Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Worm Update: Costello Vs Swann

The Worm turns to ... Swann!

Sucked shit Smirky Pete.

PS 151 posts for October. Most. Monthly posts. Ever.

Happy Halloween Everybody!

We don't celebrate it in Oz unfortunately. I wish we did. Occasionally someone tries the trick'n'treat on. Two Halloweens ago some kid turned up at the door wearing his school skivvy pulled up over his mouth and said he was a bandit. TheWife told him to fuck off.

I once went to a Halloween party at the Bevester's house. My costume?

Business shirt and tie, nice pants, shoes. And ... sideburns made out of lipstick. I went as a graduate recruit because said male recruits tended towards having sculpted sideburns. I had to explain my costume to virtually everyone. And those that I didn't tell likely assumed I was lipstick man or something.

What a lame, lame costume.

PS 150 posts! Most posts in a month. Ever.

PPS TheWife's encounter from last year was pretty funny.

Will Downer and Howard to call on Abbott to stand down?

As you may recall Downer chucked a mental fit about the Labor candidate for Hinkler calling elderly people warmongers (which was esp wrong since they have a son in the UK armed forces in Afghanistan - though whether Mr Parr knew that when he labelled them thusly is unknown).

Downer demanded Rudd expel him from the party etc. Howard naturally jumped up and down with a me too.

Yesterday Tony Abbott said the following of a terminally ill man protesting a drug not being included on the PBS lists.

"Let's be up front about this, I know Bernie is very sick, but just because a person is sick doesn't necessarily mean that he is pure of heart in all things," Mr Abbott told the Nine Network.

What a shit smear. Abbott naturally apologized and claimed he and Bernie were tight as.

So tell me. What's worse. The warmonger remark? Or the claiming the dead man walking was being all nastily partisan etc?

How to have a shit morning

(I have the ragtime song from when Homer went to New York in the 80's in my head as I write this).

1) Bang your head sharply on the window edge as you get out of the car.

2) Slam your jumper in the car door then have your partner drive off taking you with the car as you frantically beat the window to get her to stop.

3) Walk past the clearly amused rent-a-cop who saw the incident

4) Have a fly land in your ear as you walk to work, causing you to shriek girlishly and bat at your ear with a magazine.

5) Discover your pass fucking expired and spend 40 fucking minutes waiting for a new one.

That was a suckful morning. And the funny thing was the moment 1) occurred I said 'I am going to have a shit morning'.

UPDATE: That same music, as linked to by Mort in comments, would also work well for Tony Abbott's hell day.

Nice one Chris

The other night we got Pizza Hut. Yes I know pathetic. As an obese IBS man with a fatty liver, really, should not be eating food from there.

Anyway beside the point. Chris was our point man. He arrived, spent three minutes sorting out the change, and delivered what we wanted. All good.

Except his parking technique.

Which was to leave his keys in the ignition with the engine running.

Not sure how exactly his insurance company would view such a thing, especially given the heightened threat of theft given overt drug house across from ours.

Certainly not good for the planet. Though of course, neither are ribs and chicken wings.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Area man drops $50 on Maxine

A friend of mine has an online betting account and kindly put my $50 on the nose for Maxine to win Bennelong.

It's 3 to 1 at the moment. Crossing fingers...

Andrew Robb sticks to the plan

Last night Robb was on Lateline to spruik the Lib's tafe upgrade plan. He managed to have a bit of a pull about unions. Here's the transcript.

ANDREW ROBB: Well, no one wants any upward movement in interest rates, and we've had some, but we've had 1.25 per cent in total over the last three years. And interest rate rises, they do remind people, the interest rate debate, I think, of the significance of running a difficult economy, running such a huge economy, they do remind people, I think, that put in the hands of inexperienced ... an inexperienced team, put in the hands of a team that's dominated by union influence ... when did you last hear a union official talk about growing the economy? Now, that is the sort of issue that confronts...

TONY JONES: Well, it's a fairly easy one to argue really, because two union officials were responsible for some of the biggest reforms to the economy, that's Hawke and Keating. Acknowledged by your own side as being two of most significant reforms to the economy, which helped it to grow, so I guess that's the last time I heard it stated and even by them.

ANDREW ROBB: Yeah well, that was in a government with a Cabinet with balance. The point is you have 70 per cent of a Cabinet with one background, one perspective coming from 70 per cent of the people who make up that management team. All of whom have had no experience in creating wealth, in growing an economy, in making things grow and develop. Now, this is a very narrow perspective. It's a very dangerous one and it does mean that there's great uncertainty and inexperience if you hand over a trillion-dollar economy to that sort of group of people, and that's ... they're the sorts of issues which are, I think, really important. They take time. We need six weeks. People are starting to focus. And in the end, they will face a real choice

You see it's all about the proportion people. You can have four former unionists in cabinet - such as the current one - but, well to have 21 that's just murder. Of grannies or something.

Howard now referring to himself in the third person

He's on Lateline saying "John Howard did this and John Howard did that etc"

WTF?

Howard's now claiming we shouldn't nitpick about the past

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

It's pretty hilarious. Of course the past is no longer his friend. And, cross fingers, neither is the future.

UPDATE: The bits of the interview where he went the Caesar path to rhetorical success

JOHN HOWARD: Tony, I have a completely open mind about various energy sources but I do know that - and this is not just my view, it's the view of Australia's chief scientist. As of now, with all the available science, the only feasible ways of generating base load power are either fossil fuels or variations thereof, or nuclear power. Now that's not John Howard's view. That's the view of Australia's chief scientist and I'm always being told, and I respect this advice, that we should listen to the scientists.

JOHN HOWARD: I think you're struggling a bit with that question. 'Me too' in the Australian political context at the moment is about the attitude of Kevin Rudd towards John Howard and the attitude of John Howard towards Kevin Rudd. I think it's a pretty long bow to bring George Bush into the Australian domestic political debate.

JOHN HOWARD: John Howard, when he became Prime Minister of Australia in 1996, brought in national gun control laws. George Bush would never do that. John Howard's led a Government that signed the International Criminal Court charter, George Bush would never do that. I can list many things where our positions are quite different. John Howard happens to think the social security safety net in the United States is far too weak.

John Howard happens to have told George Bush that he should have a Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in America similar to the scheme that we have in Australia. I think he would like to 'me too' on that, but for a combination of reasons he hasn't been able to do so. You can always find similarities in approaches around the world. There are a lot of similarities in the language as well as the policies used by Mr Rudd and Mr Beazley before him with those of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

I mean in a sense they model themselves. They even brought Nicholas Stern out to Australia to sing the song on climate change. I mean come on, Tony, that's a pretty thin argument.

Oh and my absolute favourite part...

JOHN HOWARD: I think what people are waiting for is a proper engagement between Mr Rudd and me on the important issue and we begin to have that engagement when we address the future and don't nit pick about the past.

Really? Is that really the case? So ... no more mention of the 17% interest rates then.

Oh riddle me this. Howard has bleated until he's blue in the face that he backed every single one of the ALP economic reforms from the last ALP government. Except some of those reforms ended up influencing the 17% rate - you know the recession we had to have etc. So does that mean Howard is equally responsible? He seems to think he was for the reform part...

Bally bully needs a damn good rodgering ... I mean hiding

One of that beastly toad Rudd's toadies has bally insulted our brave men and women fighting abroad by calling the elderly parents of a man serving in the British armed forces war mongers.

Can. You. Believe. It?

How dare the candidate for Hinkler call two oldies who approached him in the supermarket mall Warmongers. Obviously the candidate must have known they had a son serving overseas! Why wouldn't he? It was probably tattooed on their faces - their brave lad in uniform or something.

I don't need to know the context of what happened. All I need to do is call for this worm to be thrown out of the bally ALP for daring to express an opinion that a pair of old people he was talking too were overtly pro war. How completely utterly unAustralian of him to say that to people who had a son fighting in a completely different country's armed forces.

This sort of abuse of brave families, whose (sons and daughters) are fighting the Taliban and are fighting terrorism, it's a window into what Labor is really like.

War is terrwiffic. I should know. As Minister I helped give Saddam Hussein 300 million dollars to fight one.

Worm info sought

Costello and Swanny went head to head at the press club today, with Hartcher of SMH giving a narrow win to Swanny because he performed well enough that he presented a credible face - see here.

Apparently nine wormed up the debate. I was curious to see what the worm would do. The result of the worm was to be announced on Nine news, and ACA. But I can't find it on their site. Am I missing something? Did anyone see? References?

MIA WORM!

UPDATE: Here's the SMH story where they claimed the worm's views would be revealed

Who ever said Nine favoured the ALP

Check out today's offerings from the national nine news site here.

Uniformly pro Liberal and anti Labor.

Slide 1; Potential jobs lost under ALP plan.






















Slide 2;
Vic police breached database (ALP governed state)

Former Hawke minister denies fraud (former ALP minister)

Power bills up under ALP plan (look! Those commies are costing your money as they try and lower our greenhouse emissions)

Poll turnaround cheers Howard (positive imagery of elderly confused man with some good news)

Howard safe ... (clear outright favourite ergo he's won and the world is a better place - look a kitten - let's hug it)

NSW casino (ooooh ALP government created a monopoly. Bad ALP! Bad!)

Legohead footloose and fancy free

It's amazing how pollies will answer a question as if something completely different was asked. For example Kevin Andrews at a recent local forum in his seat.

A friend kindly provided me a transcript of Andrew's remarks and the MP3 of his response. You can find a link to the MP3 of Andrews' answer here.

The question asked was as follows;

WOMAN IN AUDIENCE: A US academic did say that public ignorance is a national resource that 's carefully husbanded by politicians. The thing that concerns me most about the Iraq war is the way that information is manipulated, ah it seems to me that Iraq is a very complex situation and its way beyond anything that people in our culture can understand in terms of it's traditions, its religion, its tribal make up and its whole way of doing business and thinking about the world and what we're getting is a simplified, falsified sort of version of things so I'd like the panel to comment on information management in relation of the Iraq war and especially recently on LATELINE an academic guest there said that he thought was really going on in Iraq was that Iran was slowly taking over. So, in view of the fact that Iran is the next big battle on the American agenda, can we have some comment on information management.

Other candidates responded. This was Andrews' response;

KEVIN ANDREWS: Just three comments. Firstly, it's wrong to suggest that I'm saying things haven't improved in Iraq; I'm saying quite the opposite. Things have improved in Iraq. You just have to look at schools and hospitals and a whole range of services in that country that are operating today in a way they weren't operating in the past. That country has improved and that's why I'm saying we should stay there. Secondly, in relation to any conflict this conflict has been covered by the media more than any other conflict in history. There are journalists in Iraq every day. There are reporters in Iraq. There is more about this warfare on our daily television news sets and in the media than any other war before. So the media are there and they're freely there in that country and they can report what's going on. That's the reality. I mean we've got more media, more instantaneous media in the world today, including in situations of conflict, than we've had in any other conflict, in any other war in the past. That's the reality in relation to it. Finally can I say that somebody mentioned, one of the panellists mentioned Nazi Germany. Can I quote from Arthur Cosler (phonetic) who was writing about the burning of Berlin's Reichstag in 1933, the event which gave rise to Nazi Germany, and he said this and I quote: "We said that if you don't quench those flames at once they will spread all over the world." And I think the same can be seen, can be said about extreme Islam today.

(Crowd heckles)
Somebody said that's racist. I said extreme Islam, I did not say Islam in general… (inaudible) I'll finish on this note, ladies and gentlemen, if you want to pretend that there is not an ideological battle in the world… (crowd heckles). Have the decency and courtesy to listen to the answer. If you want to pretend that there is not an ideological conflict between those who believe broadly in Western democracy and those who believe that there ought to be a state of affairs which is ruled by an extremist ideology I think you've got your head in the sand.

MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen… (crowd heckles). Just one moment. I think that the appropriate answer might be to your question, madam, is if this reply that Mr Andrews has given is reported accurately in the press, that will be your answer to your question.

-----

Oh dear. No wonder Haneef got his visa pinched. He could have been one of those dastardly extreme muzzies what threaten our freedoms!

Take that you dumb squirrel

I am shit with almost all things of a dexterous nature - including Ikea provided allen keys. And I barely know enough about computers to turn one on. But tonight I was able to repair a computer for a friend. And by repair simply swap a dodgy looking cable for a schmicky one. Still, felt good for it and pat on back for HM.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The photographic proof!

Remember that awesome sign RE typos? Well here it is, in pog form!

Dog whistling and you

Sounds a bit like the Toad Sexing bibliography from the Big Red Book.

Anyway, this article is excellent. It's on the phenomenon that is Dog Whistling.

See here.

Here's the intro

Did he really mean that? Probably, but you won't catch him admitting it. Australian politicians have invented a new way to twist words and win votes, Geoff Strong reports.

THE term "mainstream values" might seem innocuous when uttered by John Howard in his quest for votes this election. Likewise when Kevin Rudd describes his opponent as a "clever politician". How many in the target audience realise prime minister and opposition leader are talking in carefully crafted code?

There is nothing new in politicians saying one thing and meaning another. Many people probably feel it's part of the job description. However, the science of spin and obfuscation is becoming more sophisticated with each campaign.

The technique entitled dog-whistling, which originated in Australia, could be our contribution to 21st-century politics, having already been exported to Britain and the US.

What I absolutely love is the fact that the article refers to the paper 'Under the Radar' and said paper is written by Josh Fear...

LOTR for gamers

With a big thanks to Mr Morton T Fogg for the link

LOTR as if it were a D&D game

New from theBoy range

From today's Crikey - Mungo on Turnbull and his Kyoto views

Mungo: The Libs are all about the individual, ask Malcolm

Mungo MacCallum writes:

As we all know, the Liberal Party is all about the individual. The idea is to maximise personal freedom at all times. Labor may mumble about the need for collectives, for trades unions and other namby-pamby institutions which inevitably lead to dependence and misery. Your true Liberal knows that these are no more than crutches for the feeble, that people are perfectly capable of standing up for themselves and it’s best for them to do so.

That’s what WorkChoices was all about: real workers can negotiate face to face with their bosses, decide for themselves what pay and conditions they will accept and then demand them, individual to individual.

That’s why we give huge tax cuts, rather than spend money on things like health and education. It’s a matter of free choice: if people choose to spend their money on health and education, that’s up to them. You want to invest your tax cut in building a new teaching hospital, we’re not stopping you. Indeed, we urge you to embrace a life of rugged independence. Now get out there and look after yourselves, and enjoy your day.

It’s all nonsense, of course: but it’s what the Libs claim to believe. So why are they so annoyed with Malcolm Turnbull when he simply follows the logic and tries to take care of number one?

Turnbull, it seems, has dared to put himself in front of the Liberal collective. The Environment Minister has been pursuing a policy which goes against the consensus of cabinet, as determined by the Dear Leader, the Primus inter Minimos, John Howard. Turnbull has been urging the government to ratify the Kyoto protocol, which has been anathema to our Man of Steel ever since George Bush told him it should be.

There is, Turnbull insists, no good reason to hold back. Unlike many other countries, Australia will actually come close to reaching its very generous Kyoto target, and negotiations about a post-Kyoto protocol are about to begin. Only by ratifying the old agreement can Australia become a full participant in negotiating the new one. Moreover, Australia’s ratification, however belated, would put pressure on the United States to do the same.

It would also remove a major stumbling block to getting the developing countries, particularly India and China, involved in setting new targets for emission control; China has specifically referred to Australia’s recalcitrance as a reason for refusing to sign up to any binding treaty. The argument is that developed countries like Australia are the ones responsible for the emissions already out there; it’s a bit rich of them to ask developing countries to agree to controls on their own future development without at least a token acknowledgement of their own past guilt in the area.

But forget, if you like all, this airy fairy stuff about being a responsible international citizen; after all, it’s hardly part of the great Liberal tradition. Concentrate on a more urgent matter: there are votes in it.

Turnbull has told various colleagues that he reckons ratifying Kyoto could be worth as much as 3% nationally, which is probably wrong; certainly it doesn’t allow for cynical punters dismissing a deathbed repentance as nothing more than yet another act of monumental cynicism. However, it surely wouldn’t do any harm.

But Howard won’t budge – or, as Turnbull rather more graphically puts it, the little c-nt is too f-cking stubborn. (And how good it is to hear that old nickname for our beloved Prime Minister back in use! What a reminder of his glorious younger days, when everything was so much simpler!)

And how very unsurprising that the story came out – or that Glenn Milne, the poison dwarf, celebrated it with a front page screamer in the Sydney Sunday Telegraph headlined: "TURNBULL BETRAYS CABINET".

According Milne, members of the party believe that Turnbull himself leaked the story in order to save his own seat. The conspiracy theory runs that Turnbull has already made up his mind that the election is lost and Howard is finished. But if he can just hang on in Wentworth he could be starter for the leadership against Peter Costello – who is, of course, Milne’s own candidate for the job.

So Turnbull is not a team player; he is putting his own interests ahead of the party. How very Liberal of him. And what a surprise: having paid a fortune to organise the mother of all branch stacks to gain preselection and another motza to win the election and having devoted every waking moment since to scrabbling as far up the greasy totem pole as possible, Turnbull is determined to hold onto the bloody thing; who would have thought it.

Certainly not the pusillanimous Costello or his acolyte. But perhaps Turnbull’s most recent target might recognise the symptoms. For more than a decade Howard insisted that he would only be leader for as long as the party wanted him and it was in the party’s best interests that he did so. Then last month when the party, through its senior parliamentary representatives, announced to him that the time had come, he told them all to get stuffed and said he would fight to the death to stay on, and bugger the party.

It is Howard, of course, who has been Turnbull’s mentor and benefactor – until now. If the phrase "Liberal principles" is not an oxymoron, the master and his apprentice are applying them like never before.

And talking of wonderful phrases, Employment Relations Minister Joe Hockey got off a zinger last week:

"Our scare campaign is based on fact," he solemnly explained to a boggling interviewer.

Just think about that for a minute; the more you repeat it, the crazier it sounds.

What will they be like after another three weeks?

Pharmacist uncomfortable in sunken loungeroom

Queanbeyan, NSW: Ted Grogan of Eden Pharmacies was noticeably uncomfortable in friend's sunken loungeroom according to fellow guests.

'Check out Ted,' said local car salesman Arthur Crenskey. 'Is that a sheen of sweat on his brow?'

Fellow party goer Angela Smitt, home-maker agreed the retail chemist was both sweaty and nervous.

'It's like he just can't get comfortable,' she said. 'Or he's up to something.'

Ted spent the entire night edging towards the steps back up to the house proper but was repeatedly propelled by the arm of hostess Kathy Burbek and introduced to numerous other people who, unfortunately, were in the epicentre of the lower level sitting room affair.

'Got to get higher, got to get higher,' Ted was heard to mumble as he broke free from the newly introduced to guests after the minimum accepted time for social interaction, leading those in ear shot to conclude that Ted was sampling his own wares.

'I bet he sells it to Bikies,' said Angela, still annoyed at her purchase of a cream from Ted's store that failed to deal with the cold sore as promised.

Ted then disappeared from the gathering and when Ms Burbek went to replenish chips from her pantry, he was found sitting hunched on a step stool.

Sneak weasel at his finest

Kerry: Will you admit that your broke your promise regarding 30 year lows

Howard: People will make a judgment on what I said against what has occurred. Do they really believe the ALP re its track record/industrial rates will be able to keep the interest rates low.

Kerry: You keep bringing up the history.

Howard: (insert blather ... nearly got the year wrong ... something about interest rates are lower than the keating / hawke years ... still not answering the question)

Kerry: You left labor with double digits inflation/interest rates/unemployment.

Howard: Um ... my last government has rates that were less than the last ALP government. Um ... wasn't me - was the drought and subprime rates in the US - not me it was the other three (cough 30 year lows cough).

Wow - that was great. It was like the debate where he didn't answer hard questions put to him. But, all credit due to him. He didn't spasm this time and he probably found the right door out of the studio...

Growth reported at Liberal's HQ

Pun badness

Thieves in New Zealand may have bitten off more than they can chew by stealing a mobile dental clinic

Even cuter if at all possible...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I'm off to Aspen!

A creepy similarity

TheWife came home with some nappies, a brand I had not seen before.

The art reminded me of something.

First the nappy bag...















And now the thing it reminded me of.





















Let's hope der boy does not grow up with any odd ideas!

UPDATE: The Nappies are apparently German...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Area foot inbound to Hockey's mouth

Oh dear for Joe Hockey. Today he was interviewed confirming what the vast bulk of Australia already knew, that the Libs were running a fear campaign.

See the SMH report here.

Launching a new round of Liberal advertising attacking Labor's union links, Mr Hockey told reporters: "Our fear campaign is based on fact.''

Two things I love about what he said. One - the obvious inclusion of the word "fear". The second slightly more subtle "based". Not factual in the sense that A=A. But based on fact in the Hollywood sense of the word - you know based on a true story which allows the makers to distort the truth almost to beyond recognition.

If I was the ALP I would run this soundbite if available again and again to remind those people slightly outside the vast bulk of Australia that it is indeed a fear campaign.

Speaking of remind, it reminds me of Bush when he was trying to privatise social security when he said "See in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."

Indeed. My favourite word there being propaganda.

Which is of course exactly what the Liberal's campaign is all about.

UPDATE: I just noticed this additional gem from that report.

"
But less than an hour later, Mr Hockey was much more forthcoming, saying that if Labor was to be representative of the community only 20 per cent of frontbenchers should be trade union members."

I see. So given Oz's population is approx 50% women that means the Liberal cabinet will be 50% women. Toughee given only four women are in cabinet at the moment.

The number of Lawyers in Oz? Well according to this snapshot there's around 94,000 people employed in the legal system in Oz. And there's about I think 16 lawyers in the Coalition ministry. So 94,000 divided by 21,000,000 (which we know from the truly fucking awesome citizenship test is the approx pop of Oz) means 0.4% of the population are involved in the legal profession - which extrapolated against a cabinet of 30 results in this 16 being alas reduced to 0.13%. Which, as luck would have it would probably be the mass of a single human head - let's be fair and let them decide who it's going to be.

Gays! The figure of the % of people being mostly gay is I believe 3% to 10% depending on how gay someone is regarded as being before classified mostly, so let's settle on 6.5%. No declared gays in the Coalition ranks which means just under two of them are going to have to come on out of the closet to meet Joe's community representation rules. Ooooooo I hope it's Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton. And after they cop to their gayness they tongue off for the cameras.

And so on and so on.

I feel for Joe Hockey. I do. To trot out the moronic line that you cannot have more than 20% of cabinet ministers having served as union officials is actually workplace discrimination. If these people were facing a job interview and they were told 'sorry, we've reached our max of ex union people' guess what, they'd be on to the workplace ombudsman. Which as irony would have it is controlled by Hockey's office.

Oh if you check out the Lib's site they're still going with the 70% crap - with a photo line up of the evil ALP people. It's fantastic. They should have scribed 666 on their foreheads, and stitches and glasses and beards and shit as well though to really drive the message home. If only they'd been full body shots, then they could have drawn in the pubes like with the underwear section of a Fossey's catalogue.

The most excellent thing is with the photo lineup, when an ALP face is lit up as being a unionist (ex), it's in the colour Red!

You know, because they're communists!

Holy crap the Libs are a pack of fuckwits. I hope if falling out wrath occurs some of it goes Crosby Textor's way.

Peter Hartcher on the Howard years

In today's smh

These are the five elements Howard is accused of that Hartcher thinks Howard has copped an unfair serve on. Here's my take.

1. John Howard has made Australia more selfish.

Hartcher says stats on volunteering and giving are up ergo we're not more selfish. I disagree on this one. While it's good that good people are doing more it does not mean there are people not acting selfishly. For example cockheads buying 4WD they don't need (in greater numbers), racist attacks on the rise and so forth indicate a more fearful country being selfish, McMansions. Ditto support for anti terror legislation and demonising of elements of the community. Cronulla riots? Heeeelllloooooo.

2. John Howard can't work with Asia.

Fair point. Of course the Asian meltdown and bailing countries out helped. Timor happened largely because of Howard but well at least they are free. Of course we tried to fuck them in the arse over oil and gas...

3. Howard has ruined Australia's immigration program.

Hartcher claims it's higher than the last ALP program ergo good. I disagree. Skilled migration is up. Family migration is down, refugee intake is down as a proportion. While skilled migration is good for the economy the accusation 'dem takin' our jobs' as irony would have it is prob more accurate for Howard. Of course 'dem takin' jobs' because in many cases there's not the skilled labor available in house - look at medical professionals for one - it but business is abusing the living fuck out of the 457 scheme and in doing so screws incoming workers out of decent wages and potentially drives over-all wages in some industries to the bottom as a result - making it less likely Australians will take up roles in those industries. To quote Kurt Vonnegut and so it goes.

4. The economy is strong mainly because of the mining boom.

Hartcher claims this is not the case and the real boom is ahead. However there's no denying govie revenue is up because of corporate tax receipts and the resource sector has had the biggest leap as I understand it. Except of course Howard claims he's the reason why the economy is doing well. He's not. ALP reforms laid the bedrock for solid non inflationary growth and the global climate worked in his favour. However it should be agreed the GST on balance was a good thing since apparently it helped us shrug off the tech bubble. Wait a minute, I got that from Gerard Henderson! So take that with a grain of fucking salt.

5. By signing the 2004 free trade agreement with the Bush Administration, Howard sold out the national interest and serious economic damage would follow.

Hartcher said our deficit is larger but no real damage. It does however mean we have to accept bids from US firms and forces us public servants to tender out any fucking job work 80k+.

The bad stuff where Howard can take a pantsing according to Hartcher?

1. Howard took Australia to war in Iraq on a false premise

2. Howard and the Howard Government told lies

3. The Howard Government increased the regulatory burden on business.

4. The Howard Government has treated some immigrants and refugees punitively and manipulatively

5. The Howard Government wasted a decade denying that man-made global warming was real and that it had any role in helping find a solution.

Yep, I'd agree on those. I think most of us would. I'd add a 6th.

6. The Howard Government did not foreshadow vast far reaching changes to the industrial landscape that would place the burden on semi-skilled workers stripping away conditions and placing power firmly in the hands of the employers.

... and The Final Countdown...

YT Gold - Spongebob doing Accadacca

Lewis Black Gold

Back in Black

Friday, October 26, 2007

Can you believe this shit

The world alas is filled with morons - on the internet doubly so. Because people can be rude and offensive and mean spirited when it's electronic. Hell I know, I've done it myself. And I have the benefit of semi-anonymity.

Well check this shit out.

It's a Huffington Post on the recent "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week".

Yes, that's right "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week". Fortunately it didn't conflict with world "Black people want our white women week" or "Fat people are a cancer on society day". Or, and phew, "Slant eyes can't see out of their slanty eyes because they are so slanty minute of silence".

Sure Islam is a belief structure. So you could argue it's not racist to mock it or pretend somehow that it is a dire threat to the west (ignore the fact Islamic themed terror is a response to western geopolitical interference in the region that is primarily nationalistic in origin). Despite the fact many of its adherents are distinctly non Caucasian in hue. But it is tremendously bigoted to paint all members of a faith with a fundamentalist whack job brush.

It's like looking at a Christian and thinking they want to burn lesbians. Some of the more wacky xtians are fundys that want that. The vast vast vast bulk of xtians do not. But to claim because Y wants to then ergo all of X does too is moronic.

Here's how to succeed at stopping terror. You have excellence in law enforcement and intelligence dedicated to stopping plots but treating all those swept up in it fairly with fair access to fair legal representation. You engage with the communities plotters come from so they volunteer information on the fanatics amongst them. You look long and hard at the way your nation state interacts with relevant nation states to determine whether your interaction fuels the recruitment of would be killers.

You do not label all that follow a broad religion a threat, and focus on small elements of their cultural behaviours as somehow a mockery of your values. You know why? Makes engaging with the community that much harder.

Anyway to the idiots who came up with this congratulations. Way to prolong your "war on terror". But then you need it don't you. Because the Russians got beat and who the fuck are you going to engender fear of now...

Cake Beard

No, it's not a dessert obsessed pirate.

Allow me to background you.

Today someone in the office had a birthday - in another clump of desks near my section. There was cake. We got invited to come help sing. Now etiquette is that those that sing get cake. Or so I believe. So naturally I wanted to have cake, esp since I'd had no breakfast.

But the co-workers from my corral didn't want cake. I sit outside the immediate circle of workstation users that sit with birthday man. Now, I could easily have still had cake, even though fellow immediate workers did not want cake - even though the people to cake ratio was nearly too high. However there is a complicating factor.

I am fat.

When you are fat people automatically assume you want free food. They bring it past your workstation etc. when there's post meeting fud to have. They also assume therefore you are a greedy guts who'd eat wet sand if chocolate had been sprinkled on it.

Now being the only representative from my section of three at said cake munching, and being fat, would mark me in the greedy guts camp. If however one of my workstation buddies came with me then I would not be a greedy guts. I would simply be a fellow cake eater.

So I convinced one of the lads who sits in my corral to come with me. As a cake beard. Even though he did not want cake.

Well. What was the cake like? It was good. Then we spent 15 mins slagging off buckwheat and it turns out she's a moldy old bigot around everyone else and they too had endured her ground hogging racism* as I did when I sat near her. Apparently she had pneumonia six years ago and got a disabled parking permit close to the building.

And she never gave it back.

Fuck I hate her. And it seems I'm not the only one.

*She's not anti ground hog. I mean she would listen in to people's conversations then rise up until her head crested the wall of the partition that in theory walled off from us to bleat her incessant white noise that as luck would have it was laced with a fair amount of racist talk.

Oh the irony

Unfortunately US politics, being non compulsory voting, is beholden in a large part to community groups that will be relied on to get the vote out for you. Eg Fundies on the right.

One such group are Cuban Americans who loathe the Castro regime. Even though the Cold War is over and reapproachment has been made with other socialist regimes, US politicians dare not say 'enough is enough, let's end sanctions and do what we did with every other communist regime and dazzle them with cash and trade opportunities.'

To do so is to kiss Florida good bye for your party.

Bush naturally beats the anti Castro drum for all its worth - as seen here.

A transcript of his speech can be found at the Whitehouse site here

Here's an excerpt.

These are just a few of the examples of the terror and trauma that is Cuba today. The socialist paradise is a tropical gulag. The quest for justice that once inspired the Cuban people has now become a grab for power. And as with all totalitarian systems, Cuba's regime no doubt has other horrors still unknown to the rest of the world. Once revealed, they will shock the conscience of humanity. And they will shame the regime's defenders and all those democracies that have been silent. (Applause.) One former Cuban political prisoner, Armando Valladares, puts it this way: It will be a time when "mankind will feel the revulsion it felt when the crimes of Stalin were brought to light." And that time is coming.

I don't dismiss that the Castro government has its issues. While its brand of communism has delivered real gains for its people as a whole it is undemocratic, punishes dissidents, and indoctrinates its populace. Of course the fact it did so because of US pressure upon it in addition to embracing the ideology is neither here nor there.

But for Bush in his typical moronic fashion to refer to Cuba as a tropical gulag considering that he has 500 odd people picked up from across the planet and held in isolation in a piece of Cuba stolen from the Cubans, with said prisoners without access to legal norms and protections, and placed in a process where the executive charges them, prosecutes them, defends them, and sentences them all without being able to access all the evidence bought against them, challenge it in some cases, and where evidence garnered through forcible interrogation is permitted, then yes to use the term "tropical gulag" is somewhat ironic.

He reminds me of Harry Crumb.

"Sometimes I don't even have to think before I speak".

Yet another reason why Tony Abbott is an appalling health minister

Condoms save lives. Whether through preventing disease or indeed preventing unwanted babies. Condoms are not exactly fun things to wear, and putting one on in the dark can be an unpleasant wilt inducing exercise, but by and large they are one of the most effective STD preventing/preggers preventing tools in the armoury of the sexually active.

Teenagers are sexually active. There's this new service where the kids can text a number and they get sent two frangers in the mail. Of course it doesn't help when you don't have them on you and your opposing number is giving you the 'fuck it, let's just do it' wave in, but still to those embarrassed or self conscious about the franger buy then it's a good way to assist. Apparently it also comes with some handy weblinks on sexual health.

It seems like a good idea.

I was listening to Hack today and they played an excerpt from Tony Abbott back in Feb. It wasn't about the free text frangers but it was about condom availability. Abbott was against it because apparently it promoted a 'condom culture'.

Huh?

Yes, a condom culture. Where condoms where seen as the only possible response to teenage humping.

I do find it somewhat ironic that a man destined for the priesthood who had unprotected sex and for years claimed he had given up a bastard son for adoption (until it proved said Girlf boiked a flatmate instead) is moaning about kids getting access to the very fucking protection he should have employed.

Kids with access to contraceptives are more likely to use them in the heat of the moment and, get this, less likely to have unwanted pregnancies. Again for a man that moans frequently about the number of abortions in this country you'd think as a fucking health minister he'd do his bit to promote safe sex. Hopefully not by having sex.

Abbott seems to think that a Condom Culture promotes kids to have sex. Sure, it may. But if it's well protected non disease baby making denying sex then surely that's a good price to pay if said disease/pregnancy drops yes?

Am I the only one who can see this? I feel like I am taking crazy pills.

I find it especially ironic that a man whose religious views compel him to take sides in debates against the promotion of public health, and who has secret meetings with celibate men who wear expensive hand made dresses, is the Minister for Health.

But don't fear campers. After-all Abbott has largely given up on his Ministerial role since he is too busy fighting the election. Of course he declared he would focus on the election well before it was actually called and while refusing to talk to his state counterparts launched bids for federal take overs of hospitals deemed for closure due to resource issues, but that's another story.

Tony Abbott. You are a disgrace as a health minister. If anything you have made public health worse for your presence.

Lefty cabal put to shame

Here in the Commonwealth PS you have to be apolitical. It's hard at times, especially when you hate the current Federal government so, so, so very much. In my area most people are largely indifferent, or lean slightly the way of the McMansion/SUV types. Unfortunately myself, the guy who sits next to me, and the dude across the partition are fairly dyed in the wool lefties. So this election it's hard to not make fun of said government in power and talk up our man in Amsterdam Mr K Rudd. Generally we chat, then realise what we said, look around guiltily and slink off.

In many ways I am glad my ex boss has left. Because she was a stickler for the apolitical talk and rulers would have been employed or at the very least stern talking toos.

Anyhoo today I walked upstairs to grab a bunch of merchandise. Upon the wall of a workstation partition was a massive five foot high John Howard poster.

Made our lefty club look like a lame arsed effort I can tell you. I do wonder why no one has come along to this person and said 'um ... you really need to take that down.'

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Interest rate rises

A friend of mine at work has honours in economics. He's also a dab hand at turning the obscurity of economics into things that make sense.

Basically curbing inflation works like this it seems.

The reserve puts up its rate. Even though banks only borrow from the reserve when their holdings cannot meet the amount they are lending out, which isn't often, this then allows the bank to put up their rate.

This incoming money is pure profit to the bank. After all the administration of the rate rise amounts to some autoletters being sent out to those who owe money explaining now they owe more. Pretty much that's it.

30% of this money, since it's all profit, will go to the government in corporate taxes. The rest gets invested or returned to the shareholder in dividends.

Because punters have had the expenses contracted, by being forced to give the bank money for not doing anything, they have less money to piss up against the wall (consumption). With less money to spend on things they buy less. Therefore inflation does not rise as much.

Nup. I still don't get it. Anyone know of 'Economics made simple' for klutzes like me?

Guess what I had for lunch ...

... a fly.

Yep, that's right. A fly. I was walking along and because it had rained all the flies were out. I was in the middle of talking about the effect of compound interest on buying star ships and a !@#$%^& fly flew down my throat. I gagged and dry retched but it did not come out.

I bought a Pad Thai at lunch but the fly memory was so strong I ditched it after one mouthful.

I am still grossed out.

Only buying of delish delivered Chinese food washed the memory away. That and about six cans of Diet Coke and warm shower water.

UPDATE: I forgot. I told a number of people what happened and I shit you not every single person said 'oh well, at least it's protein'. It's an odd response - almost like they're trying to talk it up. Protein schmotein - I'm pretty sure Atkins people aren't sucking blowies off the window pane.

Area joke backfires

Me (upon seeing pamphlet and holding it up): "Hey you could ask him what happened to his hair."

Rozie the pharmacy assistant: "Um .. I wouldn't know anything about that."

Pwned.

Kudos Lateline

Well it was probably a sop in my direction but they acknowledged my feedback re RightyFest07 that took place the other night on Lateline, stating it would be allegedly passed on. Which is kewl. So ... kudos. Still wish there was more balance though.

Paul Keating I miss you so


Paul Keating was my hero. Actually still is. The man is a legend. Sure his ego's the size of the Opera House but he can sail my way any day in a non sexy sense.

Today he was spruiking for Greg Combet when in typical PK style he did over the current government for their hysterical 'the unions are coming' wankfest that is their Crosby Textor Memo revisited.

See here.

He said that in May 1995, as the then ALP Government and the unions embarked on the Accord Mark 8, a meeting with union leaders Bill Kelty, Martin Ferguson and Jennie George locked in an inflation rate of between 2 and 3 per cent.

" You know how we have a Reserve Bank inflation target of between 2 and 3 per cent?" Mr Keating said.

"It's because unions where the progenitors of low inflation. They were the inventors of that 2 to 3 per cent target."

Launching the campaign of former ACTU secretary Greg Combet in the Hunter Valley seat of Charleton, Mr Keating produced two sets of handwritten cabinet notes covering his Government's final round of wage negotiations with unions.

According to his notes, on May 30 1995 it was former ACTU secretary Mr Kelty who suggested an upper limit on inflation of 3 per cent, which was embraced by then Reserve Bank chief Bernie Fraser.

The union leaders had told Mr Keating that low-income Australians were more vulnerable to the impact of high inflation so the unions wanted to keep a lid on price rises.

Mr Keating said as a consequence of these agreements, the Howard Government had been lazy in its economic management.

"The Treasurer has spent the past 10 years in a hammock. This is the laziest, most indolent, most unimaginative treasurer in postwar history."

No quite pre-Copernican obscurantist but still funny nonetheless. Actually check out the 730 report for the actual footage which does this far more justice. You can find a link to the speech here.

Pure. West.

Area cat demands giant space nappy

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Helen Coonan is a mol

Speaking of mols, she was just on lateline dot pointing various Liberal Crosby Textor bullshit about the ALP.

Can you guess?

Yep

70% union bosses
all states wall to wall labor
can't stand up to the unions
view things through the prism of the unions
did I mention unions?

Helen Coonan by the way famously wrote angry letters to insurance companies using her own ministerial letterhead. Did she have to resign. Er no.

Because you see if you fuck up on the Liberal front bench unless you met with Graham Burke you can stay in your job as long as you want.

Evil partisan witch.

Haneef Update

Remember when Kevin Andrews said he cancelled Haneef's visa on 'character grounds' because of advice he'd received?

Check out this article in today's smh.

THE Federal Police Commissioner, Mick Keelty, says he warned prosecutors there was insufficient evidence against the Indian doctor Mohamed Haneef and that he was surprised when charges were laid.

In an interview with The Bulletin, to be published today, Mr Keelty said he warned the Director of Public Prosecutions that the evidence against the doctor was thin.

"I was as surprised as anybody when the DPP advised that Haneef could be charged … I didn't think the evidence was strong enough." Dr Haneef spent four weeks in jail after being charged with recklessly providing support to a terrorist organisation, by giving a SIM card to a cousin, Sabeel Ahmed, in England last year.

So if Mick Keelty had warned the DPP of his concerns, and the DPP prosecuted anyway, and Andrews then used his ministerial power - which despite what legohead says rarely if ever has been used before the outcome of a criminal case has been known - to cancel Haneef's Visa so he'd stay under lock and key, who then was feeding Andrews this information? If it was the AFP then we can be reasonably certain they would have presented the same qualified opinion yes?

Is it therefore more likely that Andrews relied more on a knee-jerk gut instinct that to use his position to crush an immigrant doctor who happened to be both brown and a Muslim was a politically advantageous thing to do? Oh and it was advantageous with something like 80% of callers to morning TV infotainment shows agreeing that Haneef should not get his visa back.

Andrews is a fucking disgrace. Not only as a Minister of the crown, but as a human being. How this man can consider himself a Christian is beyond me.

CoyBoy

Office Space Printer Smash

It's been taken off youtube but this link has it.

I'm sure we've all felt this way about a printer in our workplace...

Sigh...

I like Ross Gittens of Fairfax. He's a decent writer, ideology free, who manages to craft tales of economics into something I can understand.

Today's column is here.

It, like usual, makes a lot of sense. Which is worrying. Too whit that because Rudd is committed to following chunks of the Howard platform in order not to spook the SUV driving McMansion swingites out in votey land, that even if Howard loses in many ways he's won. WorkChoices hangs around until 2010, private health fund members keep their subsidies, and 31 billion gets returned at an average of $7 a week for a typical voter instead of being ploughed into severely denuded public infrastructure.

Rudd is accused with some justice as attempting to be Howard-lite. Sure - there are major differences still and in the westminster system Rudd can always get rolled if he strays too far from the Labor party policy platform, but it does shit me quite a bit that Labor has to talk down its differences and talk up its similarities.

Many of us are hoping this is a semantic political act. That once in government, while Labor won't break promises its made to garner McMansion land, it will gradually stamp its own fairer more equitable identity on government policy once those promises are met. But part of me does worry this won't be the case.

Jim Cairns, then deputy leader of the ALP, once said in the 70's it would be better if the ALP lost than compromise on principles. Of course that is ideology over realism. It's all very good have a pure ideology but without a chance in government what's the point?

But at the end of the day the ALP does have principles, and you'd be hard pressed to find someone on the Liberal side that can say the same about them. Which principles are stuck to, well I guess we will find out.

However for all those sneering carping critics out there remember this. Howard is the one who dressed himself as a wolf in sheep's clothing. The never ever GST came in, as did WorkChoices. More troops were sent to Iraq when he indicated they'd be reduced. Core promises and Non core. This is a man who clothed his ideology successfully then when in government set about implementing it, using our money to change our minds.

So yes Rudd may be Howard lite as far as much of the current platform. But that's far better than the full strength A-hole that's currently in power.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dr Poo

Viz goodness YT spotted by Uncle Bruce. Thanks Bruce!

Bod - this is for you

Nature meet nature

With muchos thanks to the person who sent me the link

Crazy John is dead!

The Secularist's Corner in the Wash Post

See here.

A taste follows.

I tried to resist. Really, I did. Citing the statements of candidates at the Values Voter Summit as examples of faithiness is rather like hunting and shooting quail with clipped wings. But it was too temping, this weekend gathering in Washington where all of the Republican candidates tripped over one another in an effort to pander to the Christian Right. Is there anything candidates won’t say in an effort to win the hearts and minds of irrational religious fanatics?

Monday, October 22, 2007

She tricked me!

Thewife hates me picking the bottom of my foot. Fair point. Often I miss the bin with the skin and they curl into unpleasant to step on shards.

Anyhoo tonight she was demanding promises I would not skin drop in the new house. I agreed I would try. 'No!' She cried. 'You WILL! Or I will leave you!' (and other assorted dramatic rhetoric).

'Please,' she wheedled. 'Please!'

'Okay,' I said. 'I promise not to leave skin lying around in the new house.'

Five seconds she replayed it. She'd caught my skin free promise on her fucking mobile phone and declared she will use it as a surprisingly creepy ring tone.

Then she added that not only do I have ugly feet but really, really ugly feet.

In her defence she is correct. I have broad paddle feet that are completely fallen with kinked toes and deep sunken big toe nails.

They are most ugly.

I've ... got something in my eye (sniff).

PS I have a shit phone that does fuck all. Hers is awesome. Why is it the girls get all the kewl gadgets in the house. Boys toys my sunken toenails.

What the? Lateline!

Tony Jones is interviewing Andrew Bolt, Gerard Henderson, and George Megalogenis on Lateline.

Huh?

Why the fuck is he interviewing two hard righties and one soft righty? Where's the fucking balance on that? Is the ABC bending over in an attempt to seem neutral by having more righties on that lefties?

Unbelievable.

Naturally Hendo is now wanking on big time.

Now Bolt is attacking Hendo for not making a call on the election.

Bolt is claiming the worm is biased (seems to have been a common clarion call - I noticed an oddly coiffed Abbott likewise complained) because Rudd opened his mouth and off it went. It's delish - Hendo is complaining about Ray Martin. Oh dear, look what happens when righties fall out. Hendo just claimed the Age is hostile to the government. Doesn't he work for them? Howard has a hostile media. Really. Considering two hard righty fuckholes are on Lateline whining about it. Interesting view to have.

Henderson claimed Howard normally rocks (er ... lost every single debate so far). Henderson mentioned that too.

Bolt thinks the worm was all about Channel 9. Oh - Ray Martin did an ALP fundraiser according to Bolty. Interesting. Oh the 2004 worm audience had a member with a red mohawk - where do they find these people?! He claims a phone poll gave the debate to Howard.

Hendo - Ray Martin got the name of the MD for the ABC wrong and if he was being wormed down would the worm have gone!

George - worm prob focussed on how Ruddy looked confident and calm. Fair point I guess.

Tony - Rudd more civil?

Bolt - um ... yes I guess. Howard prob grumpy trying to get at Rudd. Rudd didn't address the substance! Relied on slogans! And bumper stickers! (Ahh righties, funny how they all work off the same fucking dot points. I'm waiting for 70% unions to get a mention).

Me (yelling at the TV) - there was much substance to what Rudd said. He dot pointed his fucking policies you split legged twat.

Hendo - begrudgingly admitted Rudd good on detail. Galaxy poll not far off a coalition win. So ... behind but not that far. Bear in mind Beazo lost on 51% (true, which is why the ALP needs 54% to get the 16 seats).

Tony - George, tell us about this black hole thing? (Costello found something he thinks is important)

George - It's an obtuse point. Its dated in 2013 (2nd term). Costello is conceding the same point on his side. 15% threshold the kicker in order to encourage part timers. Its a complicated debate. Basically the $600 is in two terms and a result of bracket creep not actual additional tax.

Good on you George for being honest about it.

UPDATE: Here's the transcript.

Las Vegas the incubator of the e-police state

Check out this Wash Post article here.

A taste as follows;

LAS VEGAS -- This city, famous for being America's playground, has also become its security lab. Like nowhere else in the United States, Las Vegas has embraced the twin trends of data mining and high-tech surveillance, with arguably more cameras per square foot than any airport or sports arena in the country. Even the city's cabs and monorail have cameras. As the U.S. government ramps up its efforts to forestall terrorist attacks, some privacy advocates view the city as a harbinger of things to come.

In secret rooms in casinos across Las Vegas, surveillance specialists are busy analyzing information about players and employees. Relying on thousands of cameras in nearly every cranny of the casinos, they evaluate suspicious behavior. They ping names against databases that share information with other casinos, sometimes using facial-recognition software to validate a match. And in the marketing suites, casino staffers track players' every wager, every win or loss, the better to target high-rollers for special treatment and low- and middle-rollers for promotions.

Area baby deals with cradle cap issues head first

Cradle cap is not fun, but mostly non painful. It can itch a bit though it seems.

So how does the Noo deal with it? He sticks his head under my jaw and twists it side to side along my neck and chin underhang, scraping dried skin off on my five day growth.

Frankly I'm impressed.

I too am naturally itchy. Which is why I have a spaghetti strainer in the study and in the bedroom. Why? Ideal back scratchers. Just don't confuse them with the kitchen one...

The Poll Updated

This is the SMH poll, that finalized at 20k+ votes.








Aw look, Howard got an extra percent. Good on him

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Question. What were 20% of Australians who voted at SMH on tonight and can I have some?




















This reminds me of the US presidential debates with John Kerry Vs George Bush where most pundits gave Bush points for simply being able to talk mostly in English instead of his tortured Bush newspeak. Kerry kicked the shit out of Bush each time. And afterwards Karl Rove, his oddly distorted head glistening with the sweat of someone who has to tell big falsehoods, would boldly trawl the journos outback at declare without any hint of irony that George had nailed it.

The distortion of reality was so great it was hard not to ignore.

Kerry lost the election.

I remember too watching the 2000 debates with Gore Vs Bush. Bush again won points for not being as shit as people thought he would be. True story. I kid you not. Gore lost points for sighing at one point because Bush was lying in a mangled hard to understand kind of way.

Gore lost the election.

I remember watching Beazley and Latham and now Rudd just then likewise kick the shit out of Howard at various debates.

They all lost too.

There's no moral to this tale except this. Those that are engaged with politics have no bearing on the election outcome. At the end of the day it's someone whose utterly tuned out and is probably relying on 2-3 ads they may have seen on tellie that are the deciders on who will win.

Last election the Libs were 83% negative and outspent Labor.

They won that election.

I am reserving my yippees.

The Worm Turned on Howard

According to Jim Middleton Nine managed to pirate the ABC feed on the election and still have the worm.

I didn't see it but according to Middleton Dear Leader in the Red most of the time, Ruddy in the Blue.

I say this as a staunch Labor member. But Rudd really kicked Howard right across the room. Howard looked old, faded, and class obsessed - wanking on about lefties in unions and the schools and offered virtually nothing by way of actual positive policies for the future.

Go Kev Go.

And Kev only went Rhetorical once by my count.

PS The Channel 9 overview with fucking Ray Martin is clearly pro Howard. Nob.

UPDATE The SMH called it for Rudd also.

But let's not cream our jeans just yet. Howard has lost *every single election debate he's ever been in* but won the last four elections. There's a reason why there was but one and called early.

UPDATE 2: Other blog coverage

The Editor liveblogging over at Grods. (link nicked from MB).

Gam did great stuff too. Sarah has summed the debate up nicely. (link nicked from MB).

MB's outrage prevented her from a full point for point blogging but summed up here

UPDATE 3: Earlier I said "Nine managed to pirate the ABC feed on the election and still have the worm". It was meant to be "have" (and thus change). But I do like the phrase "hard the worm". It needs to be on a shirt.

Leader's Debate

NOTE: Mikey hates Howard and likes Rudd. Mikey is an ALP member.

Ruddy went first. Calm, considered. No rhetorical statements. Laid out policies.
Howard didn't say welcome to Mr Rudd. H on the future. He's fundamentally optimistic view apparently - and Ruddy is a nasty pessimist. H thinks the prosperity of the nation is due to 10-20 years of a new society? What the fuck? Apparently entrepreneurs are the reason why we are going great guns. Small business he said. Really, why then is the massive amount of govie money based on corporate receipts you deceptive rat. Oh ... he's now saying we don't have non a fair go. 2nd highest minimum wage eh? I'd have to look into that.

33 year low in unemployment eh? Across the board eh? He just ran out of time and is still bleating on. "Don't be frightened of growth". I swear he just looked down at his pants then. Maybe his funsize marsbar is on the rise or something.

Howard claims it's only better to have new leadership if its better and fresh, realised what he said, then went er back to um better. Howard is now lying about unions again. Hilarious. Unions are old and dated. Piss off now he's saying unions would have a monopoly - that's lies.

Ruddy is playing the realism card. He's pointing out the global stats are akin to Oz's. Rudd's mentioned the investment angle. As in Howard did fuck all with the extra money. Implication being Howard pissed it up against the wall.

Presenter - 'why chuck Howard when you agree with so much with him?'. Rudd hit back with longterm prosperity. Quoting reserve banks saying mining boom will end. Rudd promoting education/skills/broadband as a means to redress it when the crash comes. Mentions climate change and water issues.

Howard - er being an economic conservative more than a slogan. Now he's bringing up Rudd's voting record. 'He voted against tax breaks! He voted against the GST! All the reforms!'

Oh this is good, Howard's claiming because Keating/Hawke had economic reforms he agreed with then therefore he's better than Rudd. Nice one. Howard is crapping on about the tax policy where there was a potential worse off issue in the ALP package. 'It's understanding tax and economics! It's practicing what you preach !' etc. How many things did Howard offer just then as benefits for Australians ... er nothing.

Oh Costello will succeed Howard 'well into the next term'. Ouch for
Costello. Howard is bleating on about his team and how it was Peter and him on the economy. Downer was great as foreign affairs minister (news to me). Howard is now being forthright about his future apparently. Let's ignore the many many times when he was not. 'I will hand over to you after a term and a half' etc.

Ruddy is mentioning the reserve as backing the bipartisan claims. Then slamming Howard over his treasurer record. Noice. About fucking time someone brought that up.

Presenter - Unions bad? to Rudd. 'Is that not out of whack?' Rudd is going at Howard on 70% for Cabinet for being party hacks and Lawyers. Excellent. 70% of his cabinet wanted Howard to go. Awesome. Rudd is mentioning his team's varied backgrounds. And yes, has trade unionists in his background. Nice - mentioned the Unions getting justice for workers.

Take that prick!

Howard - Apparently having 70% lawyers is awesome and having unionists is pathetic. Yeah... that's right ... all pathetic. He's still going on about the 70% unions - and that State and Territory is all ALP. There's a reason for that fucktard - cause your state parties suck my anus in ability and quality candidates.

Howard - I know families are facing financial pressures! I know! Back to his tax reform for his plan (Rudd adopted 9/10 of that plan). They decided the best thing was general taxation relief. Despite the fact its potentially inflationary which means the banks get it not them. Hooray for the tax plan! No - we refuse to tinker with the system to make things more attractive than others (cough Private Health Rebate cough).

Rudd - Why do the rich get an immediate tax break when there are pressures on systems we can address now. Go Ruddy. Mentions his education plan which was kewl. Going against child care costs. Nice mention. So far calm and unflustered. He's doing well.

Presenter - Your plan not inflationary?

Rudd - No. I'm investing in progression elements so more skills/education adds capacity to the economy. Skill shortages translate into inflation pressures. Howard irresponsible on interest rates for saying 'record lows'. Rudd saying he's not going to make said promise because he's not a cockhead. Aim for downward pressure.

Howard - If Rudd believes making Reserve bank manage monetary policy why does the ALP stand against budget surpluses. Er they don't. They voted against shitty aspects of your budgets you misleading arsehole. Er Housing 17% interest rate! Let's not forget that! Forgetting of course A) it was temporary and B) used to fix the economy which he took advantage for claiming it was all him. Why do people fall for this shit? Again 'always lower under a Liberal government'. How the fuck can he guarantee that. He's claiming he's accountable now! Remember the 17%!

Idiot.

Kelly - why are you cutting tax when it will increase upward pressure on interest rate. Slammo ! That's gotta hurt given Kelly is government gazette man.

Howard - er inflation is the interest rate kicker. So er no. Because the economy has grown we can provide tax relief and they are not inflationary. Because ... of workchoices? Huh? He's not making much sense. See the transcript. Oh here we are 'if you don't have unions high wages are not inflationary.' ????

Kelly - tax cuts will increase demand on the economy, so will you reconsider if they are?

Howard - no. They will dampen wage demands apparently. Huh?

Rudd - Nice 22% gets another mention (Howard as Treasurer). Rudd claims Labor made mistakes, as 'you did as treasurer'. Rudd mentions Costello said Howard's treasurer record was shit. Rudd mentioned the infrastructure / skill changes needs. Reinforces the ALP skills/infrastructure plan. It's awesome.

Kelly - good point from Kelly. You're (Rudd) doing the same as him (Howard). Education is a 2nd priority.

Rudd - Nup, education rawks. Bullet pointing all his plans.

Note to Howard - all you've done is the negative crap. Rudd is kicking your arse around the block by getting to mention his plans.

Rudd - Howard is killing education. We will fix it.

Oh no Ruddy is going rhetorical on Howard! No ruddy, noooooo! But did mention his policy.

Howard - I will whine about minor details on the edge of the report that Rudd used the report.

Rudd - you suck

Howard - you do. You're dishonest.

AHAHAHAHAHAHA

Big Laurie- will you owe unions for their support given their workchoice opposing legislation?

Ruddy - no, but I balanced our approach by listening to everyone. See the reaction ? Unions didn't like it. Business didn't like it. Therefore balance good. Rudd is slamming Howard over unions. 'Mr Howard has mentioned it 67,000 times'. Ruddy slammed Howard on the economy and mentioned how ALP REFORMS BOUGHT ABOUT THE CHANGES TO THE ECONOMY! Hooray! Finally he mentioned it.

Howard - yeah they did bring in reforms ... but I supported it! He never supported what I tried to do. Also - unions dominate his front bench. Again. Again. Is that 67,001 mentions? Bringing up the Gavin O'Connor. Oh Howard thinks there should be a 'reasonable percentage' of union officials as ministry - but not this much! Tee hee, what a loon.

Go Big Laurie - mentioning all the evil workchoices crap the Libs had planned that they wanted to implement.

Howard - no concerns. No intention for further IR reform. He believes he got it right (cough fairness test cough). We got rid of unfair dismissal! Sky will fall in according to the unions. 450k! more employees! Fewer strikes! Ergo all WorkChoices apparently. General evidence indicates its been successful - which is why we decided not to release the figures. We're the only ones who worry about unemployment! They don't. They no longer talk about it because union control is more important than jobs. 'We're the party of full employment; they just want to restore union domination!'.

Big Laurie - Why didn't you mention it before the last election?

Howard - er they will have to make a judgment that I always believed in it (piss off). I don't think we have to go any further. Back to the 2nd highest minimum wage of a western country crap. Because you see most workers are on the minimum wage. Not. But on AWAs more likely to be closer to the minimum wage.

Ruddy - Can't trust Howard on IR, WorkChoices. Given what he did before.

Hartcher - Greenhouse question to Rudd.

Rudd - Howard refused to ratify Kyoto. Won't set a carbon target. We all take our responsibility. 60% reduction by 2050 against 2000 levels. 60% is the target number set by science. We place planet in danger by not going for it.

Kelly - Where's the target for 2020? Rudd - when report comes in June we will set it then. Remember we didn't have government support for our reports. We had to commission in.

Howard - We all accept mankind has made a contribution to global warming (nice to see it). We respond but carefully. Shh, in case we wake people. Quietly now! We're developing a trading system that will kick in of 2011. We will set a target mid next year. And our target will be economically sensible and only that will determine the target (but let's ignore the science). Apparently they're going to fund battlers for the rising costs of energy which is cleaner. Please, his concern for the less well off is so so transparent. We do have plan! We will sign a new agreement which includes everyone! Something about cricket.

Hartcher - Turnbull said we should have binding targets. Bush doesn't.

Howard - Turnbull is right! And I will put that view to the US president. Oh dear the Sydney declaration apparently got China and the US to talk about climate change. My close relationship was the lubricant on that meeting. Yes, you heard it first, Howard declared himself to be Climate Change KY. India and China have to be in! Oh - we will meet the targets.

Rudd - China is critical. China doesn't accept targets because we and the US didn't. Rudd mentions preserving the planet. Mentions the clean coal thing. Mentions the innovation fund. Mentions various other funding. Mentions good research but no targets on renewable energy investments. Howard didn't act for 11 years, oh and where are the nuclear reactors? Good point. Where are the nuclear reactors?

Presenter to Howard - Can you change Bush's mind.

Howard - Yes. Yes I can. We have the best chance because you see I can shout up my thoughts right to his large colon given my conjunction with his puckered anus that I am yelling through. Again the Sydney declaration. His Climate Change KY is grouse. I hope someone takes this up.

Presenter - Iraq - increase or decrease terrorism?

Howard - Always a risk - there was Bali pre-Iraq. My foreign policy will not be dictated by terrorists apparently. Which ones? The US or the apparent Islamic dudes? Howard mentioning the Pakistan bombings. Apparently terrorists hate freedom and that's why they attacked. They don't care about race or colour or nationality. Er crap. They do. That's why they conduct terrorism you fuck knuckle.

Presenter - AQ franchised in Iraq most invasion. So AQ increased yes?

Howard - AQ is in retreat in Iraq! And Terrorist hate our way of life! Still not answering the question.

Rudd - Why didn't he answer the question? Because the Brits said it 'would compound terror not decrease it'. Iraq is the greatest error since Vietnam. Nice one Rudd. Iraq is increasing damage to us not reducing it. Balance is important, and you have to deal with the reasons for recruitment such as economic opportunities.

Presenter to Rudd - You withdrawing from Iraq completely?

Rudd - No. Combat troops will be out mid year. The rest will be dealt with in conjunction with the US. No I am not withdrawing the SecDet.

Howard - I agree with SecDet. But what I find strange is that Ruddy has two bob each way. ie leaving ships and air force in Iraq. Ruddy wants to convey impression against Iraq but not really. Fair point I suppose. Howard talking about the training of the Iraqi militias I mean army. 'We're making progress! Humanitarian work!'

Chris 'Former Liberal person' Uhlmann (who said the ABC can't be ideological): You opposed this stuff and now you adopt it! Eg Medicare, Iraq etc. Death Penalty etc

Rudd - pressures on families meant judgment was to revist. Death Penalty stuff - we will do it globally but not act diplomatically for non Australians. Prob true. Nice one Ruddy take that Liberal stooge.

Presenter - Why won't you say sorry?

Howard - Wasn't my fault. The idea of asking a present generation to say sorry for a previous generation is offensive. No, it's not. Because we're the legacy of that generation and we have a responsibility to say 'that was fucked, I'm sorry, let's fix it.' Sigh, going on about his "team" again. The NT was a watershed! 20 years of failure overthrown (11 years by him, including various active things he did against Aboriginal Australians like ramping up against native title).

Presenter to Rudd - You backed it? Agree?

Rudd - We backed it because it was needed. It requires radical thinking. Rudd on Sorry. It's about respect. Creating a bridge. To bridge the gap. The fact an Aboriginal kid is 3-4 times more likely to die is fucked.

Questions eh? Rudd - Redundancy not covered under AWAs? Howard - didn't answer the question. Went on about redundancy scheme he created.

Howard - Why didn't you talk about Climate Change with Bush? Rudd - how do you know? I didn't talk about it. Also, didn't answer the question. Rudd - Bush shut down his mind on the climate change on the issue. I had 40 minutes. You have many more opportunities. Your question was a wank.

Rudd - Why should we believe you on a range of issues when you lie your arse off. Howard - er I will talk about it with yanks it.

(I paused to create Howard KY tube)

Howard - Why can't you give guarantees? I can. Rudd - I won't, but I will create programs that will do the best they can.

Closing time now.

Ruddy - I'm from QLD country. And I am an optimist. But you need to craft a plan for the future. You need to build prosperity beyond the mining boom. You need an education revolution. You need high speed broadband. Nats suck at it. Nice one Ruddy - Howard spent the whole time attacking me and offered no plans for the future.

Howard - I am a supreme optimist. I believe in the people! It's in the hands and resources of the people! Everything they (ALP) said is slogans. So it's all about the economy. Just the economy. Nothing else. Strong economy is important. All important. Education requires basic standards apparently. Despite the fact we're one of the leaders in the western world. Oh and more technical schools (no programs mentioned). We need to restore a narrative of Australian history. Why are we so ashamed of the Australian story (WTF? Teachers - is that true are you not talking about the good things we did? Is it all about genocide?) Restore a proper (RIGHT WING) balance to the country for history.

That's his plan. A new history syllabus.

Jeez I wished people watched this and took notes. Howard - Lefties dominate the schools and unions and the ALP. Rudd - here's what we're going to do.

Rudd kicked his fucking arse.