What Australians need to know about the American election.

Donald Trump will win the US Presidential Election, argues Sam Oldfield:
Australians are looking at the American election through an Australian prism, they are looking at the negative campaign against Trump promoted by Sky News and others and thinking Trump can’t possibly win. They are mistaken.

America doesn’t have compulsory voting, less than 57.5% of eligible citizens voted in 2012 and that was for Obama, the candidate that beat Hillary in 2008. What got Obama his second term, and I said this at the time, is the absolutely lacklustre performance of Mitt Romney.

And therein lies the key, what’s going on with Sanders supporters, and democrats in general, is that they are not actually willing to vote for Clinton. Sure a lot of hardliners will make the trip to the booth, but Sanders supporters will wallow in their own misery and the cynical just won’t bother.

What Trump has that Hillary doesn’t have is a positive message, and Hillary’s slogan says it all “love trumps hate.” Donald Trump is defensible, anyone who’s tangled with me on the matter knows I can give a good defense and I’m not the only one. But nobody even bothers to defend Clinton. So the best Hillary can do is convince people not to vote for Trump, but Trump can not only give reasons not to vote for Hillary, he can convince people to vote for him. Continue reading

U.S. Democratic Primaries: Your Guide to Dinner Party Conversation

It is a law of nature that any gathering of two or more politically active people in Australia will invariably turn to US politics and, irrespective of where we are in the political season, Presidential Primaries, so being conversant with what is going on is essential to all politicos.

But what if you want to hold your way in conversation, but don’t want to dedicate your life to researching every single little detail? What should you do when the question comes up?

The correct answer would be to say: “It’s way too early, are you insane for asking me this question?”

However, that doesn’t really cut it. What you need to do is have opinions – and strong ones at that. Even better is to have opinions that challenge the prevailing orthodoxy.

That’s why, once again, created the following crib notes guide to the US Primaries (starting with the Democrats), so you can confidentaly express an opinion, without knowing any of the facts.

Because really, this is politics, and who needs facts when you have a strong opinion? Continue reading

U.S. Cities With Travel Warnings: Notice A Pattern?

A few days ago, the Washington Post listed 16 U.S. cities that foreign governments issue travel warnings about due to their high levels of crime.

With policing a responsibility of local government in the United States, I decided to look up the mayors of these cities. 

Do you notice a pattern?

Boston: Thomas Merino (Democrat)

New York: Michael Bloomberg (Independent), Mayor Elect Bil de Blasio (Democrat)

Washington DC: Vincent Gray (Democrat)

Baltimore: Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (Democrat)

Richmond: Dwight Clinton Jones (Democrat)

Pittsburgh: Luke Ravenstahl (Democrat) Mayor Elect Bill Peduto (Democrat)

Cleveland: Frank G Jackson (Democrat)

Detroit: Davd Bing (Democrat), Mayor-Elect Mike Duggan (Democrat)

Chicago: Rahm Emmanual (Democrat)

St Louis: Francis S Slay (Democrat)

Houston: Annise Parker (Democrat)

Atlanta: Kasim Reed (Democrat)

New Orleans: Mitch Landrieu (Democrat)

Miami: Tomas Regaldo (Republican)  

Los Angeles: Eric Garcetti (Democrat) 

El Paso : John Cook (Democrat)

Tim Andrews is Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers' Alliance & Publisher of Menzies House.

Poll: 42% of Americans identify with the “extremist, racist etc” Tea Party, 42% with Obama…

Via Rasmussen


Voters are evenly divided when
asked whether they agree more politically with President Obama or with the
average member of the Tea Party. But an enormous partisan gap colors virtually
all opinions of the Tea Party.

A new Rasmussen Reports national
telephone survey finds that 42% of Likely U.S. Voters think the president’s
views are closest to their own when it comes to the major issues facing the
country. But just as many (42%) say their views come closest to those of the
average Tea Party member instead. Sixteen per cent (16%) are not sure. (To see
survey question wording, click here.)



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The youth vote 2013



Winston Churchill once observed, “If you are not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”

Much has been said and speculated about the “youth vote” – the demographic aged between 18 and 24 and to a very considerable extent a lot of what is said or claimed just isn’t supported by the facts.

There are officially 14,712,799 people enrolled to vote on September 7. Between the calling of the election and the close of electoral rolls, 624,539 people signed up yet, of those, only 3,641 were aged 18 or 19 and only 21,787 were aged 20 to 24. A whopping 47% are aged over 50.

The Young Labor Association (YLA), which likes to describe itself as the largest youth political organisation in the country says it has over 10,000 members aged between 14 and 26. The National Seniors Association has over 200,000 over 50.

It is estimated that about half a million eligible voters aged 18 to 25 are not enrolled and this is a huge 12% of the electorate – consider that the total vote difference between the two major parties in the 2010 election was about 30,000. About one-fifth of this age group is not registered to vote – the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) says 1.9 million people aged 18 to 24 are enrolled while 400,000 are not. 

Studies show that even young voters who are enrolled are less likely to vote than older people. Reflecting Churchill’s observation, the older people get the more likely they are to be conservative.

The Whitlam Institute has reported that young people are more likely to vote on issues that are important to them rather than on party allegiances. They said, “For example, same sex marriage, the way we treat asylum seekers, climate change or action on global poverty are issues that are brought up right across Australia” but those who are passionate about these issues are more likely to vote for The Greens.  

PM Rudd likes to mix with young people, get treated as a pop star and portray himself as king of the kids and a super cool dude  – that is when he is not parading around as an international statesman, wise policy guru and finance manager of pure genius ability. His confected use of what he thinks is youth slang such as “gotta zip” is embarrassingly naff for young people and hugely amusing for the rest.

Surrounded by throngs of screaming school girls who seem to regard him as another member of boy band One Direction, Rudd appears both tremendously pleased yet distinctly out of place. In any case, they don’t vote.

If my parents – about a century ago it seems – had been given to describing something as “cool” I would have curled up in embarrassment. Fortunately, they didn’t. 

The ALP has imported US whizz kids who worked on President Obama’s social media campaign to connect with the youth demographic. While the youth demographic is more likely to rely on social media rather than mainstream media for their political news, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will enrol to vote or even vote once enrolled.

The ALP has announced that it is going to ramp up its campaign in favour of gay marriage with a serious concentration on social media complete with celebrity endorsements, given the acknowledged fact that young people are far more inclined to be in favour. There will also be letterbox drops, mainstream media advertising and other strategies.

But it will probably be a waste of time, money and resources. While a recent Fairfax/Nielson poll nationally showed 65% general approval of gay marriage, only 16% said the issue was “very important”. There is a very real risk this campaign could alienate older ALP voters, especially working class men.

It can be an important factor in some electorates. The Brisbane electorate is held by the LNP’s Teresa Gambaro with a 1.1% margin, it is certainly the “gayest” electorate and she recently announced, after tip-toeing around the issue, that she would vote in favour if a conscience vote was allowed.

Yet in Blair – centred on Ipswich and the very socially conservative surrounding rural areas – sitting Labor MP, Shayne Neumann, remains steadfastly opposed. He can only hope that this new ALP campaign initiative is ignored. In a throw-back to Whitlam’s campaign in 1972, this campaign is headed, “It’s time” which hardly shows any originality but, I suppose, 1972 for young voters is as distant as Curtin is for me.

Back in February, the national Young Labor Association held its conference in Canberra. One highlight which impressed me was a motion from NSW right faction delegates entitled, “John Faulkner is a contemptible charlatan” which claimed that the veteran left-wing Labor icon, “has now successfully joined the ranks of the sideline whiners and the hypocritical teetotallers that are those few ALP politicians, whether former or current, who complain about the processes of the Australian Labor Party despite the deeply hypocritical nature of their complaints.”

While the grammar doesn’t provide any reason to feel confident about the NSW education system, there is something weirdly comforting about this – the NSW Right Faction leaders of the future have learned much at the feet of their elders.  Given that the NSW Right re-installed Rudd, perhaps this was a portent for Rudd’s plea for a “kinder, gentler” debate.

God only knows how they could bag Abbott with stronger language – perhaps they could implicate him in the holocaust.

Once upon a time

by Jim McCrudden

Once upon a time there was a world where leaders adopted the line, “We don’t negotiate with terrorists.”

President Teddy Roosevelt, facing ransom demands for the release of a captured American citizen, Perdicaris, by a Moroccan, Raisuli, had a telegram released giving the US response, “Perdicaris alive, or Raisuli dead.”

Every pollie since has tried to come up with such a memorable line, but is driven back to the bland, ‘we don’t negotiate, blah blah’.

To some extent they did try not to but with the coming of Obama things changed – ordinary terrorists? No negotiating, Muslim terrorists? wellll!

This President, this minute, is negotiating with the Taliban in Afghanistan – the very terrorists that the US sacrificed men to fight and eradicate – to share power there with President Kharzi. And not only the US is fighting terrorist there; Australia has been there since 2001 fighting the Taliban under Operation Slipper.

This President ordered US military to join forces with the terrorist rebels to overthrow Qaddafi in Libya and give Al Qaeda its very own nation with a voice in the UN. Not saying Qaddafi was a papabile but he did respect Australian war dead, the new mob trashed their graves.

This President helped the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood push out President Mubarak in Egypt. Then sent them money. Then cut off the money to the new government when the Brotherhood got ousted in a coup.

This President hired an Al Qaeda-associated Militia in Libya to “protect” the US Consul, Stevens, and other Americans in Libya from Al Qaeda. The result was that Stevens and three others were murdered and their corpses desecrated. Obama then directed a cover-up, lied that it had been a spontaneous riot over a stupid short video unrelated to terrorists, and took no action to punish the murderers. He did arrest the maker of the video, of course. Of course. That’s his style.

This President is now intending to provide weapons to more even Jihadists, this time in Syria – where it is notorious that Al Qaeda has flocked to once again – to help them take over yet another country.

Two weeks ago Reuters revealed that the US House and Senate Intel Committees had frozen Obama’s funding of the Syria rebels due to the potential for another monumental foul-up of Kevin Rudd proportions and, as the whole population is overwhelmingly opposed to intervention in Syria, it was thought that this might encourage Congress to hold the line, and stop aiding terrorists.

But there is no amount of public disapproval that will stop the pants-piddling Republicans for stooping over for Obama. Opposing him on anything brings tirades of abuse from what passes for journalism there. Congress has just announced that Obama can go ahead funding the terrorists with some “strong” (ROFL) reservations.

Oddly they announced this after the Taliban issued their media release that they were Syria bound to fight a holy war there.

Has Obama got a hot line to Al Qaeda? Are they getting a bit of the US tax dollar too?

Would anybody be surprised?

Shorten – Australia’s Maxwell Smart?

Included in a stack of released WikiLeaks cables was an account of Bill Shorten's meeting with US Consul-General Thurston. This report was made public in August 2011 in various publications including the Australian Financial Review.

It is to be wondered if Shorten's union mates know of that meeting and what was said? It looks like Bill's ambition for greatness is again being played out in his so far commitment to support Gillard. "Sorry Julia, they made me dump you." GC.Ed.@L.

Mr Shorten met with the US Consul-General in Melbourne Michael Thurston in June 2009.

In a confidential cable back to Washington, Mr Thurston notes the
“ambitious” but “rumpled in appearance” Mr Shorten had been touted as a
future prime minister.

“Shorten makes no bones about his ambitions in federal politics,” Mr Thurston wrote.

“During a June 11 meeting, Shorten told Consul-General that `he did not take this job to stand still’.”

Mr Shorten – now Assistant Treasurer – told Mr Thurston he was deeply
influenced by civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr and quoted from
several of his speeches during the meeting.

Mr Thurston described Mr Shorten as a “nimble conversationalist” and “considered and thoughtful”.

“Shorten struck us as highly ambitious but willing to wait – at least for a while – for his moment in the sun.”

Similarities in leadership

Top ranking US presenter Bill O'Reilly is not noted for going hard on President Obama, until now. It seems there is a familiar pattern with socialist leaders that surfaces soon after re-election.

Ego, arrogance and incompetence are the common traits – usually all three at once. Readers may recognise similarities between the Prime Minister of Australia and the US President in Bill's article.


What Happened, Mr. President?

By Bill O'Reilly http://www.billoreilly.com/

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Not a great week for the Obama folks, as the scandal du jour tour has firmly taken hold. Every day it seems another federal agency is exposed as either intimidating, snooping, covering up, or going to Vegas on the taxpayer dime. Zimbabwe is even making fun of us.

On January 21, 2009, in remarks welcoming his new presidential staff, Barack Obama said: "Let me say it as simply as I can: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

So what happened, Mr. President? Why so much stonewalling?

Let's take this one by one. Barack Obama has to know that nobody is buying the assertion that Ambassador Susan Rice made a simple error when she blamed the assassination of Ambassador Christopher Stevens on a spontaneous Muslim uprising caused by a stupid anti-Islamic video. No one believes that was an honest mistake, Mr. President!

So it is on Mr. Obama himself to explain the Rice deal and also why armed U.S. assets in Tripoli were not immediately sent to help the Ambassador and other Americans under siege in Benghazi.

But for eight months, the President has refused to explain.

The IRS chaos is newer and the president was forced to respond by firing Steve Miller, who ran the agency. But again, how could the powerful IRS get so out of control? Was it loyalty to a liberal president that made agents unfairly target conservatives? We need some clarity here.

On the Associated Press front, all the president has to do is what Attorney General Holder refuses to do – explain in general terms why the Justice Department thought it necessary to secure the phone records of AP reporters. Explain why there was an urgency to the investigation. Mr. Obama can certainly do that without compromising national security. So why isn't he doing it?

The answer to that question lies in accountability. When has Barack Obama ever been held accountable for anything? The press has largely covered for him when mistakes were made and the public seems to be in a very forgiving mood, especially on economic matters where, according to some polls, almost half the voters believe the sluggish economy is Bush's fault.

Sensing blood in the water, the president's ardent opponents will continue to take the scandals as far as they can. The only way this stops is for Mr. Obama to take control, admit whatever mistakes were made, explain how and why they happened, and hope the public understands.

If he doesn't do that, his second term could well be a national nightmare.

(Thanks to reader Jim.)