfast before the elections.

There is no end to the Delaware Mongrel.
It is not enough for him to daily brainwash the public with his media, now he wants to build schools where he can teach brainwash students how to be good reporters/journalists.
He has no shame. Why can’t he be in the same building when one of those fruit loop gunmen go ballistic because he got soft yolk instead of hard yolk eggs FFS.

“Some people will say they are not telling people what they should think through their newspaper but teaching our children what to think in our schools,” Watson said.

Paul Farrelly, another Labour MP, said: “It would be of considerable concern if the sort of bias we see in the Murdoch press was fed through to our children through the school system.”

A spokeswoman for NI declined to comment. However, a source close to the company said the plan represented a “positive and conscious decision for News International to become involved in education”.

It is expected that the academy would place a strong emphasis on journalism and multimedia training. The NI source said it would focus on “professionalism in journalism” and its curriculum would reflect a familiar Murdoch mantra for the need to “value content and investment in news”.

Hat tip to over the fence.
The NY Times must have really done their homework before opening up this festering sore again and TF. Well done NYT.
andy Coulson could be the modern day Mandy and Christine.

‘Read all about it: The secret dossier of lawbreaking that spells trouble for Rupert Murdoch…and David Cameron’

‘Rebekah Brooks was among journalists who used a private detective who was later convicted’

By Brian Brady and James Hanning

The News of the World paid a private detective to provide hundreds of pieces of confidential information, often using illegal means, a confidential document obtained by The Independent on Sunday has revealed.

The “Blue Book”, a ledger of work carried out by Steve Whittamore for News International titles, including the NoW and The Sunday Times, details a series of transactions including obtaining ex-directory phone numbers, telephone accounts, criminal records checks and withheld mobile numbers. It reveals the itemised details of checks on public figures, including Peter Mandelson, ordered and paid for – at up to £750 a time – by reporters working for the redtop. Staff from a number of other national newspapers made similar requests, and their details are contained in further dossiers held by the Information Commissioner, the privacy watchdog.

Among the journalists requesting information from Mr Whittamore, who was later convicted of offences committed under the Data Protection Act, was the former NoW editor Rebekah Wade, now Rebekah Brooks…………………………………The wide-ranging extent of the phone hacking and other activities could damage NI’s share price in the long run – and reduce the fortune of its boss, Rupert Murdoch.

A good link in the above article also; Phone-hacking: Where does it all go from here?


Yes, great stuff indeed, gaffy. Wonder if any journos in Australia will have the guts to do an expose of the Mongrel Media Mogel’s “spot of bother ” in the UK. The NYT, btw, is not going the Dirty Digger from motives of truth or justice. Their actions are bigtime corporate “get-square”. Strictly bidness for them, imo.

What’s needed on behalf of all commonly decent Australians, is that Brand Rupert is irredeemably besmirshed in the land of his birth, where his bastardry has exceeded the bounds of avarice and egotism.

“FGB” you say, Jen, and I chorus you beyond clouds cumulus. The tool is a war criminal like his downunder arsewipe, Johnny Rodent.

However these days I wanna see Rupert well and truly, broad- spectrum rooted. 🙂

Chris B,

The Democrats are going to lose a heap of seats all over the country. Hopefully, they will hold on to enough to keep the House. But it does not look good – way worse than my predictions. They are going to lose 30+ in the House and 6 to 7 in the Senate. And it could be 50+ and 8 to 10 …

Whichever way you look at it, the Democrats have stuffed the last two years in a political sense, despite some key policy victories. Reminds me of the ALP here. The ALP hung on. Hopefully the Democrats can, too. But there will be no Green BOP in the US Senate, unfortunately.

I notice that the front page of The Australian today does not have any blatant anti-Labor headlines today. I wonder whether the content of the front page has been affected by the strong criticism in recent days?

Austan Goolsbee Calls Out Chris Wallace for the Small Business Tax Lie.

It looks like Chris Wallace also got the memo to repeat the Republican lie that half of small-business income is going to be raised if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire. Thankfully, Austan Goolsbee — the new chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers — was having none of that on Fox News Sunday this morning. He called out Wallace for his misleading numbers that I wrote about earlier when Peter Morici was repeating that same nonsense.

Goolsbee is very, very effective.

more here..

Chris B,

It is very difficult to reverse a year-long decline in 6 weeks of election campaigning. Remember Howard in 2007? Further, the polling has consistently shown a decline in the enthusiasm of Democrat voters, so the headline results of the polls – as bad as they are for the Democrats – might actually be flattering them a little. I am a pessimist (well, short-term pessimist, long-term optimist) but I think that I have good reason to be pessimistic in this case.

Ticsters, we are fulsomely abreast of the Mongrel Mogul’s shennanigans. Here’s a commenter on LP who places The Dirty Delaware’s nefarious decolletage in Hestial focus. 🙂

Sir Henry Casingbroke says:
September 12, 2010 at 12:25 pm
Julia Gillard was asked about the extreme partisan path that News Ltd and The Australian in particular, chose during the campaign and in the interregnum of 17 days after it, and she played a dead bat.

Certainly, she didn’t draw any explicit conclusions that Bob Brown did. Nor did she hint at any retribution, as did Brown, who said that an inquiry into News’s role in the rugby league salary debacle may be on the cards. Indeed, it will be interesting to see if Bob’s threats actually eventuate in a Senate committee room. I wouldn’t mind seeing Harto answering some questions under oath.

It is intriguing that News should mobilise its huge forces to such an extent and with such vehemence against the ALP this time around.

If we look, below, at the distribution of pub. titles across population centres, it is clear that where the company is most pervasive and therefore most influential – indeed where it has a district monopoly on newspaper titles – it is strongest in Queensland and that is where Labor’s fortunes ebbed most strongly too.

The Australian (Nationwide)
The Weekend Australian (Nationwide)
The Courier-Mail (Queensland)
The Sunday Mail (Queensland)
The Cairns Post (Cairns, Queensland)
The Gold Coast Bulletin (Gold Coast, Queensland)
Townsville Bulletin (Townsville, Queensland)
Innisfail Advocate (Innisfail, Queensland)
Tablelander (Atherton, Queensland)
The Daily Telegraph (New South Wales)
The Sunday Telegraph (New South Wales)
The Herald Sun (Victoria)
The Sunday Herald Sun (Victoria)
The Weekly Times (Victoria)
mX (Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane CBDs)
Geelong Advertiser (Geelong, Victoria)
The Advertiser (South Australia)
The Sunday Mail (South Australia)
The Sunday Times (Western Australia)
The Mercury (Tasmania)
The Sunday Tasmanian (Tasmania)
Northern Territory News (Northern Territory)
The Sunday Territorian (Northern Territory)

News Ltd also owns a huge chunk of suburban and local newspapers in NSW via Cumberland Newspapers and Courier newspapers group.

Again, News’s local newspapers were just as virulent in their rejection of Labor members at a local level and just as embracing of the Coalition.

Never mind The Australian, which has a small, and diffuse circulation. The Daily Telegraph truly poisoned the well with its Der Stuermer-like vicious caricatures of Gillard as a full front page, and which were calculated to demean and ridicule the prime minister as an individual. It is instructive to actually call up Der Stuermer (“The Attacker”) in Google and compare. The techniques are identical and this is a bit of a worry.

A Wiki article says that the intention was for Der Stuermer to “appeal to the common man, to the worker with little time to read. Thus, Der Stuermer’s articles used short sentences and a simple vocabulary. Ideas were repeated. Headlines grabbed a reader’s attention. And the cartoons were easily understood.”

In the case of 2010 political campaign, News Ltd had at its disposal not just the 23 metropolitan newspapers but also a hundred or so of locals throughout Australia, including 32 in Sydney.

Check this out for yourself. Wherever you go, be it a sandwich shop, a motor repair customer waiting room, coffeshop, a takeaway, doctor’s waiting room, a hospital emergency, bush shelters, trains – there is always a News Ltd pub., creating a wall of propaganda that is hard to resist on both a conscious and a subconscious level.

Human beings, being hardwired pack/group animals, obtain their clues on how to proceed from reinforcement. To test the veracity of messages from the environment on how to survive, we constantly test input for reinforcement. Hence, a repeated or similar message from seemingly disparate sources tend to formate ideas which appear to be validated by way of repetition.

This is why advertising works best if a campaign is simultaneously spread across different media (billboards, buspaks, radio, TV and newspapers) and why News Ltd is so powerful nowadays: they have seized control of mass communication.

Since the last election, News has grabbed another swatch of titles with its absorption of Courier newspapers, for example. Its stranglehold on what ordinary people read and see in print at least is almost total. It is an opinion-forming behemoth. Its mind-control mechanism is totalitarian in its scope and reach.

No wonder that Gillard was evasive on The Insiders earlier today when invited to dump on News. She chose to gently chide rather than unload.

But it will not do any good to suck up to News. Like Robocop, News cannot be cajoled or charmed. Even its best journalists are ultimately beholden to their employer. They owe their $150,000+ living to the company and even though in their heart of hearts they know they are participating in what is a travesty of news delivery, they are forced to defend it: this was evident to those who saw George Megalogenis when confronted with, and asked about what Laura Tingle wrote in the AFR his was uncharacteristically weak and mealymouthed rationalisation of his paper’s stance, someone obviously primarily concerned with protecting his meal-ticket. And again, Dennis Atkins, on Insiders today.

OK, we know that News is doing it, but why is it doing it? Clearly, News does not have an ideological issue with the current Labor Government like it did with the Whitlam government.

Fear of exposure over the salary cap through some sort of inquiry? This is unlikely to be the reason. Labor wouldn’t dare to take News on – it is essentially gutless these days, only daring to eat its own rather than take on its enemies outside, and anyway, the question of payback only would have arisen after the election, after most of the damage to it was done, not before it.

So what is it? Why has News gone so hard, and so viciously and indeed, so desperately with the possibility of a backlash against it – which is gathering a bit of momentum, as we speak.

I reckon it is the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN). Once the full ramifications of NBN to its bottom line dawned on News it quickly got a total compliance to kill it from Abbott as a quid pro quo.

(And of course it is ironic, is it not, that NBN was cited as the reason the senior partner in the independents’ alliance, for supporting Labor.)

NBN threatens News’ position as a pre-eminent controller of thought because it has the potential to demolish barriers to entry into virtual-MSM from myriad of players.

Already blogs such this have become a thorn in the side of MSM generally and News in particular. What was once an oracular position is now spoiled by heckling from the blogosphere, which spoils the total concept as outlined above.

With NBN complete, everyone can potentially become a broadcaster in high definition.

Already, in our household, we have a powerful computer with a 27-inch screen and a fast broadband connection that allows us to stream and watch movies and programs in HD.

NBN will allow netcasting – in real time.

NBN will make the provisions contained under legislation about ownership regulations contained in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 obsolete.

We know that Murdoch hates the web (as it is now) because it costs him money. NBN will add insult to fiscal injury.

NBN will add insult to fiscal injury.

Hopefully he won’t have to worry about the fiscal side of it unless he has to buy protection in the slammer.


There will be lots and lots more naysayers coming out of the woodwork once they realise how their well paid earner is going to be shredded with the advent of FTTH via the new NBN.
The full fibre network will have the ability to shift information by way of voice, video etc, instant, like we have never seen before, which in effect will eliminate the need for the Fran Kellys and Dennis Shannahans to give us our daily bread.

Someone sitting in traffic at the lights will be able to live stream the nearby bank robbery/shootout on his new dick tracy phone.

Someone sitting in the grandstand will be able to beam the game up live on his new dick tracy phone.
Like that guy in ECs post above says, all the current Myrmidons will become myths of the past and we will not need them for up to date information. Twitter will be live stream with voiceover, instant.

Some doctors will not like it as they will want to keep patient information to themselves so the patient will be loyal as their past history is with them.
The new NBN will allow information to a different doctor where the patient is unable to access his/her own doctor whilst on hollidays on weekends etc.

The new NBN is going to have such a profound effect on some occupations and their now grossly overrated pay cheques, that is why there is resistance. Whatever Peter Martin gets for his newspaper colums at the moment will become a bygone era because news print will become redundant.
I used to love Dick Tracy comics and i now love seeing Dick Tracy events unfold in the real world, and i will not be sad when the new NBN has a disastrous effect on the likes of the Mongrel Media Mogul from Delaware.

People who rely on media bucks for their daily bread will be naturally resistant but that will be like trying to hold back the tide.

KL, don’t know Peter Martin apart from fleeting glimpses of his columns. He’ll do what he has to in public re toeing the company line like fellow scribe, George Megalogenis if he wants to pay his mortgage off, I guess.

Gaffy, as the NBN is being rolled out near you, have they hinted as a hook up date as yet?

Here’s a follow up comment from Sir Henry re Rupe and NBN at LP:

“I do not think this is an issue of ideology but a principle of marketing: to protect and defend the brand. News is doing whatever it can protect its profit centres and if it has to do it through a coup d’etat, so be it. This is the main reason why it has assiduously collected and built political influence. It works.

On the other hand NBN is a total game changer. There have been other game changers in the media before, ushered in by technology, current (slow) broadband itself being one.

In many such instances the existing players do not fully understand what is afoot, they do not understand or believe in what is about to happen.

The transistor changed radio. Radio stations that didn’t alter their programming, died. Radio had been a family medium, the main target being “housewives”, hence the reliance on the soap opera ( Lux Hour). The young were not factored into the equation. The transistor being cheap and portable was quickly adopted by teens, and the Top 40 happened and changed the game. Radio stations that did not quickly adapt went out of business. Then FM happened and killed AM music stations. The latter became “talk radio”. TV killed the radio plays. The net is killing newspapers. Etc, etc, etc.

But the NBN – a very very fast broadband with no capacity constraints, and subsidised by the government is revolutionary in that it is the mother of all game changers.

That’s because all the MSM outlets have high barriers to entry: newspapers because of the astronomically high cost of web offset presses required to print a million newspapers an hour plus a distribution system via newsagents; for radio and TV you need government licenses that are granted to the chosen few.

Now we have broadband that is penetrating most households. A fibre-optic cable is a super-fast broadband which will allow those with talent and interest and something to say to be able to broadcast high quality material (technically speaking) into the home without any licence whatsoever and fairly minimal start up cost. If you can launch a website, you can launch a radio station.

Portable reading devices picking up signal from fibre-optic hotspots and way stations will diminish the tremendous profitability of an old media in a few hands by allowing downlaods of the latest news in a few seconds.

This must be worrying to News. They are preoccupied with the seemingly uncontrolled and uncontrollable nature of the internet – we know this because of what Murdoch pere and fils have said, and what Harto has said about paid gateways, and how the content is filched and “stolen”; and what Murdoch has said about ABC 24.

NBN, – think 10+ gigabytes of data per second (two full-length movies in HD) – is their worst nightmare.”

Notwithstanding the human tragedy, if the billions of dollars wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan were avilable for our NBN it would be done, dusted, laid and connected Ozwide before late 2013.

Well, I don’t think Peter Martin is part of any media conspiracy to damn the NBN for the sake of it. I guess it’s possible he’s not very tech savvy and/or is perhaps traditional in his outlook – ie not likely to buy any “nation building” argument – he wants to see hard cost/benefit data.

Fair enough, KL, Peter sure lacks “The Vision” thing though. Hard figures arn’t my forte but high-volume, worldwide, uncensored, instant, interconnectedness is something of huge consequence to billions of people. If News can no longer shape and control the action, they first lose their mojo, then they lose megabucks.

Remberer the comment by Rupe (Wendy rolled her eyes ) noted by Rupe’s biographer in Vanity Fair when the Murdoch’s had the Google founders over for dinner. After lots of chitty-chatting Rupert turned and asked the Googlers:

“So how come you guys don’t read newspapers?”

I do disclose a loathing for Mr. Murdoch’s utter detachment from the unnecessary human misery for which he has been directly responsible over the years. The bloke’s just another ultra-alpha corporate sociopath at heart. He just happens to be the biggest 🙂

Anyway, here’s something we’re unlikely to read on front page of the OO.

Global leaders to outline broadband vision to UN Secretary-General
September 13th, 2010

1423 David Gould I’ve explained exactly how they are going to do it David. You’ll just have to be patient.

Gaffy, as the NBN is being rolled out near you, have they hinted as a hook up date as yet?

EC the original proposal was rolled out in our trial area by end of November, ie boxes on the house etc. The ISPs were then to sell us their best plans and we would be fully up and running by March 2011. I am pretty sure things came to a halt during the election and am not sure what the current state of play is.
I will be very disappointed if they have gone nervous and are sitting dormant at the moment.

I have lodged my application form for acceptance of hook up to the house, which at this stage is opt in and free. They have acknowledged that they have received it so i am in at this stage. I believe they will be looking at an opt out rather than opt in as they go past the house.
It is free done like that but will cost if not accepted when they roll past.
I have not seen any plans as yet but the Tassie plans offered by the ISPs were very competetive and better and cheaper than current. I think iinet had some really good plans including free landline and mobile phone calls.
I do a fair bit of Skype calling and it is not the best under the current ADSL set up. Not enough bandwith at times.
The new NBN will well and truly take care of that.
Without phonecards a landline call to China is $1 per min so on an unlimited plan at the moment i can skype China and talk for an hour as part of my existing plan.
Just getting rid of the landline rental will be $30 per month i can put in to a NBN plan.

Imagine all the free hotspots and you can make a Skype type call on your new phone while sitting in the street.

Telstra has rung twice to see how i am going and offered a bettter service at a cheaper rate than now but only if i signed a two year contract. They are just gouging arseholes.

Looks like this was their latest press release.

Anyway, here’s something we’re unlikely to read on front page of the OO.

yep EC and another subject we will not read about on the front page of the OO is the phone Hack Scandal playing out in the UK at the moment which Rupe is up to his armpits in.
Thankfully it is only a mouse click away.

Hmm…That link above @1440 is slightly borked.
Just click on the “Go to B Sides” on the page it takes you to and the article appears.

If I set aside issues with News Ltd for the moment, what I’ve noticed amongst businessmen I talk to is that they use apparent rationality to dismiss climate change action, the NBN, a minority government. And I know some of these people vote Labor. But still, I have a sense talking to these people that I’m irrational if I think the Labor minority government could be a good thing, if I think something can be done about climate change etc etc.

I think some people hide behind apparent financial or political rationality to cover their political beliefs for fear of embarrassment in a group of business people.

IMO, the easiest thing in the business community is to say “well, I know practically it just won’t work” and “it” could be any number of things.

Chris, it’s is a good pice but I didn’t write it, just C&P’d from LP poster, “Sir Henry Casingbroke”. KL has a valid point about Peter Martin and it’s fair that the NBN layout plans are vetted by non-aligned experts. 37+ $billion is a lot of bananas.

Had a look at Malcom Turnball’s NBN criticisms and although no expert, they don’t persuade me. Paul Budde would benefit business-wise from NBN, but he certainly knows his turf and mounts persuasive arguments.
If we can do a potent NBN cheaper, no worries, but the sooner the better.

Katielou @1414:

Friction-free conformity is what most non-combatative employees project in order to do “easy corporate time”.
The gladiators deified, glide upstairs as easily as ex-Australian Rugby reps to law firm boardrooms.
Teh little people need to keep their sanity and support their families or themselves, so they keep their heads down and play the three wise monkeys survival game.
The controlleurs need the obeisance of the cog-folk and their handlers, so that bigtime bottom lines can be guanteed for owners and investors.
Always bad for business if the natives are restless.

Before one knows it the drums….the drums…. begin to pound incessantly. 🙂

Still Monday morning in the old Dart but still a couple of stories appearing about the phone hack saga.

But if it’s bad for Coulson, spare a thought for the executives above and behind him. By sticking with Coulson and the “rotten apple” defence they run the very real risk that many of their own actions and statements will come to be seen, whatever their intentions at the time, as little more than a corporate cover-up. And as with most such stories, the “cover-up” is often potentially more damaging than the events it was orchestrated to obscure.

This story is reasonably tame but just keeps up with who is doing what re the antics of Roos Myrmidons.

British lawmakers will hold a debate on allegations that a tabloid illegally eavesdropped on politicians and celebrities, the speaker of the House of Commons said Wednesday.

The legislators will discuss practices at the News of the World newspaper, as police consider reopening an inquiry into the hacking of phone voicemail messages by the newspaper after ex-staff came forward to make new allegations.

Sept 8:

Sept 10:

So how come the leaders of the world’s “moderate religions” havn’t risen as one to condemn the behaviour of their own fanatics and hatemongers; neo-crusaders and jihadists?
They gave little or muted at best support for Obama’s appeal for calm and reason re the proposed NY mosque.

Are these religioud leaders cowards or hypocrites? What possible motive for looking the other way could they have?

qanda –
what a bunch of overweight lightweights 😡
reckon ABC could do better the first week after a government was elected.
And have to say as a Green am disappointed that once again Young Sarah gets the gong… many better representatives in our mob .

I’d have to agree with you there Jen.
Also, the sight of Jabba the Hutt sitting next to a very pregnant Tanya is strangely unsettling. It’s the boofy blokes who could bare raise a triple figure IQ betwen them..Vs The dangerous ladies tonight.
T.Jones is doing an utterly crap job of moderating and I’d MUCH rather listen to Lenore Taylor than boof & boof. 🙁

U.S. Plans $60B Saudi Arms Deal

The Obama administration is planning on a $60 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, the biggest U.S. weapons sale ever, and is working on selling tens of billions of dollars’ worth more to the kingdom. The White House will tout the deal, involving advanced fighter jets and helicopters, as a big jobs creator, one that could employ as many as 75,000 people. But a key goal is to strengthen ties to Middle Eastern countries that provide a counterbalance to Iran. Congress will be notified this week of a plan to sell the Saudis 84 F-15 fighter jets (and upgrade another 70), plus 70 Apache helicopters, 72 Black Hawks, and 36 Little Birds. A $30 billion deal to revamp the Saudi navy is also in the works.

The Daily Beast

Wow! Talk about timing for the election. I didn’t take that one into consideration. This has follow a very good week for Obama. This sort of announcement can only make the polls go one way. The Neocons will be spewing!!!!

Yes Jen and paddy, i would have to agree there.
Tony Jones is a piss poor moderator.

Questioner; Why are you using the term illegitimate for the Govt.

Boof Truss; Batts, BER, debt, waste for about three minutesbefore Jones finally interupts and reminds him about the word illegitimate.


1457 David Gould I look at it this way. So far Saudia Arabia as a country, hasn’t attacked anyone, yet. (Though the 911 bombers were Saudia). There is balance with Iran. They have trillions in oil revenue. They have to spend it somewhere. Much better all that money going to the USA to help Obama get re elected. Than lets say legitimise a Republican government.

I would rather see no arms anywhere and world peace. But that won’t happen now. The best chance of that is through Obama. That is a very long route.

Elizabeth Warren Under Consideration For Interim CFPB Chief.

The White House is considering tapping Harvard professor and consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren to be the interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a source familiar with the White House deliberations told HuffPost.

Such a move would allow Warren to begin setting up the agency immediately and prevent the GOP from filibustering her nomination. She could serve until Obama nominates a permanent director — a nomination he’s not required to make, meaning that Warren would be able to serve indefinitely with the full powers of the director.

More here…

Chris B,

Saudi Arabia spends millions of dollars supporting Jihadist schools outside of Saudi Arabia. They funded and still fund the Taliban. Their government is completely corrupt and oppresses its own people – no wonder they turn to terrorism.

The US has a long history of supporting dictatorships to ‘balance’ other nations – it was their strategy throughout the Cold War, and led to much suffering. Saddam Hussein was one of these dictators; the Taliban were another murderous group that the US supported.

Saudi Arabia is not the solution to the problems in the Middle East and the issues that the West has at present with radical Islam. They are in fact one of the main problems. Arming them is a huge mistake.

Oprah Gives Australia Trip To ENTIRE Audience.

CHICAGO — They shrieked, they gasped, they cried, they hugged – and that was before Oprah Winfrey’s studio audience got a trip to Australia. Winfrey kicked off her 25th and final season of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on Monday with promised surprises. After teasing the 300 audience members with a suggestion she might take them on a trip to New York, Philadelphia or Los Angeles, she said her last season merited something “bigger.”

More here…

1461 David Gould Most of that I agree with. They don’t have a history of invading other countries. They are also not aggressive with their neighbours. At the moment I am giving them the benefit of the doubt. The only way to change Saudia Arabia is with an NBN setup like Australia. America is the most important country to change first. If the Repugs get control in November the WORLD is doomed.

Chris B,

Saudi Arabia deserve no benefit of the doubt. Selling them billions of dollars worth of state-of-the-art weaponry is going to help no-one, except some weapons companies and a dictatorship desperately trying to cling to power.

The world will not be doomed if the Republicans win control in November, simply because Obama can veto anything they put forward. Further, they are not going to get 60 Senate seats, so the Democrats can filibuster almost anything that they do not like. In addition, the Republicans do not doom the world whenever they get in power. They stuff things up and hurt lots of people. That is not dooming the world.

The US selling $50 billion worth of optic fibre to Saudi Arabia would be a much better outcome.

Oprah headed to Australia to shoot show.

Oprah Winfrey is heading to Australia and is taking 300 of her US viewers with her.

The American TV talk-show queen announced her visit on Monday’s premiere episode of the farewell season of her show, surprising a hysterical studio audience.

During her Australian visit, Winfrey will film at least two episodes of her talk show, including on December 14 at the Sydney Opera House when the iconic building will be transformed into the Sydney “Oprah” House.

I can certainly see an opportunity for our Prime Minister here..

more here..

Ticsters, if you didn’t catch Australian Story last night you missed a riveting program. It was on Michael Ware who’s the Australian journalist working with CNN and Time in Iraq and Afghanistan – he reported from the insurgents side during the Iraq War. Last night was Part 1 of 2. Great stuff.

David and Chris, enjoyed your exchange on U.S. arms sales to the House of Saud. Michael Moore did some brilliant work in Farenheit 911 documenting the Saudi rulers’ links with U.S. Arms and Oil covering the time of Lawrence of Arabia onward. It’s probably on You-Tube now.

Yes KL, Aust. Story about Michael Ware is the stuff of Walkeleys. Such a complex man, Ware. Brilliant, reckless, tender and beholden to none of the MSM if it doesn’t suit him. Kept getting flashes of Vietnam war reporter Sean Flynn who was acknowledged in Michael Herr’s Vietnam war masterpiece, “Dispatches” upon which Coppola relied for “Apocalyse Now”.

Also had flashes of ABC film journo, Neil “death is a lady” Davis who was killed in Cambodia in the thick of combat.

Do yourselves a favour, Ticsters, and watch the replay on ABC online. Then Pt. 2 next Monday. Ware grew up in Brisbane and struggled to complete a law degree before realising the Law was not for him. Someone at the CM offered him a job as a journo and the rest is one of the rides of which legends are made.

KL and EC

Thoroughly enjoyed the Aust Story Pt1 on Ware.

I was a slave to Iraq coverage during the dark years and Michael Ware had me fascinated. He seemed to be the complete opposite of the hundreds of generic “Coalition War Journalists” on assignment in Iraq. He seemed to be telling a totally different story to the generics.

He also had a fascinating face and manor of reporting. He really lived it and lived his reporting of it.

An intriguing man, and by the preview to Pt2, he seems to be struggling with his new normalcy.

On domestic matters, i guess with the appointment of Malbull to Shadow Communications we can put the final nail in the Filter Coffin…..?

Harry, the filter is a joke as anyone with rudimentary net nous knows. I think Conroy is pandering to the wowsers many of whom don’t understand how easy the filter is to circumvent. Most of ’em are thick as planks ffs. 🙂
The fundies are quietly fuming that an unmarried atheist is about to shack up in The Lodge with her fellah. Maybe Conroy’s ultra-conservative web-filter stance could be to keep as sweet as possible with these self-appointed bastions of The Public Morality lest they reach for their pitchforks and begin fingering witches for the flames. 🙂

For the ticster twitterati, you may like to add Naomi Klein to your followings list. Ms Klein just started a few days ago but she has already turned the snark up to 11.

Gingrich thinks Obama is hiding his true radical politics, but so do lots of silly hope-drunk lefties. He is who is, sad to say

If Turnbull wants to become PM and he woudn’t have hung about (with his net wealth) if he didn’t fancy his chances, he’ll take Shadow Communications and go through the motions waiting for Monky to bring himself undone. He could taunt Tony by finding aspects of the NBN that are outstanding but need to be properly costed etc, but Malcs will have to time his moves carefully. He only lost the leadership to Abbott by one party room vote. Minchin will be gone from The Senate on July 1. So will much of the ordure that wafts about him. The ugly Right of the Coalition will have less pull on some HoR Libs as they feel the comfort of The Centre in an Australia now ruled by a Cetre-Left Gillard minority govt.

If there’s any instability about at the moment, reckon it’s The LibNats who are most vulnerable.

It would be nice if war spending received as much “public scrutiny” as social infrastructure like the NBN. This article from the OZ on whether to spend 35 billion on 12 submarines or not, is quite a contrast to the the campaign against the 42 billion NBN.

If the government wimps out by failing to invest in designing and building our own submarine and buys off the shelf, we all lose. We may partner with an overseas designer, but this is an opportunity to be bold. It is an opportunity for nation building. It is a test of our resolve as a nation to think big.

Has an economist ever totalled up the cost of the F-111 project and divided it by the number of shots fired in anger?

I think I know which investment future generations will be thanking us for.

Hear, Hear, Hussey! There are German or Sweedish BMW/Saab type subs brand spanking new for less than a $Bill. last time I peroused Jane’s. 🙂

Australia could glom 20 state-of-the-art subs which would more than accomplish our DEfensive capacity and have, say 15 $Bill., to kick into the NBN rollout.

Rocket Science it ain’t!

Well gaffy, the least we could do for The Dirty Delaware is send a musical tribute to the sirens and goddesses of his tabloid page 3’s

Here’s to them for youthful thoughts salacious and may they all have fared well in later years. Thanks for all the diamond cutters, ladies. 🙂

Hadn’t heard this song by Toots before. Was looking for something else on you-tube, found this clip, read your “I wanna sue roo too” report…….et voila! Toots has the gift of a golden voice, cords that can merge effortlessly from treacle to growl. Very unusual to hear pedal a steel with a roots rock reggae outfit. Works well. Very tight band too.

They are certainly coming out of the woodwork now.
Steve Coogan is in for a chop now,

The actor, who’s starred in several recent Fox releases including Marmaduke and Percy Jackson, is one of several celebrities whose mobile phone was allegedly hacked by Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator hired by Murdoch tabloid News of the World. Coogan has instructed London lawyers Schillings to complain to the Murdoch publishing empire, and Schillings has written to News International threatening to sue. Coogan could argue that his privacy has been invaded and data protection laws breached. It will now be up to the newspaper giant as to whether it chooses to settle or defies Coogan in court. News Corp has already paid out more than $1.6 million settling similar legal cases, while not admitting liability. If, as ex-News of the World editor Andy Coulson maintains, he didn’t know anything about phone hacking, News Corp will argue immunity. Only a tiny percentage of these cases ever end up in proceedings. Scotland Yard has told Schillings that Coogan was among thousands of people whose mobile phone details were found in Mulcaire’s possession.

The London Bobbies may even have to fork out some Poundies as well for not properly investigating Roo and informing those that were hacked.

Three men who suspect their mobile phones were hacked by reporters at Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World newspaper are suing U.K. police, alleging they didn’t properly investigate the case.

The suit filed in London by a member of Parliament, a former senior police officer and a journalist, also says the Metropolitan Police didn’t warn them that they might have been victims of the newspaper’s “unlawful invasions of privacy,” their law firm, Bindmans LLP, said in a statement.

The lawsuit adds to the review of phone hacking allegations at News of the World during the time when Andy Coulson, Prime Minister David Cameron’s communications chief, was editor of the paper. The House of Commons last week voted to hold an inquiry into the issue.

Ticsters, it was quite fortunate that my washing machine broke and caused me to run late for work, because I got to catch most of an interview with John Menadue on ABC 702. Here’s a bio…

John Menadue was Private Secretary to Gough Whitlam from 1960 to 1967. He then served seven years as General Manager of News Limited, Sydney. He headed the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet from 1974 to 1976, working for Prime Ministers Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser. After four years as Ambassador to Japan, he returned to Australia in 1980 to head the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs. He was CEO of Qantas between 1986 and 1989, and continues to advise several national companies. He has recently chaired major Health reviews in NSW and SA. He was the founding chair of the Centre for Policy Development.

So he was talking about the role of media in the election campaign. He said that the media performed dreadfully – all the stuff we’ve been saying. He said that The ABC carried it’s news from the Australian. And when asked about the role of The Australian in the election he said that “it was pernicious” and repeated the word a bit later for good measure.

As Laura Tingle said – putting the bell on the cat.

I will keep a watch out for the transcript and audio and post a link when it’s available.

Chris B @ 1483

Alan Kohler agrees with you.

Tony Abbott has quite possibly given Malcolm Turnbull the worst job in the parliament.

His task is to constantly complain that something he likes and agrees with, and that most voters will like and agree with, is too expensive. He will no doubt attack this job with flair and gusto and get a fair share of media attention, at least to begin with, but the Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband is travelling on a train to nowhere.

Far better for Shadow Ministers to complain that the government is not doing enough than too much.

Turnbull said yesterday that the National Broadband Network would be “the absolute focus of the policy battle over the next 18 months”. Tony Abbott said he couldn’t think of anyone better to hold the government “ferociously to account”.

So every time the Minister for Communications, Stephen Conroy, stands with NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley alongside a local member and a local Mayor in some regional town somewhere over the next few years and declares open its high speed fibre broadband access, Malcolm’s job will be to shout “yah boo sucks” from the sidelines – to call a doorstop and declare that it was too expensive, and that town should not have got that fibre rollout.

Yesterday he was repeating the ridiculous line that the government has undertaken $43 billion of expenditure without a detailed business plan or cost benefit study, which has been the opposition’s line throughout the campaign. But what do they call the $25 million, 546-page, implementation study by McKinsey and Co and KPMG, released publicly on May 6?

And they must know that Quigley’s team has completed a detailed business plan that is slightly different from the government study and which will also soon be publicly released.

It will show that following the deal with Telstra, the cost will be much less than $43 billion, at which point Malcolm Turnbull will have to stop using that figure and start calling the NBN a $35 billion white elephant, or whatever figure it ends up being.

The question of whether the NBN is, in fact, a white elephant won’t be known for about a decade, by which time Malcolm will be approaching 66, and in the unlikely event that he is still Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband, he will have grown old complaining about the NBN.

It’s possible that the Productivity Commission or some independent think tank then does a study of the NBN and concludes that it was a waste of money and could have been done more cheaply, in which case the ageing shadow minister could call a press conference and croak: “See! I told you it was a white elephant!”

More likely, the worlds of communications and politics will have moved on somewhat by then. If a year is a long time in politics, it is an even longer time in telecommunications and the internet. Ten years is totally unplottable.

The more interesting question is what sort of a time will the man who was leader of the opposition for a year and ten weeks, and would like to be again, get over the next 12 months. After making the difficult decision to run again for the seat of Wentworth after losing the leadership of the Liberal Party by one vote, presumably because he thinks he can be leader again, will complaining about the NBN make that decision seem like a good one?

Is there any possibility, in short, that he won’t end up being regarded as a bit of a joke, and find that fewer and fewer journalists turn up to his press conferences?

A lot of smart, well informed people think he’s right about the NBN, but the problem is that they are now likely to move on with their lives, now that the election has been won and Telstra has been brought inside the tent.

The NBN will get built and Mike Quigley’s record suggests each stage will come in on time and on budget, which Stephen Conroy will no doubt make a big deal about.

And with each passing month, Malcolm Turnbull’s relevance will shrivel. Is this what Tony Abbott intended?

Small Business Aid Bill Clears Senate.

In a win for President Barack Obama and his political allies, Senate Democrats on Tuesday won a crucial vote to clear the way for a bill to create a $30 billion government fund to help open up lending for credit-starved small businesses.

Democrats cracked a GOP filibuster of the bill with the help of two Republicans: Sens. George Voinovich of Ohio and George LeMieux of Florida.

The 61-37 tally sets the stage for a final vote later this week to return the measure to the House, which is likely to approve it for Obama’s signature.

The bill is probably the last piece of Democrats’ ambitious jobs agenda that would become law before midterm elections, which will determine whether Democrats keep their majorities in the House and Senate. Democrats started the year with ambitious plans for a series of bills designed to boost the economy and job creation but have relatively little to show for it. The nationwide unemployment rate ticked up to 9.6 percent last month.

Obama welcomed the vote.

Obama is really having a big fortnight. Finishing big on Friday.


Ticsters, it was quite fortunate that my washing machine broke</blockquote.

Katielou if you have to replace it get one of those fully automatic ones that you screw on the end of the bed and it does the ironing as well. :mrgreen:

O’Donnell Wins Republican Senate Primary In Delaware.

The Associated Press reports that Christine O’Donnell has pulled off an almost-surprising upset over Rep. Mike Castle in the Delaware Republican primary, after receiving the conservative-coveted endorsement of Sarah Palin last week.

With 85% of precincts reporting, O’Donnell leads 54%-46%.

Her win came despite whispers among national Republicans that the three-time candidate (and two-time loser) wasn’t ready for prime time given her precarious financial situation and history of somewhat extreme positions on sexuality.

The race in Delaware got ugly in the last couple of weeks, as Castle finally decided to slug it out with the insurgent O’Donnell, who he’d been theretofore ignoring. Accusations flew as a former O’Donnell consultant accused Castle of carrying on extramarital affairs with men, a charge that O’Donnell eventually repudiated multiple times — while also spreading awareness of the charges.

Gee’s the loonies are really getting up. Just what the Democrats want.

Christine O’Donnell’s 1996 Anti-Masturbation Campaign On MTV’s ‘Sex In The 90s’ (VIDEO).

Christine O’Donnell won the Republican nomination for senator in Delaware tonight, and Rachel Maddow wasted no time showing the footage she obtained of O’Donnell’s 1996 appearance on MTV’s “Sex In The 90s” TV show.

What a looney. The Repugs are setting themselves up for a real loss at this election.

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