US Election…slightly saner than it could’ve been…but

Latest predictions show that the expected Republican wave, partially driven by the Tea Party movement, has given them a huge lower house victory over the Democratic party led by Barack Obama…and a number of important governorships.

The Democratic party was able to hold onto the senate…but only just.  Incoming West Virginian senator Joe Manchin will likely play a big role being a conservative Democrat who may well vote with Republicans on a number of key issues. Obviously analysts are already questioning Obama’s ability to triangulate like Bill Clinton after the ’94 lower house loss to the Republicans…and questions have even been posed beforehand as to the long-term viability of Obama as Presidential candidate for 2012. 

Barack Obama is a deep thinker & cautious man who cares more about preparing America in the long-term than worrying too much about short-term gain…rather than instant, easy answers. Consequently, a number of Democrat politicians have loss their seats who stood by the Obama administration’s policies that came under a bashing onslaught of propaganda from the likes of  Fox News, Rush Limbaugh & the Sarah Palin, Jim DeMint-led Tea Party machine.

Predictably, independents began to desert the Democrats from the moment Wall Street was bailed out and those golden parachutes started opening…whilst smaller banks suffered, loans dried up, small businesses struggled…and home foreclosures started to look like a pox on the landscape.  Generally, it was about “Jobs, bailouts, foreclosures, illegal immigration, low youth & high elderly turnout and media propaganda stupid!”

 As for Obama’s more relaxed, long-term fix approach (somewhat impeded by “vote NO” Republicans, blue dog Democrats & somewhat justifiable perceptions of his economic team), this obviously goes against the trend in America where many people have become accustomed to a melding of fictional & real characters that have supposedly achieved instant fame & success. This is a country where instant gratification rules…a patchwork nation too oft reliant on quick delivery of products,  fast & convenient food, 24 hour cable news & internet to cater to infotainment cravings , popping a pill & fad diets over real sacrifice for health reasons, flipping out the plastic to pay for desired goods regardless of debt accumulation, creating resource wars & conflicts without wide populace participation and appropriate endurance…and jumping from job to job and state to state if things get a wee bit too uncomfortable.

Knowing that there comes a certain amount of public guilt, confusion, delusion & need for redemption thru superstition with this type of rampant capitalist lifestyle , it’s easy for those interested in large profits for short-term investment & loyalty to invest their money in Republican candidates from all walks of life who represent military & work sacrifice, a purported love of the HE God, demonstrate a connection to the land by way of toil & ownership, talk up the positives of the nation regardless of how distorted or mythical they may be.

It’s about creating a Republican candidate that is a combination of the hardy frontiersman, pioneer, the visionary entrepreneur, the oldtime family values character, the long, suffering small businessman who overcomes all…the only hurdle…big government…intervening government…taxing government (memories stirred up of the Boston Tea Party…the fact that it led to a Constitution & Bill of Rights that initially did sweet fck all for anyone but male wealthy landowners is of little consequence in a country where TV, Monday night football, burgers & pizzas are valued more than a wide education).  

Add the media fear-mongering to stir up the cynic & p/t conspiracy nut in most Americans (bred on Kennedy assassination & Watergate era films & literature…lately 9/11 conspiracy theories) and before you know it you’ve got yerself a Tea Party movement racing towards the White House carrying a number of dependable Republicans…who can be depended on to cater to lobby groups & corporate/dynastic interests. 

 Fortunately, the anti-corporate, anti-corruption & “We’re Latino, we’re here & we’re proud get used to it!” messages have also grown in sections of America…ensuring that tech CEOs Meg Whitman & Carly Fiorina were not able to buy their way into power.  Whilst that tough, Italian American all-round good guy & corruption watchdog Andrew Cuomo won bigtime in New York.

And the good, sensible people of Delaware recognised that Tea Party favourite Christine O’Donnell was no Sarah Palin…but rather a wishy-washy, religious nutjob & celebrity wannabe.  Ironic innit?

Unfortunately for Obama & the Democrats far too many people let the good news messages related to the student loan bill, better aspects of ObamaCare, gradually pulling out of Iraq, improved infrastructure such as roads, bridges & schools and so on go over their heads…instead opting to get fooled again. Some you can’t blame…with manufacturing becoming extinct & consequently well paid, secure jobs in their area…they were looking to blame someone, anyone. Incumbents particularly. Looking for more hope & change. Along comes the Tea Party. Reducing government debt is now the new easy answer.

But, it’s hard to see how those problems can be rectified by cutting funding to public servants & welfare recipients who may be some of the only people in a town & family that are bringing in the dosh to pay for the necessities. It’s hard to see how the very same Republican party that gave bankrupts due to health costs & the unemployed such a hard time whilst ensuring moneys flooded into wealthy corporate hands by way of tax cuts, rebates, wars, free trade agreements that led to flooding in of cheap & toxic goods & outsourcing, and by cutting back essential regulation, partially contributing to high oil prices and the GFC, are going to provide the answwers to America’s woes.

Rather, I see more political civil wars erupting as many Democrats solidify under the progressive banner…and Republicans cater to a pumped Tea Party movement led by Sarah Palin…and rarely the twain shall meet. And below the surface the Black voters sense of despair & frustration & feelings of being scapegoated & betrayed begins to bubble to the surface only to be exploited by the “usual suspect” media.

Whilst the likes of Marco Rubio, the new Republican sensation from Florida, is used to not only garner Latino votes for 2012…but to offset the Palin effect…because Rubio belongs to a family of Cuban exiles…and has no trouble telling people so…and being greeted on the victory podium by Jeb Bush & stating that God is no.1 over government…’cause we know how the Neo-Con ranks were filled with lovers of big oil & supposed God heads…and those with families that had fled communism in one way or another…and that family bias & trauma led to oft extreme & narrow views of Social Democracy that fit the Neo-CON agenda to the TEA. Particularly, when it comes to prosecuting their resource wars.

So, it seems the roadmap for the future will remain UNSUSTAINABLE for America if the backers of the various Republican winners get their way. Cap n’ trade looks likely to go the way of some  bison. And I imagine anti-Americorp, anti-judeo-christian dominance, anti-military industrial machine terrorists & resistors will begin to ramp up their hate & actions whilst gaining ever-more recruits in the expectation that Obama will be driven further to the right of politics.

Whilst, the Republican-dominated House plays political games…resisted by many a Democratic senator terrified of losing in their more progressive areas where the benefits of Obama’s policies become more clearer by the day…as does the fear of a 2012 loss. And below the surface brews a civil war. With Obama reaching out to the new, and fairly sensible to date, Speaker of the House John Boehner…only to find that any positive relations and backroom handshakes & agreements are undermined by the FOX in the henhouse…and those shockjocks…and bigtime funders…who prefer to see a President impeached or blackmailed than live a Presidential 2nd term of integrity.

Who knows? Maybe the American majority will truly WAKE UP oneday…see thru the cons…learn to have the patience  to wait for long-term plans to work? Perhaps the jobs will come. In time. And Obama will rise again. As people are not kicked out of their health funds due to pre-existing conditions…and they see the benefits of having their young adult children remaining on their health insurance packages…and older people realise that Medicare “donuts” have been filled so they pay less…and university study becomes more affordable…and that in fact Obama did have a vision…and even tho it seemed too much of a compromise…it still took one helluva fight to prosecute & implement it. And that there is more, plenty more to come…if given half a chance.

Perhaps Americans will start seeing Obama as a patriot…someone who gives a damn. And hopefully they will stop seeing him as a man possessed by communists & extremist Muslims. 

But, as long as Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity & Glen Beck rule the media roost, and the likes of the Koch bros, Bush family & other big “pro-resource wars”, “low corporate taxes” donors pull the strings of the Republicans…I doubt that hope will come to fruition. 

America, a patchwork nation, living unsustainably…under corporate gods.


48 comments on “US Election…slightly saner than it could’ve been…but

  1. Be interesting to see who wins in Sarah Palin’s Alaska.

    Pissed off incumbent Lisa Murkowski, tea-party favorite Joe Miller, or Democrat Scott McAdams


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  3. Nas’ thank you for the detailed summary. I know that it’s over there in the US but what would you consider are the VIP things for we in Australia and indeed our region need to know.

  4. Nas’, I couldn’t let this one go past without emphasising it:

    As per your good self:

    America, a patchwork nation, living unsustainably…under corporate gods.

    America is giving the impression that she has nothing much left to offer, that her time is past. She has become a nation of extremes, extreme gluttony, extreme poverty.

  5. Thnx Min. And I couldn’t agree more re:

    “She has become a nation of extremes, extreme gluttony, extreme poverty.”

    Due to my back injury I will have to reply to other comments tomorrow.


  6. Back injury Nas’ will just have to go easy on the wife tossing 🙂

    My knowledge of American politics is sadly lacking but wasn’t there a President in recent times who lost control of one or 2 houses but yet he himself was voted back in.

    Some Australian journalists try to draw parallels but of course it’s a completely different system.

  7. I think Obama is the victim of the thing that beset the Rudd government. People expected instant miracles to be worked despite the GFC (obviously worse in the US than here) and seem to have forgotten which mob was responsible for that debacle.

    As here, many voters are an ungrateful, greedy gullible mob, fed lies and dissimulation by the media and their lap dogs the GOP and the COALition. Obama will have to stand firm no matter what and stare the idiots in the Tea Party and the rest of the GOP down.

    If he doesn’t prevail, the US will rapidly go down the gurgler, imo.

  8. Hi jane, that’s exactly what many considered to be the downfall of Rudd: public expectation. They demanded miracles.

    Yet the public failed to see that Rudd inherited a few problems from Howard that had to be tidied up before the miracles could be performed. Howard spent over a decade telling everybody how good things were under him. Of course, he was lying through his teeth.

    As a result, Joe Public was ignorant to just how bad things were before Rudd took the saddle. They thought he’d have an easy job because the rodent left us in great shape. Not so.

  9. “They demanded miracles.”

    Not really. I think they expected him to do what he said he would.

    By the way you lot have only two years left to finish Rudds 2007 election promise about the NBN. The NBN was going to be take 5 years to build and only cost $4.7B. Since $1B has already been spent this leaves only $3.7B left to spend and two years left to fullfil his 2007 election commitment.

    But perhaps Rudd was lying through his teeth.

  10. But perhaps Rudd was lying through his teeth.

    I don’t think so. The electorate had been lied to long enough and Rudd wasn’t going to carry on the Howard tradition.

  11. Thanks, Nasking, great work. Sound and comprehensive.

    One clear common denominator with us there of course, is Fox and News Corp. as in the U.K.

    Notice Murdoch’s new hair do on Foreign Correspondent? Obviously looking for a younger image. Maybe becoming aware of his mortality. God forbid he should live as long and actively as his mother, now 101!

  12. Before the 2007 election Rudd said that the NBN will be built in 5 years and cost $4.7B.

    Back a little bit on topic. I find Leftie leaders to be good on rhetoric but hopeless on following through their promises when elected. They seem good at getting stupid people to vote for them. however once elected the do not seem to know what to do when in office.

    I actually cannot think of much that Obama has done except borrow money from China and spend, spend ,spend.

    Actually that sounds like Rudd.

  13. “Before the 2007 election Rudd said that the NBN will be built in 5 years and cost $4.7B.”

    And that is precisely the proposal the government tried to implement, but was unable to thanks mainly to Telstra.

    So they took another proposal to the next election, one that will cost $27 Billion, and since Labor are in power, it must have been the most popular proposal.

  14. “I actually cannot think of much that Obama has done except borrow money from China and spend, spend ,spend.”

    Oh dear !

    In a way Neil’s ignorant comment neatly encapsulates what is wrong with US politics (and to some extent this country’s): the perpetuation of public sector Debt Myths.

    The Neils of this world do sterling work for conservative interests keeping the myth going.

    Whilst ever the public is kept in the dark, or chooses to stay uninformed about how governments that are sovereign in their own currency, monopoly issuers, run their national accounts, the pointy end of town will use the “big bad debt” monster to keep us all scared shitless…and that is what seems to have happened with the mid-term elections.

    Everybody with an opinion to express was obsessed with The Debt, without the slightest idea of what it meant.

    Somehow “debt under the bed” doesn’t resonate like “reds under the bed” used to, but I guess it will have to do.

    I heard Republicans this morning lecturing on how the government must learn to balance its budget just as we householders must do. This is just so muddle-headed, and in the end, counter-productive.

    When the economy is humming along nicely it really doesn’t matter much whether we-the-people have a wonkish understanding of how the national accounts are constructed, but when our ignorance is exploited by certain interests to achieve political ends, it’s time to smarten up.

    Neil, the PRC has warehouses stacked to the roof with US Treasuries, the US consumer gets container loads of flat screens and widgets in exchange. When the Treasuries mature the US will pay the PRC, not with yuan, but greenbacks.

    Where’s the problem ?

  15. Nasking,
    What a concise & thoughtful summation of all that the US election meant. You should have a sore back more often, it tends to focus your mind well! Except that I wouldn’t wish a truly incapacitated back on anyone, having had one myself for many decades, since Uni actually when I slipped a disc carrying too many heavy textbooks. Sigh.
    Nevertheless, one takeout from yesterday’s results, to my eyes, was that the American people are prepared to buy a lot of the Tea Party story, but not the whole box and dice yet. A couple of that manky Sarah Palin’s ‘mama Grizzlies’ were defanged. Christine O’Donnell ‘Is not a Senator’, and Sharron Angle will have to do some learning(maybe you need an Education Dept. for that?), that you can fool some of the people most of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Also, I read an interesting anecdote about that woman yesterday on HuffPo. Did you know that she is an ‘Open Carry’ advocate, and, as such, she used to wear her 44 Magnum gun in a hip holster to some of her rallies!!!
    Also, speaking of Palin, the real witch in American Politics, she was on TV(where else?) yesterday in an interview with Geraldine Ferraro, the first Republican female VP nominee, and, when asked about running for the Presidency in 2012, she licked her lips. Eurrgghh! She reminds me of someone who is treating the audition for the Presidency like an audition for a porn movie. Which is why she is so successful, I suppose. She has bled one market into the other. The ultimate ‘Sexy baby Mamma’. Oi vey! That’s what American politics has come to. Sad, really.

  16. Neil of Sydney,
    Nice try, but no banana, for trying to paint the economy that Howard and Costello left as sound. Two words: Structural Deficit.

  17. People expected instant miracles to be worked despite the GFC (obviously worse in the US than here) and seem to have forgotten which mob was responsible for that debacle.

    jane, short memories have alot to do w/ it…but it’s not surprisin’ considerin’ the amount of propaganda that is fed to the American public on a daily basis…and unfortunately the Obama administration regardless of its achievements failed to recognise the anger that many independents felt towards the big banks & Wall Street prior to their bein’ elected in late ’08…by bringin’ in an economic team that contained a number of individuals that were perceieved, rightly or wrongly, to havin’ contributed to the pre-conditions for the GFC…and then addin’ to Bush’s bailout process, which further angered independents, they found themselves behind the eight ball before they even reached midway thru the first year.

    Unfortunately, a number of devious wealthy donors & Fox News types recognised that they could opportunistically use this anger to create and promote a populist movement that would damage the Obama administration, knowin’ full well that there were a number of Democratic incumbents who could be criticised for their links to lobbyists. This movement, the Tea Party, did give some Republicans a hard time too in the nomination process prior to the mid-terms…but the Tea Party movement has been pushed so rentlessly by the Republican supportin’ Fox News, Rush Limbaugh & others that it has had little time to reflect on the contradictions & hypocrisy that exists regarding some of its main pushers.

    The fact that they are indeed wealthy selfish empire buliding war-mongering manipulative elitists who have benefitted from buying government & influence.


  18. As a result, Joe Public was ignorant to just how bad things were before Rudd took the saddle. They thought he’d have an easy job because the rodent left us in great shape. Not so.

    Migs, interestingly, even tho Australia fared much better during & post-GFC than the Americans, there has been similar kickback.

    Obviously countries have become extremely divided over the years and it doesn’t take long for partisans to react to certain policies and fall back into usual behavioural patterns.

    But I think the division is also enhanced by the so called “war on terror” and treatment of refugees (& illegal immigrants in the case of America).

    Furthermore, society has also partially divided up into those who work in &/or benefit from public services…and those in private industry.

    Add those who are avid & too oft uncritical readers of the shock jocks & Murdoch empire that has spread like a plague far & wide…versus those who read wider & more critically.

    Certainly these categories are reductionist…but they provide a startin’ point for understanding why governments are findin’ it increasingly hard to enact reforms…or gain wide spread applause for such…

    and why we see so much partisanship, aggressive protest movements…and consequently rapidly changing & insecure governments.

    Get the changeable character on side whose views change w/ the prevailin’ conspiracy & protest/grumpy movement winds…and it’s easier to win an election.

    Unfortunately, that does little for endin’ conflicts & climate problems that might bring us to the edge of extinction.

    But I’m beginnin’ to wonder more by the day if the likes of Rupert Murdoch & some shock jocks actually give a stuff…and if in fact they despise other humans so much they are subconsciously driving the human race towards apocalypse.

    The fact a number of them & their supporters believe in an “afterlife”…not unlike Muslim extremists…is also a worryin’ factor.

    Tho, I imagine for Rupert it’s more about influence, ownership & stampin’ his authority on history by way of his dynasty & creation of political media protégés.

    And the fact he has a big chip on his shoulder that he seems to be takin’ to his death bed…at the expense of the planet.


  19. Notice Murdoch’s new hair do on Foreign Correspondent? Obviously looking for a younger image. Maybe becoming aware of his mortality. God forbid he should live as long and actively as his mother, now 101!

    To be honest, I thought Rupert was lookin’ rather frail & about ready to pack it in.

    I was pleased that the Foreign Correspondent team looked into Rupert’s ‘News of the World’ spyin’ & gossipin’ antics. Disgraceful stuff. How low can media get…obviously consistently to sewer level.

    Anythin’ for a buck eh? And to gain inappropriate influence.

    And how gutless are the governments & some celebrities eh? With all their power & money.

    They need to stand up to the bullies & invaders of privacy…and blackmailers.

    What a pathetic mob of spineless sods there are at the top these days. No wonder the West is crumblin’.

    U.K. – ‘Allo, ‘Allo, ‘Allo


  20. Somehow “debt under the bed” doesn’t resonate like “reds under the bed” used to, but I guess it will have to do.

    Well said Mangrove Jack.

    It will be quite amusin’ to watch Republicans try to look like spendin’ cutters…whilst attemptin’ to maintain earmarks for their electorates.

    I see a bad tea a bubblin’ soon enuff.


  21. Also, speaking of Palin, the real witch in American Politics, she was on TV(where else?) yesterday in an interview with Geraldine Ferraro, the first Republican female VP nominee…

    Hillbilly, I did see very same interview…and thought Palin quite restrained and soundin’ almost moderate for her. Obviously she is contemplatin’ a presidential run, as you say, which means she has to cater to more than frontiersman, bigots, conspiracy theorists Godheads & Republican grumpy bums.

    I found it rather disingenuous on her part to blame “misogynists” & “neanderthals” when it came to the losses of certain female candidates she supported…seems that she doesn’t mind playin’ the feminist card when she needs to distract from her failures…but doesn’t mind caterin’ to the same neanderthal actin’ sexist pigs when showin’ off her wares w/ a gun in order to gain political traction…or spruik her book.

    Palin certainly has flexible principles. Not surprisin’ she became an American politician in the contemporary era. Fortunately, it will be a real point of comparison w/ the oft “principled” Obama in 2012. Tho, even he has had his moments in the climb up slime mountain.

    Give me Michelle Obama over Sarah Palin anyday. Michelle gardens w/ kids…Sarah condones shooting bears. Grrr….


  22. Wasn’t the “polished like a Murdoch gem” Sean Hannity successful at promotin’ Sharron Angle?:

    SEAN HANNITY, Fox News Host: The country’s most watched Senate race between Sharron Angle and Harry Reid is sure to be one for the history books. With one day to go, it’s looking more and more likely that Sharron Angle will unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

    Ouch! Poor Sean, looks like he & his gossip-mongerin’ & kowtowin’ panelists didn’t have the influence they hoped on the Nevada senate race.

    I guess that’s what character assassins get for backin’ loops.

    Still, I’m sure the mega-bucks Hannity gets paid will ease the frustration. Perhaps he could buy himself a gossip mag?:

    And he can always be condescendin’ towards the desperate for the limelight Lanny Davis…& find rich dick sycophants to support his mean-spirited, myopic views in order to get himself pumped up for yet another gossip-fest.

    I bet he goes down well in hairdressin’ salons.

    …when not havin’ a casual day where he dresses down & tries to look tough & earnest when starin’ thru big border fences pointin’ at characters who put their lives at risk tryin’ to cross the border to find work to feed their families…

    …into the land that gave blowhards like Hannity a chance to become the kind of hateful, empire spreader & apologist that Jesus woulda despised.


  23. I see the all-time softly spoken scumbag Karl Rove is at it again:

    Spending blitz by outside groups helped secure big GOP wins
    Hedge fund moguls helped bankroll groups’ attack ads, sources tell NBC News

    By Michael Isikoff and Rich Gardella

    A tightly coordinated effort by outside Republican groups, spearheaded by Karl Rove and fueled by tens of millions of dollars in contributions from Wall Street hedge fund moguls and other wealthy donors, helped secure big GOP midterm victories Tuesday, according to campaign spending figures and Republican fundraising insiders.

    Leading the GOP spending pack was a pair of groups — American Crossroads and its affiliate, Crossroads GPS — both of which were co-founded by two former aides in the George W. Bush White House: Rove, and Ed Gillespie.

    Together, the groups — which are not formally part of the Republican Party — spent more than $38 million on attack ads and campaign mailings against Democrats…

    The coordination could be seen in spending patterns in key Senate races.

    In Illinois, for example, GOP winner Mark Kirk benefited from $5.5 million in attack ads from the Crossroads groups targeting his Democratic opponent, Alexi Giannoulias.

    In Wisconsin, meanwhile, the Crossroads groups didn’t spend any money, but the Chamber of Commerce spent $748,000 on attack ads that helped defeat Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold. (Feingold, ironically, was co-author of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law whose restrictions on advertisements by outside groups was overturned by the Supreme Court ruling earlier this year, paving the way for the creation of groups such as American Crossroads.)

    The long term impact of the spending by the outside groups during this election will be to lay the groundwork for an even bigger effort during the presidential campaign two years from now. That will substantially diminish the role of the two political parties, according to campaign finance experts.

    More here:

    The irony here is that plenty of independents who voted against Obama this time were the same screamin’ at the top of their lungs about Bush, Cheney & Rove’s war in Iraq & their spyin’ on the American public. Not to mention the Patriot Act.

    We won’t get fooled again. Yea RIGHT.

    Nuthin’ like helpin’ Rove & his stankin’, war-mongerin’, tax-payer robbin’ party rise from the ashes:

    Karl Rove was a paid consultant to Philip Morris from 1991 to 1996, earning $3,000 a month from the relationship. His contact for payment at Philip Morris was Hartina Fluornoy. Rove continued his relationship with Philip Morris while he was an advisor to then Texas Governor George W. Bush.

    A February 15, 2000 article from the New York Times revealed that Rove, helped draft a 1996 push poll against then-Texas Attorney General Dan Morales in an attempt to pressure Morales out of filing a lawsuit against the major American Tobacco companies. The push poll was financed by tobacco companies. According to the article, George W. Bush, then Governor of Texas, threatened to fire any campaign staffer found to be involved with push polls. Bush’s spokesman, Ari Fleisher, denied that Mr. Rove was involved in drafting the poll questions, saying Rove only reviewed a fifth draft of the survey. But in a deposition given in 1997, Rove admitted he had offered suggestions about the poll’s questions.

    Despite this, Karl Rove was never fired.

    Although he was never directly implicated, fingers in Washington pointed on several occasions at Rove as the source of underhanded stunts to discredit and undermine critics of President Bush. In particular, the American Prospect’s Murray Waas ties Rove to the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame in retaliation for her husband Joseph Wilson’s exposure of White House exaggerations concerning the nuclear threat posed by Iraq.

    One of Rove’s new jobs was orchestrating the campaign to sell Bush’s top domestic policy issue: Social Security privatization. The Hill reported in March 2005 that Rove had met with business lobbyists friendly with the administration to coordinate the push for personal retirement accounts.

    Karl Rove is now on Fox News regularly. Today he was interviewed by Sean Hannity.

    Plus ce change…



  24. Palin does shoot wolves and elk from helicpters …

    This led to one of the more amusing mondegreens in which someone spoke of not supporting Sarah Palin and her elk

  25. How many times have you bought up that $4.7 billion NBN now Neil, I’ve lost count?

    Round and round he goes, where he stops everyone knows, right back where he started.

    It’s explained to Neil over and over but as usual he just ignores the answers only to repeat the same bash a short time later and continues to do that with the same handful of attack memes.

    Of course according to Neil’s selective memory Howard never promised something before an election he didn’t deliver on or change after the election.

  26. How many times have you bought up that $4.7 billion NBN now Neil

    May I guess? How does 4,700,000,000 times sound as a rough guess?

  27. “Nice try, but no banana, for trying to paint the economy that Howard and Costello left as sound. Two words: Structural Deficit.”

    Mate you people are incredible. Can you please make up your mind!!!

    Mangrove Jack just finished telling me not to worry about Public debt. Do you realise what you just said. You are now saying that the $20B surplus that Costello left was not big enough. It should have been a $30B surplus and then we would not be in structural deficit.

    By the way I do not believe that structural deficit crap anyway. Megamaniac is an ALP stooge. We are in budget debt because of “The Goose”

  28. Also I did not even mention the economy left by Howard. i suspect you are referring to other times when i have made this statement.

    “So they took another proposal to the next election, one that will cost $27 Billion, and since Labor are in power, it must have been the most popular proposal.”

    Thank you for the humorous comment. I thought for a second you were stupid enough to believe that the NBN will only cost $27B of taxpayers money

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  30. Neil of Sydney

    We may be in furious agreement !

    I too think the “structural deficit” is a load of crap, or to be be more precise, the whole concept of the “structural balance”.

    But I wonder if our underlying reasoning is the same ?

    My concern is that the structural balance is built around a notion of full employment that accepts 5% unemployment as the starting point, a level that represents a colossal waste of human resources, but which the RBA sees as expendable in its war against the phantom of inflation.

    The structural balance concept makes small deficits look like big ones, and thus uglier boogeyman masks with which to frighten people.

    And so on, back to public debt.

  31. “But I wonder if our underlying reasoning is the same ?”

    I suspect our reasoning is different but i do not understand this lot.

    Some leftoids say that Howard should have been spending more and not running budget surpluses. Hillybilly has just told me (indirectly) that the Costello surplus was not big enough because we are now in structural deficit (alleged). Costello should have ran a $30B surplus Hillbilly would say.

    I suspect quite strongly that this lot hates Howard so much it does not matter what he did.

    However i am glad Costello ran surplus budgets

  32. This from ALEXANDER COCKBURN at CounterPunch:

    America the Clueless

    The American people have spoken, but it’s impossible to decode their incoherent message. Drunk with their capture of the House of Representatives, the Republicans thunder that the verdict of ballot boxes from Maine to Hawai’i is clarion-clear: the ultimate evil in America is government, specifically government as led by President Barack Obama. But when exit pollsters questioned voters on their way to those same ballot boxes, as to who should take the blame for the country’s economic problems, 35 per cent said Wall Street, 30 per cent said Bush and 23 per cent Obama. The American people want a government that mustn’t govern, a budget that must simultaneously balance and create jobs, cut spending across the board and leave the Defense budget intact. Collectively, the election makes clear, they haven’t a clue which way to march…

    No single Democrat was targeted more fiercely by Republicans than Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic senate majority leader. His was the symbolic scalp they craved. Right-wing millions poured into the state, backing Tea Party Republican Sharron Angle. Tuesday evening one could sense Republicans holding their breaths, ready to blare their joy at the victory for Angle suggested by many polls.

    Around midnight east coast time it became clear that Angle had gone down, victim of the political suicide she actually committed several days ago, dint of one of the most racist, anti-Hispanic campaign ads in many years. It had escaped the attention of that supposedly consummate Republican political strategist Karl Rove – born in Sparks, Nevada, — that the Hispanic vote in Nevada is not insignificant. Hispanics went for Reid by a factor of about 75 per cent and he slid through to victory.

    Just over half of the 17,000 respondents to a national exit poll said that their votes in House races had nothing to do with the Tea Party, pro or con. The other half was split, pro and con. Over 60 per cent said the all-important issue is jobs; 87 per cent said they are worried about economic conditions. Between government laying out money to create jobs and government slashing expenditures to reduce the deficit there’s also pretty much an even split.

    Is there anything new in all this? Of course not. Republicans always campaign on homely pledges – economically illiterate – to balance the government’s books the same way as their household budgets. Pressed, as many triumphant Republicans were last night, as to exactly where they would start cutting the federal budget to achieve this end, they invariably slid into the programmatic shadows, with hoarse ranting about freezes and “across the board” budgetary carnage, except for military spending. As California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, now even more unpopular than the man he ousted, demonstrated, it’s easier to terminate in a movie script than in a legislature.

    The second craziest victory speech of the evening came from a Tea Party man, Rand Paul, now the Republican senator from Kentucky. “We’re enslaved by debt,” he screamed at his cheering supporters and followed this by savage diatribes about any constructive role for government. Now it’s possible that Paul, inflamed with libertarian principle, could actually try to filibuster the next vote in the US Senate to authorize an increase in the US national debt. As awed commentators swiftly noted, he could plunge the United States into default, bring economic devastation to the world.

    more here:


  33. From MAUREEN DOWD at NY Times:

    Republican Party Time

    Even though it was predicted, it was still a shock to see voters humiliate a brilliant and spellbinding young president, who’d had such a Kennedy-like beginning, while electing a lot of conservative nuts and promoting this central-casting congressman as the face of the future:

    a Republican who had vowed in a written pledge to restore America to old-fashioned values, returning to a gauzy “Leave It to Beaver” image that never existed even on the set of “Leave It to Beaver.”

    …The next Speaker felt that the humbled president should take the election as a cue to be conciliatory, and he proposed they talk in the next few days. He offered to reach out to Democrats who wanted to work with his side, but also noted that the president would not be wise to stand in the way of the conservative agenda.

    “I prefer to believe that this president, who is clearly very smart, is quite capable of thinking clearly about a message sent by the American people,” he said.

    He said that, contrary to what the media elite had been jabbering about, he would not use his subpoena power to rain down a series of investigations on the Democratic administration.

    No “witch hunts,” he said. Only “legitimate” investigations.

    Yeah, that all worked out for Newt Gingrich. He really came through. The quotes above came from Gingrich, when I covered his heady victory in Marietta, Ga., in the 1994 Republican landslide that made him Speaker.

    And, obviously, the Republican House only pursued “legitimate” investigations of Bill Clinton. Sixteen years later, as a weeping John Boehner extolled the American values he learned at his father’s bar — in the moment he dethroned Nancy Pelosi — the new crop of anarchic conservatives are saying all the same things.

    God help the Republic.

    More here:

    Leave it to Beaver eh?

    I wonder how many gays, Blacks & Latinos were in that show?

    Were there Log Cabin Republicans in those days?


  34. “Neil, take the discussion of Howard to another thread please.”

    Aw, c’mon nask…Neil’s the only tory remora we’ve got to play with at the moment. Don’t spoil our fun 🙂

    But back on topic, yes, great snapshot of the confused state of the nation by Cockburn.

    The increasingly thin veneer of civilisation that survives in that god-awful place must be scared shitless at the way things have gone, are going.

    I can’t see that Rand Paul’s shenanigans however could cause the US to default, but stalling further stimulus spending will surely drive their economy through the floor.

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

    Santayana’s aphorism has been getting a bit of a workout lately.

    As a student of economics however

  35. “I just can’t understand those Yanks. Bewilders me.”

    Migs, I reckon that their misunderstandin’ of social democracy has much to do w/ it. So many there seem to equate social democratic policies that are about ensurin’ there are affordable public services for those who need such so they can afford to pay off their homes, their bills, fulfill their family obligations, start up business ventures & other projects…or due to accidents, physical & mental disabilities and such…w/ the “dreaded” communism that so many Americans either fled and/or fought.

    So, when ya get an administration like Obama’s that invests more in some social democratic programs (and let’s face it, they aren’t exactly Swedes or French or Australians or Canadians…ensurin’ that there are some universal free services…think the compromise healthcare plan that still benefits private health companies bigtime)…it’s easy for those wealthy who benefit from the private sector & even tax payer investments into their sector to turn around and refer to those programs as Commie-like “entitlement” programs that are draggin’ the country down & fillin’ the pockets of unions & welfare “do nuthins”.

    So much of their TV is based on the independent & libertarian style character who overcomes interventionist, intrusive, big brother-style authorities…the hero who oft is a loner…or has a group of semi-reluctant allies who give the middle finger in their pursuit of the “do what ya wanna do, be what ya wanne be” lifestyle.

    It’s ironic how similar the hippy middle finger is to the independent cop or superhero in movies. Or wrestler.

    Obviously the fact that so many Americans fled persecution plays a role…as does the history of resistin’ & overcomin’ taxation w/out representation & overarchin’, dictatorial governments (think American Revolution…civil war etc.)…

    And cynicism & distrust of government has spread w/ the Vietnam War, Nixon, Iran-Contra, slavery, death penalty in some states, questions over 9/11, Iraq War etc.)…so too oft it’s easy for the privileged elite to use media of all types to dissuade Americans from voting…or to manipulate the most suspicious & cynical & damaged &/or illiterate into voting against their own interests.

    Add the mass of evangelical & other prosperity churches that are set up like social network/lonely hearts, motivational speaker, “get down w/ the music” sites prayin’ on the common folk in their most vulnerable periods…pluggin’ their brand of family values politics…across the cable TV & radio networks…

    and ya get a certain odd kookiness & fervour…that is transferred into the political arena…and contrasts w/ the apathy, depression & unwillingness to particpate in the corporate democracy by the dispossessed, and too oft disappointed & overly-cynical, as mentioned above.

    W/ many of the schools pumpin’ out patriotic fervour, flag wavin’, competitive sports & hype (cheerleadin’, football) and American myths…which too oft copycats and/or reinforces fiction (comic books, TV, movies)…all in the name of preservin’ liberty & the great rampant capitalist way…it’s not surprisin’ that we see so much bi-polar & divisive & cowboy showdown & advertiser/corporate influenced & loopy politics.

    Add the gamblin’ glitzy fake world to ease yer pain stuff of Las Vegas…and Disneyland/world…and ya get that casino economy w/ happy in debt facade.

    Obviously there are many rational thinkers too…who vote…but imagine bein’ caught up in that HYPESTORM day in & day out. Infectious.

    Unfortunately, we are beginnin’ to see signs of same here in Australia now. As has happened in the UK. America has spread it’s political economic HYPESTORM thruout the world by way of large corporations, includin’ media & fast food & big pharma & war zones/military zones.

    And the likes of Rupert Murdoch have profited from such. Murdoch’s empire feeds on hype, confusion, excessive competition, facade, kookiness, fervour, cynicism…whilst ironically bashin’ the Hollywood facade that it sees as too Liberal, too Democratic party supportin’…yet in many ways they are not disimilar.

    They both coverup the real rot that lies beneath the SLEAZIEST, GREEDIEST SHOW ON EARTH.


  36. Barack Obama must be feelin’ like he’s bein’ pinned between two fierce animals right now:

    Democratic Base to Party Leaders: Take That You Smug Bastards!

    by Dave Lindorff | November 4, 2010

    The Democrats were blown out of the water on Nov. 2.

    But it’s not because of the Tea Party, or because of a resurgent Republican majority.

    The Democrats deserved to lose because they have long since abandoned whatever principles they had, and more important, they’ve pissed on their most important supporters–the left, real liberals, African Americans, women, unionized workers, and workers in general. So I say hooray, all those groups have struck back!

    Barack Obama set this disaster for the party and his presidency in motion before he was even sworn in as president, by choosing Wall Street hacks as his economic advisers in the midst of the worst economic crisis in 75 years, and by choosing as his key political adviser Rahm Emanuel, who famously called progressive critics “fucking retarded,” and who, when warned that the GM bailout plan would hurt the United Autoworkers members who worked there, also famously said “Fuck the UAW!”

    more here:

    So, ya can see why plenty of Dems & Progressives didn’t bother to show up to vote.

    And if ya look at this vid from March 2009 ya get a pretty good idea of the lies, distortions & outright loopiness he’s had to put up w/ from the right-wing…

    includin’ from Sean Hannity of Fox News…

    and the plastic Michele Bachmann (who comes across like a cross between the Cheshire cat & one of The Stepford Wives) .

    Now, ain’t that ad scary? 🙂

  37. Who is Michelle Bachmann? ya might ask:

    Bachmann’s contribution to the GOP’s election gains is undisputed, and GOP leaders widely praise her fundraising prowess. The Minnesota Republican is the House’s top earner, bringing in $11 million in the two-year election cycle for her own campaign and giving out $130,000 to other GOP candidates in the campaign’s closing months, election records show.

    But she’s also made GOP leaders cringe multiple times in the last two years with over-the-top and uninformed statements.

    They have not taken up her claim, for example, that President Obama’s upcoming trip to India will cost “$200 million per day.” Asked on CNN where she got that number, she attributed the figure to unnamed press reports.

    White House spokesman Amy Brundage said the $200 million figure has “no basis in reality” and is “wildly inflated.”

    More here:

    Bachmann has no problem makin’ things up…she’s not unlike Australian Opposition leader Tony Abbott…always on the attack…and too oft full of crap.

    In 1993, Bachmann and other parents in Stillwater, Minnesota opened New Heights Charter School. The oversight of New Heights soon encountered problems when a group of concerned parents and the school district questioned if the insertion of Christianity into the school’s curriculum amounted to using public tax money to fund a religious school.

    One such parent, Denise Stephens, a longtime Republican, charged the board of directors of the school (which included Bachmann) with trying to set up classes on Creationism and advocating that “something called ’12 Christian principles’ be taught, very much like the 10 Commandments.”

    According to Stephens, school officials also refused to allow the in-school screening of the Disney film Aladdin, saying that it endorsed witchcraft and promoted paganism.

    Along with other directors, Bachmann appeared before the Stillwater School Board to address the parents’ concerns. According to Stephens, Bachmann became angry and asked, “Are you going to question my integrity?”, before she and four other members of the board resigned on the spot.

    During the summer of 2008 as national gas prices rose to over $4 a gallon, Bachmann became a leading Congressional advocate for increased domestic oil and natural gas exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf.

    She joined 10 other House Republicans and members of the media on a Congressional Energy Tour to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, and to Alaska. The trip was setup by Arctic Power, an Alaskan lobbying group that advocates for ANWR development. The purpose of the trip was to receive a first hand account of emerging renewable energy technologies and the prospects of increased domestic oil and natural gas production in Alaska, including ANWR.

    Bachmann was added to the League of Conservation Voters’ Dirty Dozen list for 2010, based on her opposition to the American Clean Energy and Security Act.

    Bachmann has claimed that global warming is a hoax and has been a vocal skeptic of climate change.

    On October 17, 2008, Bachmann gave an interview on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews in support of the presidential campaign of Senator John McCain that brought the Minnesota 6th Congressional District race national attention.

    During the interview she criticized Barack Obama for his association with Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers, saying “…usually we associate with people who have similar ideas to us, and it seems that it calls into questions what Barack Obama’s true beliefs, and values, and thoughts are…I am very concerned that he [Barack Obama] may have anti-American views.

    “Armed and dangerous” quote

    In March 2009, Bachmann was interviewed by the Northern Alliance Radio Network and promoted two forums she was hosting the next month in St. Cloud and Woodbury regarding Obama’s proposed cap and trade tax policy to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Bachmann said she wanted Minnesotans “armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back.”

    In the interview, she also stated that Thomas Jefferson had said that “having a revolution every now and then is a good thing.” According to the Star Tribune, her quote went viral across the internet. Bachmann’s office quickly clarified that she was speaking metaphorically, meaning “armed with knowledge.”

    Health care

    Bachmann contributed to the “death panel” controversy when she read from a July 24 article written by Betsy McCaughey from the floor of the House. Sarah Palin said that her “death panel” remark was inspired by what she called the “Orwellian” opinions of Ezekiel Emanuel as described by Bachmann who accused him of advocating health care rationing by age and disability.

    According to PolitiFact and Time magazine, Bachmann’s euthanasia remarks distorted Emanuel’s position on health care for the elderly and disabled. asserted, “We agree that Emanuel’s meaning is being twisted.” When many doctors wanted to legalize euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide, Emanuel opposed it.

    Bachmann denounced the government-run health insurance public option, calling it a “government takeover of health care” that would “squeeze out private health insurance”.

    Education policy

    Bachmann supports the teaching of intelligent design in public school science classes. During a 2003 interview on the KKMS Christian radio program Talk The Walk, Bachmann said that evolution is a theory that has never been proven, one way or the other.

    She co-authored a bill [that received no additional endorsement among her fellow legislators] that would require public schools to include alternative explanations for the origin of life as part of the state’s public school science curricula.

    In October 2006, Bachmann told a debate audience in St. Cloud, Minnesota “there is a controversy among scientists about whether evolution is a fact or not…. There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design.”

    Bachmann opposes minimum wage increases.

    Social Security and Medicare

    Echoing Glenn Beck’s statement about alleged “unfunded liabilities” in Social Security and Medicare, Bachmann has called for phasing out these programs:

    “ [W]hat you have to do, is keep faith with the people that are already in the system, that don’t have any other options, we have to keep faith with them. But basically what we have to do is wean everybody else off.

    Social issues

    Bachmann supports both a federal and state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and any legal equivalents. In support of a constitutional amendment she proposed to ban same-sex marriage, Bachmann said that the gay community was specifically targeting children and that “our children… are the prize for this community, they are specifically targeting our children”.

    In 2004, the Star Tribune reported that Bachmann said of people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered, “We need to have profound compassion for people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life and sexual identity disorders”.

    She left her government position to become a full-time mother (relying on the income of her husband’s Christian Counseling Center in the St. Croix valley area. Her first child, Lucas, was born in 1983. Her other children are Harrison, Elisa, Caroline and Sophia.

    Over the years, the Bachmanns have also taken in 23 foster children, all of them teenage girls.

    Foreign policy

    Bachmann says in dealing with Iran, diplomacy “is our option”, but that other options, including a nuclear strike, shouldn’t be taken off the table.

    America the beautiful. Michele just one of many.


  38. And so the insanity & lies continue:

    Rep. Michele Bachmann claims Obama’s trip to India will cost the taxpayers $200 million a day

    “The president of the United States will be taking a trip over to India that is expected to cost the taxpayers $200 million a day.”

    (Michele Bachmann on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 in a CNN interview)

    Not surprisingly, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh & other right-wing extremist propaganda blowhards have also already hopped on board the BS train over this.

    But it’s all about Republicans reachin’ out to the President. RIGHT.


  39. Nas’ having read your very interesting and informative comments it’s easy to see your concern about Australia and the Australian media in particular heading down the US path.

  40. Thnx Min…I’m glad you can see why I focus on American politics as well. America has many positive aspects to it too…I noticed on ABC 24 they were lookin’ at American initiatives to assist the long-term homeless here in Australia. Thumbs up.

    Here’s another revealin’ side of America…the United States Supreme Court has tipped more to the right-side of the ideological seesaw since GW Bush appointed a couple of judges…

    so, if big business is gonna be haunted by the specter of the little people takin’ them on by way of class action…who ya gonna call?:

    Consumers’ right to file class actions is in danger

    By David Lazarus

    LA Times, November 5, 2010

    If AT&T has its way before the Supreme Court, any business that issues a contract to customers would be able to prevent them from joining class-action lawsuits, taking away arguably the most powerful legal tool available to the little guy.

    More here:,0,639054.column

    We know that Republicans…and even some Democrats, love protectin’ big business…and when Republicans get into power, they move fast:

    George Bush’s favours to big business –
    All the president’s businessmen

    The Republican election campaign was the most expensive in history and required big donations from big business. Since moving into the White House, George Bush has had only one concern – returning the favours. Julian Borger on how corporate America bought itself a president

    Special report: George Bush’s America

    Friday April 27, 2001 — The Guardian,. UK

    I remember Liberal party Treasurer Peter Costello here in Australia threatenin’ to go after people who boycotted big businesses.

    Tony Abbott hearts big mining companies.

    And yet Joe Hockey goes at the big banks.

    Very interestin’.


  41. Nas’ my good friend, a Tassie girl is married to a US serviceman currently in Atlanta. She says that the best thing about the US is the people and the education her kids are receiving..but don’t have a chronic condition (she is a fragile diabetic) as you will be in debt for the rest of your life.

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