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Category Archives: Rossleigh

Liberals Make Jesus A Little Cross On Good Friday!

Ok, it’s a terrible pun. Some might even call it blasphemous…

I’m sure Victorian Upper House Liberal, Bernie Finn, would. Bernie Finn, you see, announced that he found the whole idea that the Victorian Upper House sitting on Good Friday just plain wrong and he couldn’t do it. And no, not because he wasn’t getting penalty rates, because it was “blasphemous”. Bernie told us that he didn’t even celebrate his birthday if it fell on Good Friday.

Now, for those familiar with Mr Finn, there is a strong argument that there is no cause to celebrate his birth no matter which day of the year it falls. However, that would be nasty and I’ve made it a rule never to be nasty on Easter Saturday… Unless, of course, that doesn’t suit me, and I can just change my mind.

Anyway, Labor offered Mr Finn a “pair”. By that I don’t mean that they were suggesting that he grow some. They were agreeing to a long-standing arrangement where, if  a member of one party can’t vote for a legitimate reason, then the other party has one of their own refrain from voting.

He was joined by another Liberal MP, Craig Ondarchie, who also indicated that his religious beliefs prevented him from staying. Labor agreed and allowed two of their MPs to go home also. Although when I use the word, “also” I mean, in theory, because, as with my rule never to be nasty on Easter Saturday, their religious beliefs didn’t prevent them from hiding in their offices and when the time came for the vote on the CFA, they sprang out of hiding, leaving Labor the Easter bunnies.

Ha, good one. I mean, don’t Labor know tomorrow is April Fools Day? Ok, the joke was a bit early but it’s not like a real lie. Silly Labor. Thinking just because someone was a fine upstanding Christian that they wouldn’t be prepared to lie about something as unimportant as their religious beliefs. Or joke. That’s it. It’s all an elaborate joke. Like my joke about the Liberals making Jesus a little cross. No harm done. It’s not like breaking one of the ten commandments and bearing false witness because, well, “false witness” is about something that has happened, so lying about what you’re going to to is all good with big guy upstairs.

Besides, Parliament shouldn’t be sitting on Good Friday anyway. And, and… the legislation is all wrong and we don’t like it. And, and… Labor wouldn’t give a pair to one of our Upper House MPs who’s sick. Labor claim that they haven’t been asked about a pair for her yet, but they should have given her one before they were asked because she’s really sick. No, this is not another April Fool’s Day joke. To suggest that this could be another lie is outrageous. How low can Labor sink?

No, this wasn’t cheating like the Australian Cricket Team. This wasn’t even Labor cheated when they used staffers to help with the election campaign. This was cheating like when Federal Liberals raised funds through Parakeelia, the Liberal Party-owned company that billed taxpayers for computer services, which wasn’t cheating at all but a legitimate rort because we got away with it and nobody seems to care…

No, this was all just fine and dandy. As Opposition Leader, Matty “The Family” Guy tweeted:

“Am so proud of my Upper House colleagues and the MPs who stood up for our CFA today and defeated the Andrews Govt plan to smash it up. The Liberal Nationals will always stand up for volunteers against this bully of a Premier.”

Yes, that’s right. It’s a day to be proud. Wonder if he’ll tweet after the election: “Am so proud of my colleagues who stood up for our mates and told lies in order to defeat Labor because we don’t care what the truth is so long as we win the vote!”

Or is that a little too obvious a subtext.

South African Farmers Reject Australia As Destination Because Of Fears Of Ball Tampering!

Cricket is like religion.

By that, I simply mean that for its advocates, there’s a lot of time standing around, waiting, with the promise of something happening sometime in the future, while the non-believers can’t understand the appeal… Or indeed, why bowlers appeal when the ball is clearly missing leg stump!

However, there’s a certain shock to many when someone who professes to be virtuous is suddenly caught with their pants down. . Surely they shouldn’t have been the ones to have been doing the ball tampering. (In the interest of clarity, I’d like to add that I am refering to the Australian cricket team here, before any religious organisation sues me!)

Of course, I could go on about how there have been many cricketers caught doing exactly what the Australian cricketers did. The only difference was that Steve Smith actually admitted it was a plan concocted by the leadership group. This would be akin to a church saying, “Of course we tried to hush it up!” It’s not so much that someone was cheating -it’s that the captain admitted that he knew about it. This would be akin to Malcolm Turnbull admitting that he knew about Barnaby Joyce’s relationship with Vikki Campion; it’s far better to lie because if you tell the truth, people are shocked. So the shocking thing is that Smith admitted it was a plan, and not a spur-of-the-moment brain fade like Shane Warne had when he took the masking agent because his mum gave it to him and not because he was taking steriods to help with his injured shoulder. No, it was a nasty calculated thing and not just stupidity like Turnbull and Warne.

But I’m a bit worried that if I start talking about the whole cricket thing, we’ll miss the wider issue here:

How can we expect those poor, persecuted South African farmers to think of us as “civilised country” any more? 

I mean, how can we give precedence to South African farmers and move them up in the queue, now that Steve Smith has been so evil as to cheat in a cricket game. Surely they won’t want to come to our country such as ours and we’ll have to give their places to the people who’ve been waiting patiently in the queue that those coming by boat are trying to jump. As John Howard said, “We will decide who’s in the queue and the manner in which they come.” It’s got nothing to do with the colour of their skin. As the special treatment for certain people showed, it’s all to do with the colour of their money.

I mean, what Steve Smith did was the most outrageous thing we’ve heard about for years. After all, it was a cricket game. And it was a test match. It’s not one of these johnny come lately 20/20 affairs. This is a serious breach of all the ethics that all the cricket playing countries – the civlised ones – hold dear.

Yes, yes, I know that some of you non-believers don’t understand the importance of what’s happened and in your blasphemous way, you’d rather concentrate on the sale of the Tesla battery in South Australia or the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef or the 29th losing Newspoll in row (must be rigged – how could Malcolm not be adored as the second son of Mary?)!

But, ffs, this is about cricket. And it’s certainly worth all the media attention at the moment.

Even if the AFL did start this week, we should ignore that to talk about this…

Some things are more important than sport.

 

What’s Sauce For The Gander Is A Golden Egg For The Goose!

Good Morning, I have with me a spokesman for the Prime Minister, Dr Apollo Gist, Good morning Dr Gist.

Good morning

Now, you seem to be making some progress on the company tax cuts with Pauline Hanson’s party…

Yes, business leaders wrote to the senators and explained that if they got a tax cut, they’d invest in Australia and there’d be more jobs which, of course, would lead to wages growth, and Senator Hanson clapped her hands and said that it really, really helped.

But hasn’t your party been arguing that higher wages would stunt jobs growth?

Yes, but that was in a completely different argument so it’s of no relevance here.

Surely, you can’t have it both ways?

Well that’s the sort of socialist thinking we’ve come from the ABC. In capitalist system there’s no reason why a person has to restrict himself to one way and it’s always been our philosophy that people should be allowed to have as many ways as they want…

Hang on, I’m not from the ABC. And we’re talking about advancing a contradictory position not how many “ways” a person is allowed. It’s hardly socialist to point out that you can’t argue one thing, one moment and then change it just because it suits you.

Why not? This is really typical of the political correctness that’s stopping free speech in this country. We should be allowed to say what we like. 

Unless, of course, you’re a public servant or someone who’s worked on Manus or Nauru.

Naturally. We can’t have people jeopadising our national security by wandering around blurting out classified information.

How does it jeopardise our national security? 

I can’t tell you that, it’s classified.

Speaking of contradictions, given the outrage from the PM and others about the loss of income from Labor’s proposed removal of the cash back for franking credits when people have no taxable income…

With good reason, some of these people have incomes of less than $18,000 a year and Bill Shorten is proposing double taxation. 

Hang on, it’s there taxable income that’s less than $18,000, but that’s only because income from Superannuation isn’t taxed if you’re over sixty.

Yes, but why should they be taxed anything. They’ve spent all their working lives putting money into Superannuation so that they could avoid tax and now just because some of them are lucky enough to be earning a tad more than you or I, those socialists in the Labor Party want to rob them with this double taxation!

How is it double taxation?

Well, the company’s already paid the tax and now Shorten wants them to pay it again. 

No, the way it works is the company pays the tax, then the government gives people who can’t claim the rebate because they don’t earn enough taxable income a cash payment which means that not only isn’t it doubly taxed, it’s not taxed at all.

You must be confused…And I think that I can do just that by using the few examples where it is unfair and using words like dividend imputations and franking credits and…

Anyway, the point I was going to make is that while the government is raising so much fuss about these people losing money, aren’t they concerned about how these people will react to the company tax cuts?

What’s that got to do with this?

Well, the franking credits are based on the company tax rate. If it goes down, then they’ll lose five percent of their cash back.

So? They’ve got plenty of money. 

But weren’t you just saying how much they needed it? 

Like I said before, that was a completely different argument. You’re just trying to take me out of context… Besides, when companies get a tax cut, while they may lose out in terms of higher dividends.

But haven’t businesses told Pauline Hanson that they’ll use the cut to pay higher wages, how can they do both? I mean, it’s not a magic pudding, is it?

If you’ll allow me to finish…

I wasn’t aware that I’d interrupted you.

I said, “If you’ll allow me to finish…”

Yes?

That’s it! I want to be allowed to finish and not have to answer any more of your silly questions. 

Oh, ok. Thank you.

No, thank you. 

 

Birmingham Compares Catholic Education To Judas; By Implication Suggesting That The Government Is God…

Now, as someone who’s taught in public schools, I was all set to join in the politics of envy and condemn Bill Shorten for offering to restore funding to the Catholic system.

Yes, I know that some politician out there is going to argue that schools don’t really need any more funding because a good teacher can teach anyone under any conditions. Of course, it could be similarly argued that a good politician could pass legislation in a tin shed, so do we really need Parliament and all its offices. This question, of course, could be posed to almost any other occupation, so even if you’re a coal miner, don’t say that money doesn’t help education or I’ll ask why you actually need expensive equipment when picks and shovels were good enough in the nineteenth century.

The Catholic Education system has been arguing that they’ve been short-changed under Gonski 2.0, so when Bill offered them a quarter of a billion dollars, I was all set to rant on about how the whole problem with education funding is that politicians keep promising sectional interests and that the whole idea of Gonski was “needs-based” funding which – if administered properly – would surely benefit the poorest schools in the Catholic system.

But, as always, just when I’m ready to give Labor a serve, some Coalition fruitcake opens his (or her, just in case it’s one of the one or two women still allowed to speak) mouth and leaves feeling as though to start criticising Labor would be a bit like a policeman arguing that he failed to catch a serial killer he was pursuing because he had to stop and write out a ticket to someone for jay-walking.

So, what on earth was Simon Birmingham thinking when he suggested that Catholic Education Melbourne had been “bought by a few pieces of silver”…

Let’s think about this for a second. There’s the obvious comparison to Judas betraying Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. If Catholic Education are Judas, is Birmingham wanting us to infer that he’s Jesus? And that Malcom is God? Ok, while it may be true that when someone says that it’s a nice day to Turnbull, he replies, “Thank you!”, there is no actual evidence of anyone in any Australian political party being God. (The United States is another story because they have a completely different idea on what constitutes evidence!)

And even if we dismiss the idea that Birmingham meant to imply the notion of divinity in his side of politics, there’s still the question of who he thought the comment would appeal to. The parents of the children in Catholic schools? Labor voters? The Greens?

Let’s be clear. It’s not even likely to draw applause from Tony and Barnaby. Apart from his party’s rusted on supporters, there’s almost nobody who’d think, “Those greedy bastards. Surely they should have kicked Shorten out and told him that they were more than happy with the cuts that the Liberals had announced and that Shorten wouldn’t be welcome no matter how much he offered!”

So politically, it wasn’t a very bright move. But more than that, it takes a very special person to criticise someone for being a traitor for not sticking with you after all you haven’t done for them. It’d be like a company complaining when you take a job where someone is actually going to pay you when they’re prepared to continue your unpaid internship into 2019.

Why on earth would Simon think that Catholic Education owes his government anything? But that’s the trouble with the current mob. They think that everyone should be grateful because they’re not the Labor Party.

Why should we be grateful for that? Well, if Labor were in power they’d have doubled our debt by now. Isn’t the debt doubled? Yes, but we did it in a fiscally responsible way; Labor would have wasted it on things like the NBN, Health and Education. We’re spending it on submarines and planes and tanks and guns and these are really good things because they have not only value, but flashing lights.

sigh<

I guess I’ll have to wait till later when Bill’s PM before I end up spending time pointing out his foibles…

There’s No Joker In The Way The Cards Fell In Batman!

The trouble is – I’ve often remarked – is that we only get one vote. Ok, ok, preferential voting means that we can vote for one candidate that we think is unlikely to win, safe in the knowledge that our vote will be counted if it’s a close contest between two of the others. This isn’t really getting a second vote. This is like a presidential election where they vote once and then have a run-off between the top two candidates; the difference is that we record what our vote would be in the event of a run-off so we don’t have to waste our time going back a couple of weeks later.

So when I have a choice between someone who wants to open a nuclear waste dump in my suburb but who opposes expanding our coal-fired power stations and someone who’s totally opposed to the waste dump because he thinks that coal is the way of the future, you can probably understand why I’m not happy to vote for either of them. Neither am I happy to write obscenities on my ballot paper because – on a certain level – I want to vote AGAINST both of them.

Now it’s interesting to consider the washup from the Batman by-election. The general consensus was that the Liberals had pulled a master stroke by not fielding a candidate, because then their preferences wouldn’t help elect Labor. Of course, it never occured to them that their supporters might just vote Labor anyhow. And it certainly never occured to them that they may have been really able to Kill Bill by running a candidate who preferenced The Greens.

But, like I said, we only get one vote. And one chance to run a candidate. Strangely, while all the talk was about how The Greens hadn’t done as well as the previous election, nobody pointed out that the Liberals support was down 100%!

Of course, Richard Di Natale quickly decided to put the blame on the leakers which is an interesting strategy. “No,” he seems to be saying, “it’s nothing to do with what we did. It’s all the fault of those disloyal people who aren’t supporting me and if I just had unquestioned support then we could’ve make sure that Labor couldn’t go ahead with their Adani mine.”

This sounds fine until one considers that wedging Labor on Adani actually suits the Liberals. Shorten has ruled out using government money to finance the loan and no sane lending institution wants to throw its money away, so that only leaves two ways for the mine to go ahead. If the Federal Government uses our money in the hope that the mine will employ a handful of people leading up to the federal election OR Adani decides to waste his own money on a project that makes no commercial sense.

By blaming the “traitors” who leaked a report that they were trying to cover up, Di Natale also deflects attention away from the fact that he tried to make capital out of Bill Shorten’s announcement on the cash refund for franking credits.

Let’s be quite clear here. There may need to be some tweaking to the policy to ensure that it doesn’t hit people who only own a handful of shares. Notwithstandng that, some of the complaints are patently absurd.

A letter in the paper today complained about the “double taxation” when the money wasn’t refunded. Of course, this is nonsense. When you have a situation where the company pays the tax and you’re taxed on it again when it’s added to your income, that’s double taxation. When the company pays the tax and you get the tax refunded to you because you’re below the tax-free threshold, that means that the income isn’t taxed at all.

Of course, one interesting point in all the crocodile tears that we’re hearing from the conservative side of politics is the effect of the company tax cuts. The franking credit is thrity percent because that’s the company tax rate. We didn’t hear any howls of outrage about how these people couldn’t afford to lose that five percent from their cash rebate. And we certainly didn’t hear any concern about suggestions that we may need to follow Trump and reduce it all the way down to fifteen percent.

Yes, it’s true. These people may get higher dividends. But that’s not guaranteed. After all, it’s the Coalition who are suggesting that these tax cuts will lead to more investment. The company executives will have the choice to use the extra money to pay higher dividends, to give themselves bonuses, or to invest in other companies.

They might even lend it to Adani.

Shorten’s New Class War!

Yep, I was mightily confused when I saw the headline today:

“SHORTEN’S NEW CLASS WAR!” it blared.

And I really wished that the sub-editor was around so I could ask him when the old class war ended. Surely you can’t have a new war when you haven’t called off the old one.

Of course, the Liberals were a lot more restrained. Scott Morrison accused Labor of “stealing” from retirees…

Before I go on, I guess that should make sure you all understand what’s actually being proposed by Labor.

Ok, companies pay tax. No, really. Some of them actually do. Anyway, the theory goes that if the dividends from any shares you own have already paid tax, then you get a tax credit so that you’re not taxed on this income twiced. I won’t go into all the detail about fully franked and partially franked shares, because it’s enough for you to grasp what’s being proposed by Labor if you grasp the concept that the franking is simply a way of stopping the money being taxed both as income made by the company in which you own shares, and by you personally, as income tax.

While some rabid socialists may tell you that any income earned by companies should be confiscated and distributed to the Society for the Promotion of Non-Trotskyist Communist Thought In Schools, the average person in the street would see that taxing the same income twice is a little unfair.

Whatever your feelings on this concept, however, Labor aren’t proposing to get rid of franking. Under John Howard, people who were earning an income below the tax-free threshold, could convert their franking credits and receive a cash refund from the government. While this is similar in concept, there’s an important difference, and the best way to understand it is to look at how negative gearing works.

You buy a property (or shares) with the idea of producing an income. However, in most cases, when you borrow money to buy a property, the interest you pay on your loan will be more than the income you receive from your investment. Because you are making a loss, you can claim this loss against the rest of your income. Why this is a good investment plan for some people is that they can claim the loss against a high income, but as time goes on, the difference in interest in rental income and interest becomes smaller and eventually the property is positively geared. Not only that, but there’s a capital gain which doesn’t get taxed until one sells.

The important thing to realise with negative gearing is that there’s not much point in doing it if you’re not on a high rate of tax. And, there’s no point in doing it, if you’re paying no tax, because the government doesn’t give you a cash refund for the money you’ve lost. In that case, if you don’t pay tax and you’ve negative geared properties or shares, it’s just bad luck. In other words, it’s completely different to the franking cash refund for people who own shares and pay next to no tax.

Now, some would argue that this is a bit of an anomaly and why should people in similar situations be treated differently. They are not being taxed twice as the Liberals want us to believe. They’re being taxed once. They just don’t have the sort of income to offset the franking credit, like someone with an investment property.

So who would own shares and not be getting a big enough income. Ok, Nanna might miss out on twenty bucks a year from her hundred Telstra shares, but if you add a couple of thousand dollars to the aged pension with the billions you save from the cash back scheme, she should be no worse off. It’s the people with the self-managed super schemes who’ll be most likely to be hit, and given that these people are arranging their affairs to minimise their tax, then who could have a problem with ensuring that they haven’t taken advantage of the system to pay almost none at all?

Well, obviously the Liberal Party could. See, according to them, this is stealing from retirees. I was waiting for an interviewer to ask Scottie if he was going to report the Labor Party to the police and have them charged with theft.

Yep, Mr Morrison was in Michaelia Cash-like form. He was complaining that Labor already planned to tax everybody and that they were the party of high tax and they couldn’t get their spending under control and just when we’ve got the Budget back into… well, anyway, just when we’ve got the Budget back into a position where we can give away $25 billion to multinationals and add $200 billion to Defence, why we can even give an extra couple of billion to schools… Just when we’ve done all the hard work, Labor will come along and tax all these people and so they can spend on things that aren’t Defence related.

I hadn’t seen a performance like his since Barnaby told us about the $100 lamb roasts and we were being asked to say good-bye to Whyalla. It was almost like when Labor proposed asking people to keep a log book to prove that their leased cars were actually being used for work.

That, we were warned, would mean the end of the auto industry in Australia. How fortunate that the Liberals got in, and we had to wait an extra year or so.

Malcolm And The Art Of The Selfie…

Now sometimes I’m a bit slow…

I mention this because what I’m about to write may seem terribly obvious to some of you and you’ll be going, “Yeah, so what!”

But I feel that I must post, in a spirit of full disclosure.

Ok, that’s my mea culpa, so if what I’m saying seems like I’m suddenly realising what everybody in Australia already knew, well, just call me Barnaby make me Deputy PM…

What? He’s no longer Deputy PM? What? Next you’ll be telling me that another National Party figure fathered Vikki Campion’s child? What? Barnaby already suggested that when he said that she was working in Queensland while he was overseas? Queensland? Does that mean the child will be foreign? Gees… Like I said I am a bit slow.

Anyway… Being a fairly charismatic sort of chap, there have been times that people have wanted a selfie with me. Generally, I oblige. I’m an obliging sort of chap. So I always felt like I was being a bit harsh by calling Malcolm the Minister for Selfies, because well, if I was at many public events then I’m sure that I might have lots and lots of people going, “Rossleigh! Hey, it’s Rossleigh, can we get a selfie?”

Ok, I thought that’s just vain. Most people wouldn’t recognise me and surely I wouldn’t get as many people asking me for a selfie as the PM.

And then it hit me…

Yes, yes, I know. I said that I’m a bit slow.

In every selfie of the PM, he’s the one taking the photo…

To be fair to myself, when he’s standing next to his good friend Donald or Cher or somebody who doesn’t make the cultural cringe seem quite as obvious, then the fact that he’s the one taking the selfie doesn’t make him like quite as pathetic.

However, when he’s standing next to some worker in a high viz vest or some kid who’s said, “Sure, you can take a selfie with me for ten bucks… Who are you again?”, then it just accentuates the fact that nobody seems to be asking Malcolm to be in their photo.

Who knows? If I followed the PM around, I may find as many people asking me to be in their selfies as the PM does. Certainly I can’t recall any photos of anyone saying, “Look who’s in my Instagram feed! Apparently he’s the Prime Minister and he let me take a photo of the two of us together.”

So, I wonder how it goes when he’s at those important events with important people like the President of the United States or Taylor Swift or the Pope or Kim Kardashian, and he says, “Hang on, can I take a selfie? Just so I can tell all my friends back home that I actually met you. God, this is awesome. I’ve always wanted to meet you… There…Thanks.”

Yep, it’s not quite as pathetic as wearing a T-Shirt saying “I’m PM of Australia and you can take a selfie with me – just ask.”

At least, I don’t think it is… But like I said, I’m a bit slow sometimes.

“Ignore The Rubbish And Parliament Starts To Look Better” Says Vanstone In Summing Up Her Party’s Attitude To Just About Everything!

Politics has become the art of making your opponent look bad. Of course, this gives Labor a distinct advantage because the Coalition have managed to do it all by themselves on a number of occasions in the recent past. From trying to tell us that the best person to lead the country was Tony Abbott to the latest fiasco involving Barnaby Joyce. (By this I mean his suggestion that he may not be the actual father, so any comparison between him and Darth Vader were ridiculous because he was doing the right thing and giving the kid a mother and a father, so there’s no inconsistency with his position during the marriage equality debate,)

I was all set to be totally misunderstood by talking about the signs I saw while passing through Preston on Saturday. Underneath signs for The Greens, I saw plenty of “Stop Labor’s Adani Mine”. Why the mine is Labor’s I couldn’t work out. It seemed a bit ingenuous to be putting all the blame on Labor. If there’d been a Liberal running in the seat, would it still have been Labor’s mine, or would there have been some acknowledgement that Labor is the only major party expressing doubts about the mine going ahead? And while the Liberals and the mainstream media are trying to get you to believe that Labor is saying one thing in Queensland and another thing in Victoria, Bill Shorten has actually been fairly consistent: The mine shouldn’t go ahead if it doesn’t stack up commercially or environmentally, but we may not be able to reverse that when we get into government because contracts may have been signed and approvals have already been given. You may not agree with his position but it has been consistent.

Anyway, I was all set to write about Adani again and point out that the only way that it’s likely to go ahead is if the federal government lends them the money, but then I read Amanda Vanstone’s column. (By the way, Adani have recently extended their self-imposed March deadline for getting finance.) Reading Amanda’s column was a bit of an accident. I didn’t see the by-line and I was halfway through before I asked myself, “What nuph-nuph has written this?”

Vanstone had the interesting view that really things we just fine and it was the 24 hour news cycle that led to people clicking on the rubbish and ignoring the more substantial policy announcements. See, it’s not really a politician’s fault, nor even a journalist, it’s all the rault of you and me for being more interested in Barnaby’s member than the announcement of another new stadium in a marginal electorate.

In the midst of her attempt to argue that politicians score highly, but we, unfortunately, have a tendency to focus on their own goals, she told us: ” Then Cher comes along to Mardi Gras and tweets with the guy who actually delivered same-sex marriage and lefty activists mobilise on Twitter.”

By “the guy who actually delivered same-sex marriage”, she meant Malcolm Turnbull. To argue that we should be thanking him is akin to suggesting that really it was Tony who first suggested the plebiscite, so really Mal was just following on Tony’s good work. And given that it was the Coalition that insisted on holding a vote – which some of them ignored anyway – I don’t see how Malcolm did anything more than delay the process.

But it’s a bit like the tariff situation in the US. Our steel and aluminium didn’t have them, then there was the suggestion that we might get them, then Turnbull talks to Trump and Trump agrees to do what he promised last year and we’re all really happy at the great outcome. It’s a bit like someone threatening to throw a brick through your window and after you have a bit of a chat, he agrees not to and you go around telling everybody what a great relationship you have because, well, he’s not going to launch an unprovoked assault on you, and the rumours that you had to agree to drive the getaway car if he throws a brick through some other guy’s window are just not true.

And so with marriage equality. After leading the party who held it up, Vanstone wants us to be grateful that Mr Turnbull and company stopped holding it up and let Parliament vote on it, but only after spending money on a postal survey. And guess what? The postal survey didn’t cost as much as predicted so that’s another thing we should be thankful for…

Vanstone finishes off by asserting:

“I think our Parliament does a pretty good job. We are just lemmings to the swill trough of rubbish that masquerades as news. And then we say we’ve lost faith. Cut the rubbish out, seek the substance and you might have a brighter view.”

The interesting thing, however, in her entire column she chooses to write about examples of the “rubbish” and doesn’t give a single example of these things of substance. I guess that’s why she tells us to “seek” them ourselves.

Turnbull So Successful In Selling Trump The TPP That Trump Announces Tariffs A Week Later!

So, after talking about the “grey area” concerning the fatherhood of the unborn spawn because he had to respond to rumours, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Shamed walked out of a news conference today, because he was asked to respond to his own comments from yesterday.

The only rational explanation for the behaviour of the ex-Deputy PM – yesterday and today – would be that it’s a deliberate ploy to distract from the latest Newspoll or the news that Trump is slapping a tariff on steel and aluminium. That explanation, however, quickly falls apart when one considers two important facts. First, there’s no way that BJ would want to do Malcolm a favour. More importantly, it would be a mistake to look for rational explanations where the Honourable Member is concerned.

So Malcolm woke up to the news that he leads Bill Shorten as preferred PM by a margin of just two percent. Given there are very few times when an Opposition leader has actually been preferred PM, this is an incredibly bad result for poor Malcolm. Even Tony Abbott was forced to forgo his “no sniping” commitment and remind everyone that Malcolm was quite likely to beat the record of 30 losing Newspolls in a row. Now, I’m not sure if Mr Abbott was implying that we need to protect him from such a fate by choosing a new PM, or whether it was just an idle remark given to us in case there’s a question about which Liberal leader lost the most consecutive Newpolls at the next trivia night.

Still, you have to feel sorry for Malcolm. Apart from getting a selfie with Cher at the Sydney Mardi Gras, not much has gone right for him.

Just a couple of weeks ago, when he was lecturing us about morals and not sleeping with your staff, he was in control and seemed to be actually capable of making a decision. He was so masterful that Peter Dutton mistook him for Bill Shorten. Dutton, you may have noticed, complained about being lectured on morals by Bill. Unfortunately, Malcolm was the only one who’d chosen to stray into the area of who it was permissible to bonk; Shorten had merely been questioning the lack of process in moving Ms Campion from office to office and the possible misuse of taxpayer money.

And then, his stirring performance in the US, standing shoulder to shoulder with the great Donald Trump, where the word “mateship” was used in a way that made it seem like Donald actually knew who Malcolm was. Turnbull, we were later told, hadn’t managed to turn the T-Rump around on the TPP, but he’d extracted assurances that we were a special little country and he just loved us to bits and, yes, we could have a special deal on trade, and by the way, would we like to go on a cruise with our mate through the South China Sea.

So, it’s a bit of an embarrassment that so soon after the very successful US mission, that Donald announces the 25% tariff on steel and the 10% on aluminium. I mean, it’s almost like the POTUS heard Turnbull’s arguments on free trade and went, “Right! That’s it. If this idiot thinks free trade is a good idea then it’s time for a trade war.”

Apparently, it’s unclear whether Australia will receive an exemption, but signs are that it isn’t likely. Even though our Trade Minister, Steve Ciobo rang his US counterpart, he couldn’t get an answer because Trump had only just made the decision so nobody had had time to think about it… including the President himself.

President Trump seems to think that no country should have a trade surplus with the United States, which is a pretty strange way of looking at the world. I mean, if every country argued that, then world trade would be pretty difficult. And I know some of you may not see that as a bad thing. However, given the USA has a powerful economic position because countries trade with it and because – in almost every case – trade deals end up favouring the USA, then anything that reduces trade is likely to hurt the rich in America. And when I say “hurt” I mean, they won’t make quite as much in profit as they otherwise would have.

So this move from Trump could see some of his supporters suddenly deciding that he clearly must have colluded with Russia because anything which stops them making money must be the work of a “commie” who needs to be impeached.

Will Malcolm outlast Donald? Will the Liberals call an election before the stock markets crash so that Labor is in charge during a difficult economic time? Will “Married At First Sight” be replaced by a show about politicians and their staff members? Will Peter Dutton use his powers to have Border Force take both Turnbull supporters and the Labor Party into custody under our anti-terror laws, paving the way for a relatively trouble-free election?

These and other questions may be answered over the coming weeks. But probably not by Malcolm Turnbull. And certainly not by Barnaby who will only be scheduling press conferences to ask them to respect his privacy.

 

 

 

Barnaby Speculates About His Private Life In Public!

Just when you thought that Barnaby had been consigned to the back bench and we could all concentrate on things that matter, Mr Joyce reminds once again while you can sometimes keep a good man down, you certainly can’t keep an ex-leader out of the news.

Now, I suspect that some of you thought that Barnaby would have had enough of being front-page news and that he’d be looking forward to spending some quiet time with his tea towel and new partner. You’d think he’d take the time to paint the nursery, pick out which toys he’d like to see thrown from the cot and decide the colour of the dummy which he’d proudly teach Barnaby Junior to spit.

Alas, no!

It seems that the colour of the nursery is to be grey because that bastion of family values…

Is bastion the right word there? Bast… something. Anyway…

It seems that Mr Joyce has told “The Sydney Morning Herald” that the child’s biological father was “a bit of a grey area”, a revelation which must fill all of us – including Vikki Campion, the child’s mother – with a great sense of relief.

Mr Joyce makes a salient point when he chides “The Daily Telegraph” for assuming that he was, in fact, the father without checking. However, from there I find both my sense of what’s an appropriate comment to make and my knowledge of the facts of life differing from the Honorable Mr Joyce.

To quote “The SMH” directly:

‘Mr Joyce conceded that the fact they were physically apart for almost all of the critical period in which conception occurred, meant the question of paternity remained “a bit of a grey area”.’

Now, my understanding of biology suggests that if they were physically apart during the critical period of conception then there’s no chance that he’s the father unless by insemination. However, even if Mr Joyce was travelling in Europe and Ms Campion was in Queensland for part of the time when conception may have occured, and even if he was acting PM in early July with “close personal protection body guards”, neither of these things mean that the happy couple spent no time together, and as Billy Bragg told us: “the time it takes to make a baby can be the time it makes to make a cup of tea”! Unless the “close personal protection body guards” also doubled as a condom, there’s no reason why an acting Prime Minister couldn’t decide that, rather than make a cup of tea, he’d find some other way to fill in the time which led to the creation of a little bundle of Joyce.

Apart from this, there remains the strange comment about the question of paternity being a “bit of a grey area”. Let’s just remember there’s been a bit of a discussion about staying out of politician’s private lives and, in the strange case of Barnaby Button, we were told that it was opening a can of worms if we were to go down that path. Now that he’d lost the leadership, you would have thought that Mr Joyce would be content to leave his worm in the can.

But Barnaby, now unconstrained on the back bench, feels that he must inform us that he may not be the father. Why he wants us to know this, I have no idea. I would have thought of all the things you’d want to keep private, it’d be the fact that you may not be the child’s real father and I don’t mean that from a political point of view. I mean, would you really want your child being told at some time in the future that your father had speculated in the paper that he may not be your actual parent? Ok, ok, I know that in the case of Barnaby’s son, it could be a great relief, but still it does seem a strange thing to put out there.

Is he trying to tell us that Ms Campion was having relations with other people as well as himself? Nothing wrong with that, of course, given they weren’t in a committed relationship with each other.  But it does help justify his argument that she wasn’t his partner at the time she was being employed in the offices of other members. See, I wasn’t lying, can I have the leadership back?

And, while many people would be happy to admit that they’d had more than one sexual partner around the time of their child’s conception to their friends, there aren’t so many that would be happy to broadcast this fact to the wider population in a newspaper interview, if only because it may make Auntie Doreen’s questions at Christmas lunch a little more uncomfortable than usual.

Or is he trying to suggest that the child may have been an immaculate conception and that he is the modern day Joseph, step-dad of the Second Coming. And speaking of second comings, I expect to be Deputy PM again now that I’ve cleared up this idea that I’m fathering a child to a ex-member of my staff. 

Whatever, whether he meant to or not, the poor kid now has the terrible prospect that if he doesn’t look like Barnaby, it will lead to speculation about who the real father is, with Michaelia Cash threatening to repeat rumours even though she doesn’t believe them.

An even worse prospect for the unfortunate child is that he does look like Mr Joyce.

 

Turnbull Solves Bullying By Writing To Every School Principal And Telling Them It Shouldn’t Be Happening!

You’ve got to hand it to people who’ve worked their way to the top in private industry…

Well, you don’t really have to do that, because if you don’t hand it to them, they’ll find some way to take it anyway…

But I digress. I was interested to see that Malcolm has decided to solve bullying in schools the same way he solved the energy “crisis”. You tell them that you’re in charge and that you’d like them to fix it. And if they don’t fix it, you’ll be cross.

That seemed to me to be the NEG in a nutshell. You remember the NEG? The National Energy Guarantee? Turnbull told us that he’d called all the parties together and after a jolly good lunch, he’s informed them that they better ensure that we have cheap, reliable energy sometime after the next election, or else. Now, I don’t know about the rest of you but when my mother said: “Or else!”, I was never game to find out what “or else” meant so I expect that the people sucking millions of dollars out of the system would be the same sort of men I was when I was a child. No, not greedy and spoilt. Geez. I meant, easily intimidated by an authority figure!

Whatever, I don’t understand energy or I’d have more of it, and I’d go to the gym at least once in my life.

I’m not concerned with the NEG at the moment, I’m more intrigued by the idea that Malcolm thinks that writing to the school principals about bullying is a good idea. I mean, does he imagine a scenario like this?

Principal (to his or her staff, after receiving the letter) – Fellow educators, I just received a letter from our illustrious leader. He thinks it would be a good idea if we made an effort to stop bullying.

Teacher 1 – Wow, what a great idea!

Teacher 2 – Yes, I never thought of doing anything about that poor boy who was being kicked by the older boys. I just thought it could be a learning experience for him. 

Principal – Not just that, but he wants to stop online bullying too.

Teacher 2 – How does he want us to to tackle that?

Principal – He’s got that all solved with the NBN. By the time, the nasty comments have uploaded, the child will be a grown-up and less vulnerable to the bullying. 

Teacher 3 – So are we getting extra training or support on how to do this?

Principal – Of course not. Surely now that you’ve been told to stop kids bullying other kids that should be enough.

Teacher 3 – Yes, of course, silly me. Just Malcolm saying it should be enough.

Teacher 4 – There’s something I don’t understand though.

Principal – Yes?

Teacher 4 – Well, given the fact that Turnbull thinks Michaelia Cash was justified in threatening to repeat rumours because she was being bullied by Doug Cameron, why doesn’t he just write to Bill Shorten and ask him to stop it.

Principal – Now, now, that’s asking me to make a political statement and we all know that principals are just here to make miracles happen when politicians decide that they should.

Teacher 4 – Oh yes, silly me. So it’s an assembly tomorrow where we tell the kids that henceforth, there’ll be no bullying. 

Principal – Not just that. I’ll be reading Mr Turnbull’s letter to them. That should be more than enough. I really don’t know why we haven’t thought of stopping bullying before. Thank goodness we have a man like Turnbull to show us the way!

Mm, yeah… Well, I could be wrong, but I think that the money spent on postage could have been better spent somehow…

Unless the idea is to improve Australia Post’s profit before selling it off.

Michaelia Cash Threatens To Repeat Rumours Then Apologises Because She Can’t Remember Which Ones Her Office Started!

Now let’s get something clear here: I have never slept with Bill Shorten. Neither have I had sex with him.

So, it’s with a clear conscience that I can say that I’d rather be in bed with The Greens than Bill, but that’s only because I’ve heard that he has bad breath. Mind you, I’ve also heard that Malcolm loses interest in the middle of… sorry, what was that again, I was just looking at the view out the window, and yes, someone else will catch me up later… meetings. I haven’t heard what he’s like at sex because neither Lucy nor Donald are talking.

Of course, there’s a lot of talk in Canberra about who’s in bed with whom. However, usually it’s to do with political allegiances and not simply gossip.

And, apparently, there’s been a number of apologies lately and not just because of the repeating of rumours. Michaelia apologised about repeating rumours about Bill Shorten… apparently she wasn’t aware that the focus groups told the Liberals that the idea that anyone would find Bill attractive only boosted his profile. A Labor senator called Cash a shrill fishwife and was later forced to apologise to fishwives everywhere because there’s no recorded occasion where anyone was as shrill as Michaelia Tony Abbott, once again, apologised that he wasn’t Prime Minister because everything was just fine when he was there, steadying the ship. Malcolm Turnbull apologised because he couldn’t bend over backwards when meeting with Donald in the US because that made it hard to take the selfie.

Whatever…

It’s good to see that there’s a focus on the policies that matter, and that we can forget about the limiting the free speech of charities to criticise government policy or the abuses of human rights happening on Nauru and Manus.

I’m sure that the great defender of free speech, Andrew Nut, will be having a front page about it any day now.

Sorry, I meant to say,: Andrew Bolt. I always got my nuts and bolts mixed up. It’s why I never followed in my brothers’ footsteps and became a mechanic.

Anyway, I guess if just apologise there’ll be no problem. It seems to work for the Liberal Party…

But then a lot of things are easier when you have Cash!

Amanda Vanstone Makes Strange Bedfellows!

Ok, just recently I was wondering about how The Greens were placing memes on social media pointing out how much more ideological sound they were, when compared to Labor. While I understand that they feel themselves locked in a battle for the hearts and minds of the inner-city, latte-sipping, chardonnay swilling pseudo-socialist voter. Oh, all right, forget the hearts and minds stuff. It’s a battle for seats.

Now, I don’t want to take sides here. And not just because I sipped my chardonnay in between paragraphs. I used to think of The Greens as a sensible party. What I mean by that is that Liberal and Labor are locked in a struggle for power. While the Liberals have almost no moral compass (Ok, I know, I know. There is the odd exception who refuses to abandon his or her principles, such as Malcolm Turnbull who promised he’d never lead a party who wasn’t prepared to do something about climate change and ever since he become PM, he’s refused to show any leadership), Labor has always had a struggle between the pragmatists and the idealists. The pragmatists argue that it’s only by winning government that we can accomplish anything so ditching some of our principles may be worth it because we can achieve the really important parts of our policy, while the idealists argue that the pragmatists have no idea about what’s really important because they just agreed to sell out most of the… hey, why is the NSW right moving a gag motion and telling me to shut up in the interests of unity?

The Greens, on the other hand, used to understand that they’d never be in government so it was all about achieving the odd victory here and there. You know the sort of thing, we stopped the Franklin being dammed, even if it meant Bob Brown being damned. And, as someone who’ll never actually be ruler of the universe, I see trying to achieve the odd thing here and there, as sensible. Once one starts to think that power is anything more than mounting a tiger, then one is doomed. After all, the hard thing about riding a tiger isn’t mounting it, it’s the way you realise that hanging on is everything because once you stop riding it, you’re dead!

So when I started seeing memes pointing out that they were so much better than Labor on a number of issues, I had to start wondering if they’d joined the main game. Vote for us, because we’re not them. Now, I’m not trying to launch into an anti-Green diatribe here, but it did worry me because it was exactly the sort of political argument that the Liberals have indulged in.

And, as a latte-sipper who’s not quite inner-city enough to simply applaud anyone who complains about the imperfections of the world, I must say, I was wondering if they’d lost their way a bit. I don’t blame them for trying to win. Good luck to them in Batman, I say.

It’s just that it seemed to me that by attacking Labor – and by Labor attacking them – that the left is cannibalising itself. As I’ve said many, many times in the last two years, Adani isn’t going ahead. The Greens can ask Labor to condemn it, but Labor knows that’s not necessary and that fence-sitting stops them from being attacked by the Coalition for being anti-jobs. Pragmatic, I know, but that’s what parties who expect to win government are like.

Ok, no political party is perfect. But, as someone who isn’t part of any political party, I can’t help but think about the result I want to see. And, for me, the result isn’t the result of the election but what happens after. You know the sort of thing. I was glad that the Franklin wasn’t dammed. Or damned. But that was because everyone who wasn’t some Murdoch misled moron combined for a result.

So, having said all that, I had to wonder about Amanda Vanstone’s column in the paper today where she suggested that voting for independents didn’t achieve anything. She went on to say that minor parties weren’t much better.

I couldn’t help but wonder. Doesn’t she know that her party didn’t stand a candidate in Batman to help ensure that Labor would lose? Doesn’t she realise that they deliberately chose a strategy where there was no downside for the Liberals and that only Labor could be embarrassed? And yet, she advised people not to vote for anyone except a major party. And given there’s no Liberal candidate in Batman, that may be taken by some Liberal supporters in the electorate as an endorsement of Labor.

Strange bedfellows, indeed! She might as well have suggested writing “No Dams” on your ballot paper!

Barnaby Outdone By Selfish American Students Putting Their Own Lives Ahead Of People’s Right To Slaughter.

Ok, while many of you see Barnaby Joyce as an example of idiocy triumphing over competence… and that’s just in the battle of his own thoughts in the race to his mouth…

Oh, now I’ve lost my train of thought… maybe I, too, could be one of the leaders of the free world…

Anyway, Barnaby took leave from his leave to do an interview about how hard done-by he was. These were his main complaints:

  • He and his partner have been forced out of their rent-free house by some sort of witch hunt because everyone should have the choice of paying rent or not.
  • Vikki Campion didn’t earn $190,000 as reported. She earned a mere $135,000 and she had the pay slips to prove it. See, she was on a pittance.
  • People were refering to his unborn child in the “third person”.

Now, I may have missed something here but I thought that one usually referred to others in the third person. First person = “I”, Second person = “You”, and Third Person “He, She or They”.

But hey, if Barnaby wants me to refer to his unborn child as “me” or “you”, I’m happy to oblige. Although I can’t see him being too happy when I say something like I hope Barnaby’s changing my nappy and not leaving it all to Vikki. (In the interests of good taste, I refrained from talking about the birth here!)

Anyway, I thought that the Barnaby Joyce interview was going to be the silliest thing I read all day, but then I read about those silly students who want to put their personal lives ahead of a person’s right to own an arsenal of weapons. Don’t they understand that only politicians have a right to a personal life?

Here in Australia we don’t fully appreciate the deep connection some Americans have with their guns. For some, there’d be no point to life if you don’t own enough assault rifles and automatic weapons to take out an entire generation if they started to displease you. And these silly, selfish kids who never had to fight a losing war in some Asian or Middle-Eastern country, want the right to be safe in school.

Bloody hell. I mean, this safe schools concept is causing trouble everywhere.

Anyway, President Trump has the answer: Give teachers guns!

Now, before some of you get carried away. No, it’s not to ensure everyone does their homework or to prevent talking in class, however appealing that might be to Kevin Donnelly. It’s for when there’s a school massacre taking place. And let’s face it: In the USA there are enough school shootings for this to be a reasonable plan in terms of cost spent on guns for teachers versus cost spent on mental health.

Ok, there are some practical considerations. Like old Mrs Gray who – even though she still loves teaching and can inspire a love of Shakespeare sonnets with the best of them – is a bit slow on the draw and may have to be pensioned off. But still that should create openings for a few ex-marines who’ve had trouble finding work since because of their

PTSD after their tour of duty in Iraq. Ok, they may be a little jumpy and when Benny in the back row reaches for his phone, he may be shot by mistake… But hey, don’t we all want to keep phones out of schools?

And it does, of course, mean that any sane gunman planning a school massacre should always take out the teacher with the first shot. Followed, naturally, by anyone close enough to reach the teacher’s gun.

And yes, there is the question about automatic weapons. If there’s not going to be a ban on high-powered, rapid action weapons, doesn’t that mean that arming teachers with a piddly little pistol puts them at a disadvantage? Surely, nothing less than a rocket launcher will do for teachers.

Whatever, I think these things can be ironed out. It’s good to know that Trump has an excellent plan.

We can forget all about the United States and just worry about things in Australia. Yep, that’s where I expect that Barnaby is feeling all warm because he’ll have had a week’s leave where he’s had time to be feeling the kicks from…

Knowing how upset he was about us referring to his unborn child in the third person, I’m unsure how to complete that sentence. Should I say “the kicks from you” or “the kicks from me”?

 

 

 

 

Tony Mansplains Why Malcolm Shouldn’t Malsplain In Public!

In what must be the first time in a number of days, Tony Abbott was openly critcical of the Prime Minister in an interview last week. Mr Abbott thought that Malcolm Turnbull’s public admonishing of Barnaby Joyce was a poor way to handle things, telling us:

‘I am just not going to get into any details about personalities or specifics, but certainly as a general rule one party doesn’t give another party public advice.

‘That’s the general rule that I observed.’

Of course, by party Mr Abbott was, of course, only refering to the Coalition partners because – as we’re all aware – he sees no problem in giving Labor, The Greens or any other political party the benefit of the full suppository of his wisdom.

While he insisted that it was best that, instead of calling a press conference or blurting out a criticism in an interview, it was better to pick up the phone or have a face-to-face meeting to express one’s concerns, apparently, this does not apply to ex-PMs giving current PMs advice on not giving public advice.

Yes, nobody thought to ask Tones, if criticisms should be kept private, why did he not follow his own advice and call Malcolm directly?

Tony, of couse, may have had a number of reasons.

  1. Malcolm never listens to advice from anyone so it would be pointless.
  2. Malcolm won’t take phone calls from Tony.
  3. Tony knows that hypocrisy is so common that it’s rare that anyone is criticised for it, so this was another great chance to bag Malcolm, thereby reminding people that there was a much better PM recently.

While all three reasons are valid reason three is probably the most likely to have been uppermost in Mr Abbott’s mind. After all, he did go on to remind us: “There was a perfectly good code of conduct in place. I thought the code of conduct as it stands it was a good code of conduct.”

In other words, there was nothing wrong with bonking a member of your own staff. The code was just fine, and it was only the fact that Barnaby stuck to his religous beliefs about sex being only for procreation that meant that his (non)partner became pregnant and papers were reporting on it that there was a problem, because, hey, the papers never reported on anything like that when he was PM …

And, I have to agree with Mr Abbott. There’s nothing wrong with sex between consenting adults. It’s only when they’re of the same sex and want to marry that it demeans the sancticty of marriage and therefore creates a problem. If only Natalie Joyce had been a little more understanding of the nature of marriage and the importance of children having both a mother AND a father, then she wouldn’t have booted Barnaby and she’d still be considered his partner and Ms Campion could have been given any job by Mr Joyce and there’d have been no breach of the pefectly good guidelines for ministerial conduct that existed when we had a PM who knew that some things are better said in private.

You know, things like I’m really disappointed that you couldn’t keep it in your pants, but let’s stay together for the good of everyone and pretend that nothing’s wrong and that you haven’t behaved appallingly. (I am referring to the Coalition parties here, and not any other individual parties!)

To which, Barnaby could have replied that he has a right to his own happiness, and that Malcolm doesn’t understand him, but yes, he does agree, it would be better to pretend that they’re still together and that there’s no problem. After all, this isn’t about ourselves we have others to think about. We need to stay together for the good of the Company Tax Cuts. We need to consider Rupert and Gina, how would they cope if we argue in front of them? We don’t want to force them to take sides.

And Malcolm couldn nod sagely.

Yes, it’s a shame that Tony didn’t think to bring the two together and give them the benefit of all his weeks of experience in being our country’s leader.

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