I kind of like Redmond, and hope she can make a one vote victory work:
SOUTH Australian Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond has narrowly survived a challenge from former leader Martin Hamilton-Smith, winning by one vote in a leadership ballot this morning.
Ms Redmond, who has been under intense political pressure in recent months secured the support of six undecided MPs to win the ballot 13 to 12.However, her deputy Mitch Williams was unsuccessful, choosing not to stand and allowing the party’s trade spokesman Steven Marshall to be elected unopposed.
Mr Marshall, who is expected to now take on the role of Opposition treasury spokesman, had backed Mr Hamilton-Smith on a joint ticket.
It’s odd the Liberals should do this to themselves given the latest Newspoll:
Hamilton-Smith could have only one excuse good enough for calling on this challenge when the Liberals were so far ahead: that most of his party wanted the change. No excuse for him, with this result.
Mitt Romney had a strategic victory in the third debate, which Barack Obama needed to win.
Romney decided to smile and be the moderate that Obama wanted to claim he was not. He did not say a single thing to support Obama’s attack that he was risky and prone to war. He didn’t savage Obama even on Libya, reserving his one real attack (other than on the economy) on the Obama “apology tour”, with plenty of damning examples of Obama having signalled weakness.
He was also very effective in repeatedly bringing the economy into the argument on foreign affairs, making the point that a weaker American could not command respect or project the power to make it safe. He also had the second best line of the night, which helped to neuter Obama’s barrage of attacks: “Attacking me is not an agenda. Attacking me is not talking about how we’re going to deal with the challenges of the Middle East.”
Romney also avoided making any mistakes in an area in which the incumbent usually has the advantage. He spoke fluidly on all areas, without spelling out any profound difference with Obama on future policy. Overall impression: Romney was a very pleasant, confident, sunny man - a bit of Reagan - who could bring that famous “morning in America”. He was capable, and had his eyes firmly on creating jobs - more central to the election than foreign affairs.
Barack Obama did not do badly. In fact, he had the strongest single line of the night in picking up Romney for his complaint that the navy hadn’t had so few vessels in a century. Obama pointed out things had changed: “Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets.” America now had things like aircraft carriers and ships that went underwater called submarines - a sharp put-down spoiled only by an unpresidential rudeness. Indeed, Obama’s aggression throughout, trying to paint a contrast that Romney largely wanted to painted out, verged on the snarky, but at times helped his wider case: that Obama understood subtleties that Romney did not. Obama seemed more familiar with the issues under discussion. In that sense alone he “won” the debate.
But what will voters think most important to them? Obama’s foreign policies subtleties or Romney’s program to restore America’s economy? What style would impress most - Obama’s aggression, nuances and condescension or Romney’s genial optimism and air of the practical man? Given those two questions, Romney gained most from this debate.
(UPDATE: Post fleshed out since first put up. Further thoughts will be in updates below.)
Snap. Bryan Preston:
Score this debate a win on energy for Obama, but a win on the facts and the long game for Romney. Moderator Bob Schieffer was probably the best of the three presidential moderators. Both candidates got roughly the same amount of talk time, neither got the patented false Candy Crowley fact check.
Mitt Romney accomplished what he set out to do tonight. He went toe-to-toe with the sitting, snarking president three times and acquitted himself well enough to have the majority of Americans see him as the next President of the United States.
A CNN poll gives the debate to Obama, 48 to 40. And I stick with my analysis above. Romney is nevertheless advantaged. Had he won the debate as a debate, he would have sealed the deal. But he still comes out stronger than he went in. (NOTE: See final update for a very important caveat.)
President Obama scored a clear two-to-one victory against Mitt Romney during the final presidential debate Monday night, according to a CBS News instant poll of uncommitted voters. Immediately after it wrapped, 53 percent of the more than 500 voters polled gave the foreign policy-themed debate to Mr. Obama; 23 percent said Romney won, and 24 percent felt the debate was a tie.
I still believe the polls ask, “Who won the debate”, rather than the question Romney was posing: “Who will you now vote for?”
[Romney’s] object was to win by showing himself in a good light, rather than by showing Obama in a bad one. His target audience was, above all, non-partisan voters and females.
Specifically, Romney wanted to demonstrate (1) that he is a man of peace, (2) that he understands the world and the foreign policy issues it presents, and (3) that he has a foreign policy vision plus specific ideas on how to deal with the big issues.That this was Romney’s overriding agenda became apparent with the very first question, which pertained to Libya. Instead of attacking Obama’s handling of the Benghazi fiasco – low-hanging fruit in my opinion – Romney launched into a mushy oration about the need to ally with forces for good in the Middle East so as to help realize the initial promise of the Arab Spring.Frankly, I wanted to vomit… It was a hopey-changey answer, the kind Obama would have offered in 2008…And so it continued for the better part of an hour. Obama landed some pretty good shots, mostly having to do with Romney’s past positions. But Romney, largely unruffled, went about the business of offering reassuring platitudes…Eventually, once he felt he had accomplished his primary mission, Romney did what I have been advocating – tying the current ills in the Middle East to that fact that Obama presented an appearance of weakness early in his administration.... Devastating across the board…In my opinion, Romney should have mixed his reassuring talk with some attacks on Obama’s foreign policy, instead of waiting for nearly an hour to go on the foreign policy offensive. By not doing so, he made Obama look like the stronger of the two candidates in the early going.But I assume that Romney’s ... team must believe (1) that Romney is ahead and (2) that what undecided and independent voters most want to hear from him when it comes to foreign policy is that he is knowledgeable, peaceful, and presidential sounding…
Who won? It would be reasonable to score the debate a draw. But the kind of draw that, if anything, may well have helped Romney move another small step toward the presidency, assuming his reading of the current status of the race is correct.
Obama needed something big to break Romney’s momentum, and he clearly didn’t get it. On the contrary, no matter what the instant spin might be tonight, over the coming days the overriding impression from tonight’s debate will of a flailing, desperate Obama. A losing Obama.
I think it’s unequivocal, Romney won. And he didn’t just win tactically, but strategically. Strategically, all he needed to do is basically draw. He needed to continue the momentum he’s had since the first debate, and this will continue it. Tactically, he simply had to get up there and show that he’s a competent man, somebody who you could trust as commander in chief, a who knows every area of the globe and he gave interesting extra details, like the Haqqani network, which gave the impression he knows what he’s talking about. But there is a third level here, and that is what actually happened in the debate.
We can argue about the small points and the debating points. Romney went large, Obama went very, very small, shockingly small. Romney made a strategic decision not go after the president on Libya, or Syria, or other areas where Obama could accuse him of being a Bush-like war monger....What he did concentrate on is the big picture. People don’t care what our policy on Syria is going to be. They care about how America is perceived in the world and how America carries itself in the world. And the high point is when he devastatingly leveled the charge of Obama going around the world on an apology tour. ..I thought Romney had the day. He looked presidential. The president did not. And that’s the impression I think that is going to be left…
I think those on the right like me, who would have loved for him to have been bellicose and love the near fisticuffs will understand exactly why Romney did it. He stayed away from the pitfalls. He did not allow himself to be painted as a war monger. This is what Reagan understood in 1980, he did it extremely well. So Romney did and I think this could help him win the election.
And confirmation of my thesis in the fine print of the CNN survey. As I said, the real question for Romney is not “who won the the debate?” but “who will you now vote for?”
If there’s a grimy lining to Barack Obama’s debate performance, it’s in the internals of the CNN snap poll. It’s a small sample, 356 people, 30% Republican and 34% Democratic. Second-to-last question: Do you think Mitt Romney can or cannot handle the responsibilities of Commander-in Chief?All voters: Yes, by a 60-38 margin. Independents: Yes, by a 62-36 margin.Next question: Did tonight’s debate make you more likely to vote for Barack Obama or more likely to vote for Mitt Romney, or did tonight’s debate not affect how you are likely to vote?
(Thanks to readers Gary and Alan RM Jones.)
Excellent news. The Greens could lose three of the four seats it held in the ACT, in another sign of its decline:
The ACT Greens could be left with just one seat in the Legislative Assembly according to the latest prediction on the vote count after Saturday’s election.
Early yesterday it was expected the Canberra Liberals would win eight seats, ACT Labor seven and the Greens two.
But with just under 85 per cent of votes counted, ABC election analyst Antony Green says Labor could pick up another seat in Ginninderra at the expense of Greens leader Meredith Hunter.
GetUp was headed by the Greens supporter? Get away with you. Next you’ll tell me GetUp is a Labor/Greens front::
Former GetUp! director Simon Sheikh is making a tilt for an ACT Senate seat and has thrown his hat into the ring for Greens preselection. He is after Liberal Senator Gary Humphries’ seat.The high-profile grass roots lobbyist has the blessing of Greens leader Christine Milne, but he will have to wait at least a month to find out whether the ACT branch of the party accepts him.
Here’s GetUp’s chance to prove it really does have more than 600,000 “members”.
This not what joker Alberici said after her badgering interview, whatever the transcript records:
EMMA ALBERICI: Joe Hockey, we better leave it there. Thanks so much for your time.
Listen for yourself. Shouldn’t the ABC at least produce accurate transcipts, or is it more concerned with sheltering is presenters from evidence of their underlying bias?
(Thanks to reader TruthBeTold.)
Any Sinhalese readers who can help? Reader sush notes a news item from Sri Lanka on the trawler allegedly hijacked and on its way here:
Among the hijackers who are believed to be coming to Australia are notorious fraudster and his wife and underworld leader who is wanted by police .if you can read Sinhalese ..here is the link.
Reader D De Silva:
Hi Andrew,This is the translation (I am not a professional translator) . Please note these people are from south. And Sinhalese people. These people are nothing to do with the war as it was in North....People who fled to Australia in recent days has beaten Fishermen who went fishing from “kudawella” and have taken their boat. News close to Police says among these people there a person from south who alleged for operating an illegal financial organisation and who is facing “ heavy charges “ and his wife.Also polices has uncovered among the people who fled these is first level under world figure as well . However police has said before release any more information about this person they need more information and they are still working on it.So far 4 people has been arrested regarding this incident. Police also mentioned among the arrested people there is a navy soldier from “Veeravila” navy. .. According to the police sources there are 12 people has been fled.
Former union official Ralph Blewitt says he was a party to fraud involving a slush fund Julia Gillard helped to create for her then boyfriend and client, AWU state secretary Bruce Wilson:
The Press conference held by Ms J Gillard in August and some of the things regarding this matter that Ms Gillard put on the public record do not ring true to me having been a party to this whole episode during my time as an official of the AWU and at that time a close friend of Ms Gillard and Bruce Wilson in the period 1992 until 1995/96.
Blewitt says he will tell all to police in exchange for an indemnity.
Gillard insists she did nothing wrong and was not aware of the scams of her boyfriend, who used the slush fund to siphon off more than $400,000. Nor did she profit from them, she said.
Gillard has not answered serious questions about a power of attorney Blewitt made out in favor of her boyfriend which she claims to have witnessed.
Shadow attorney general George Brandis discussed this with me on Sunday:
Labor and many of its media supporters think it’s perfectly fine to slime Tony Abbott as a woman hater. But let’s see the outrage meter cranked to high now that Abbott has a more fact-based dig at Julia Gillard in return:
As part of the cuts, the baby bonus will go down to $3000, from $5000, for second and subsequent children.
The government has argued the change recognises that families purchased durable, big-ticket nursery items when their first child was born.However, Mr Abbott said this did not reflect the reality of having a family.“Often one child is still in the cot when the second one comes along ... so you actually need an extra cot.
“I think if the government was a bit more experienced in this area they wouldn’t come out with glib lines like that.”
Yes, Gillard is, in my opinion, unethical and vicious, and pursues a politics of personal destruction. But I’m not sure this is the most effective way to combat her.
Reader proudsceptic is one of many to say I’ve verballed Abbott:
Andrew - you have misconstrued things here! You are drawing a long bow if you think that this was a slur against childless Gillard. I believe that Abbott was referring to ‘experience’ in economic management and NOT ‘experience’ in child raising as you have alluded to.
Labor’s policy could be accused of being anti-catholic in not supporting larger families! Lets try that on for size!
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says his comments today about the government’s inexperience on family matters were not a reference to Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s childlessness, but says he will apologise “if she would like me to say sorry’’…
Following Ms Gillard’s response, Mr Abbott explained to Fairfax Radio that his comment referred to his own experience with his daughters Louise and Frances and that he was not in any way referring to the Prime Minister’s lack of children.
‘’If she wants to take offence, of course I’m sorry about that. And if she would like me to say sorry, I’m sorry.”
Barack Obama debates Mitt Romney today on foreign policy. I hope Romney has properly briefed himself this time on the scandal that underscores Obama’s wider policy failure in the Middle East. This film would sure help.
Another discussion point: Obama’s foreign policy involved urging the removal of the former president of Egypt, now replaced by one from the Muslim Brotherhood who mouths amen as an imam prays for Allah to ”destroy the Jews and their supporters.”
That the New Yorker backs Obama is no surprise, of course, but to do so requires it to paint a portrait of glint-eyed tough resolve that is nothing like the reality.
The New Yorker’s version:
(Via Instapundit and readers the Dean and Sisyphus.)
Joe Biden’s staff went to strange lengths to stop a pool reporter from finding out what even Democrat donors think of the Vice President:
A Florida political reporter says he was consigned to a crowded, stuffy closet to wait out the arrival of Vice President Joe Biden at a $500-a-pop fundraiser — calling the 75-minute confinement “awkward” and a “stupid” attempt to keep him from mingling at the event.
“First off, it was a bad thing that they wouldn’t let me interact with other guests,” 11-year Orlando Sentinel newspaper veteran Scott Powers, 51, told The Post today.“It was silly and stupid and it annoyed the hell out of me. And second, it was a highly inappropriate and demeaning place to put someone.“They told me, ‘you wait in here until the vice president comes, and every time I stuck my head out, they’d say, ‘he’s not here yet.’“I guess they didn’t want me to get any state secrets.”The closet caper occurred last Wednesday, when Biden visited the Winter Park, Fla., home of developer and philanthropist Alan Ginsburg.
Some 150 guests were invited to the pricey function, and helped themselves to a nice buffet while Powers was stuck inside the crowded storage closet stuffed with furniture [above].
Foward with Obama? The Biden team should have locked some of the Democrats’ more illiterate supporters in the closet instead:
WAYNE Swan delivers his Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook statement, November 9, 2010:THERE’S no change to the revenues of the MRRT (minerals resource rent tax) that comes from anything else other than the exchange rate effect. No change at all. None whatsoever. And in fact, and this is very relevant to this debate because I think you’ll recall it well, coal and iron ore prices, of which there is much debate when this debate was raging earlier in the year, still remain relatively high. Quite high. We don’t expect to see any dramatic change in those prices.
The Treasurer, May 8, 2012:WE’RE having a mining boom, we’re just not having a revenue boom with it and that’s the problem.Journalist: But isn’t it going to get worse?Swan: Well, it’s not going to get worse.Swan press release yesterday:THE weaker global outlook and lower than expected commodity prices ... are slowing the recovery in tax revenue. This is driving a further writedown in tax receipts of almost $22 billion over the forward estimates, almost all from company tax and resource rent taxes, with a writedown of $4bn in 2012-13 alone.
How deceitful is Wayne Swan? How damaging is this latest fiddling, hitting up business again to pay for handouts?
THE major change announced in the government’s mid-year budget update is the out-of-the-blue decision to force companies to pay company tax monthly rather than quarterly.
This is expected to yield an additional $8.3 billion over the forward estimates…But here’s the rub: if the government is to gain this vast sum over the forward estimates, then companies lose to a similar extent.. Shifting from quarterly to monthly company tax payments is simply ripping funds from the balance sheets of companies to supplement the government’s empty coffers.
This must be what Wayne Swan means when he talks about doing things in the Labor way - damaging businesses and undercutting their incentive to invest and create jobs. Failing to come clean on the likely revenue fall-off from the minerals resource rent tax also comes in handy. To be sure, a billion has been shaved from the MRRT receipts but there is still an expectation that $2bn will be flowing into Treasury coffers. This seems improbable, particularly as only two companies are likely to pay anything at all.
Terry McCrann says Swan whacks business because Labor just can’t stop spending - and telling fibs about it:
The May budget which was supposedly to slash and burn its way to surplus, actually initiated new spending that added up to $22 billion over five years.
So again yesterday. Swan proudly trumpeted ‘savings’ of $16 billion over four years. Pity about the $6 billion of new spending that reduced the effectiveness to just $10 billion over four years.And of that, an extraordinary $8.3 billion - 80 per cent of the net so-called savings - came from the company tax pea-and-thimble trick.But a pea-and-thimble trick which will actually impose serious pain on corporate Australia…By moving corporate tax payments from a quarterly to a monthly system, the budget achieves a permanent once-off pull forward of tax payments… Yes, it only brings forward tax payments that would still have been paid. But the impact on corporate cash flows remains real....
The real indicator of just how fraudulent the document is, is the one that shouted the fiscal fraud in May. Swan wants you to believe the unbelievable. That government spending will miraculously fall this year, only to resume rising, by $30 billion next year, and by $20 billion in each of the subsequent years. The real answer is that spending was pulled forward into the 2011-12 year with its huge deficit, and pushed back into the 2013-14 year. The surplus ‘forecast’ for this year, is a total confection.
THE most important figure in the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook is in a table on page 56. It shows that unexplained variations to the budget estimates will cut spending in 2012-13 by almost $3 billion.
By definition, these variations are not due to changes to policy, the state of the economy, or in the costs of individual programs. Yet they are the reason why we will have a budget surplus of $1.1 billion, rather than a budget deficit of $1.9 billion.
But what are they? No information is given. We the taxpayers provide the money for this, but are kept in the dark about where and why $3 billion of planned spending suddenly will no longer happen. These unexplained spending cuts are the reason why the battered 2012-13 budget is still expected to end up in surplus.
It typifies the murky, spin-driven way in which governments now present the nation’s accounts - and allow economic decisions to be driven by political imperatives rather than economic ones.
The biggest trick used to make up the shortfall this year is to grab half a billion dollars of superannuation money that would otherwise be sitting unclaimed in unidentifiable accounts. Until now those funds had to lay unclaimed for five years before the Tax Office grabbed them and parked them in consolidated revenue. That period has been cut to one year, effectively channelling five years of unclaimed monies into one year’s budget. Another trick is to “reprofile” government grants, paying in future years what would have been paid this year.
Question: how did a Government which was left with a huge surplus, has a growing economy and still enjoys sky-high prices for our minerals manage to run out of money?
The Syrian conflict does not have a good siding fighting the evil - or a mortgage on Islamist radicals challenging government control:
A JORDANIAN soldier was killed by militants trying to force their way across the border into Syria yesterday, a day after Amman warned of an al-Qa’ida plot against the country.
There have long been fears that Salafist militants allied to al-Qa’ida have joined the Sunni fight against the Alawite-led government in Syria of Bashar al-Assad, and now it appears the radicals are taking the opportunity to expand their program into neighbouring countries.The Jordanian Information and Culture Minister, Samih Maaytah, said the soldier “was martyred during a clash with an armed group that wanted to enter Syria"…
The violence came just hours after Jordan announced it had foiled a “terrorist plot” and arrested 11 al-Qa’ida suspects who planned to carry out suicide attacks against shopping malls, foreigners and diplomatic missions in the kingdom.
Meanwhile, Lebanon could be again torn apart, with the help of the Syrian regime’s own brand of terrorists:
LEBANESE troops have deployed in Sunni areas of the capital as fresh sectarian violence erupted, stoking stability fears after a top security official was killed in a bombing blamed on neighbouring Syria…
In Tripoli, a Sunni bastion where opposition to Assad is strong, seven people were killed and 12 wounded during clashes between Sunnis and Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam to which the Syrian president belongs, security sources said…Lebanon has been on edge since Friday, when police intelligence chief General Wissam al-Hassan died in the Beirut bombing.The attack sparked immediate calls for Prime Minister Najib Mikati, whose cabinet is dominated by Damascus ally Hezbollah, to resign.
Hezbollah’s militia, which never disarmed after the 1975-90 civil war, is the most powerful military force in Lebanon.
A shamefully irrational ban is finally lifted:
CAMPBELL Newman has overturned a decades-old ban on uranium mining in Queensland, opening the door to renewed development of the resource worth up to $18 billion.
The Queensland Premier yesterday announced his government would appoint a panel to restart the uranium-mining industry, 30 years after the state’s last mine closed.
Next: an end to the ban on nuclear power.
Karl Rove: Romney presented himself as Commander in Chief, Obama came off as ...
The zingers belonged to Obama, as Romney took the higher road
Romney just flattened Obama. Finally.
'Porn star' slur victim hurt, offended