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Archive for August, 2007

Andrew Dolt

Noted blogger, Andrew Bolt, shows just how Web 2.0 savvy he is.

“the Wikipedia collective” – think it leans to the Left? Jump in there, Andrew, and you’ll balance out a thousand lefties all by yourself. Get Piers on board as well, and you’ll have it evened out in no time.

It’s even worse when you head down to the comments – despite the occasional helpful person pointing out that if an entry on Rudd is missing the strip club info, you can add it in, the Boltheads continue to thank their brainless leader for pointing out what a dubious source of information Wikipedia is. Not that they ever went and looked for themselves – they only need one site to tell them what to think.

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The sub-prime bump

The latest Morgan is at 54.5-45.5 2PP, 46-41 on the primary. Given that the last one had swung by a few points in Labor’s favour, I’m not sure that this can be attributed to the economic scare. Now go put the anal in analysis over at The Poll Bludger.

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You gotta know when to hold ’em …

In a battle for his own re-election, with the prospect of the post-election leadership of his party within reach, one thing seems clear about Malcolm Turnbull’s delaying approach to the Gunns pulp mill: he’s either going to hit big or miss big. And Peter Garrett could well be wedged between a rock and a hard place in the process.

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Janet Albrechtsen hates people who hate America

According to Albrechtsen, those who want troops withdrawn from Iraq are unpleasant people:

Many have a vested interest in an American failure in Iraq. Not just the emotional anti-Bushies but also the more level-headed people who believe failure in Iraq is needed to puncture American hubris.

So, the only reasons why anyone could want a change of strategy in Iraq is because (i) they hate Bush, or (ii) they hate America. And advocating withdrawal is “wanting failure” – not voicing a belief that failure has already happened or is inevitable. And of course, she then goes on to paint a wonderful picture of how Iraq will be saved from Al Qaeda – neglecting to acknowledge the problems with the political disintegration and the endemic sectarian conflicts that are key components of the instability in Iraq. Yes, it’s the people you oppose who are feral, irrational, emotional haters, Janet.

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See it coming

One week ago, I made a prediction:

My horrible suspicion: within six months the United States will respond to (and may even, to some extent, precipitate if need be) a conflict with Iranian nationals in Iraqi territory, as the foundation to justify immediately going to war with Iran.

Looks like we’re well on the road to military action.

The impending APEC meeting and a few other events seems to have prompted a fair amount of navel-gazing about the US-Australian relationship lately, with the general trend being to emphasize the value of the relationship and the role America can play as a force for good (e.g., Kevin Rudd’s speech). While this is fundamentally true, there is a specific issue here where the United States is clearly not living up to the role it should play in the world – not provoking, but bringing guidance and moderation. Australia’s politicians and traditional media need to pay some attention to what is going on here – this has the potential to get out of hand very quickly, and the way it is being managed, it will. And we should have something to say about the way it is being dealt with.

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The Iraq

Bush isn’t the only who has invoked Vietnam – he just uses it in the opposite way to most:

An elite team of officers advising US commander General David Petraeus in Baghdad has concluded the US has six months to win the war in Iraq – or face a Vietnam-style collapse in political and public support that could force the military into a hasty retreat.

That conclusion was reached six months ago.

While things continue to fall apart, the Bush administration is losing a whole lot of staff. And now, the Pentagon is moving away from recommending any single course of action in Iraq. It has to be very lonely for George Walker Bush right now – no wonder he’s been looking so unhappy.

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Mid-week "me too"-isms

Time is short at the moment, so here are some quick links to things worth reading elsewhere:

  • Senator Bartlett has written about the one thing from Labor’s IR announcement that I forgot to cover in my earlier comments on it – their claim that the Senate should immediately pass the reforms should Labor win government. This kind of posturing about a mandate – before the election has even been called, let alone decided – is just silly. The electorate will choose the Senate as well, and I hope that after the last few years we might end up with one that has the capacity for actual oversight of the Government.
  • Something as rare as the lunar eclipse has happened – the Government Gazette has published an opinion piece that cuts through the Government’s bullshit. Mike Steketee has pointed to some of the inconsistencies and falsehoods in their talk about Labor’s IR policy. And Brad Norington points out that most reactions to the Labor IR policy have been stage-managed and could have been predicted before it was even released.
  • As one final IR link, there’s a post at LP by Jim McDonald describing how Labor’s policy is an egalitarian failure. His post echoes much of my own feelings about where Labor has gone on this issue.
  • Frank Luntz gives some advice on campaign strategy to Rudd and Howard – I might try to break this down a bit in a later post, but for now I’ll have to leave it there.

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