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Open thread 29 June ’09

We love having you comment here at Pure Poison but it’s a little bit difficult for discussion to continue uninterrupted on specific posts when off-topic comments land in the middle of them. So each day we’ll launch an open thread where you can leave comments that don’t quite fit on one of the other posts. Remember that tip-offs can be made here.

Have at it!

23
  • 1
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Bolt is back from his trip. Back on message about dusting off Costello, evil Rudd etc.

    One article I find interesting is his bleatings abou how muct boat people are costing us. He claims $38,000 per head.

    What I do find interesting is that the people are escaping from Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Isn’t the war over in Iraq? Whay would anyeon want to escape from a country that Bolt says is doing really well and everything is rosy?

  • 2
    confessions
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    timmy compares the House vote for bush’s iraq war with the House vote for obama’s climate change bill in some kind of suggestion the bill is crap:

    UPDATE. Not in our name! Obama’s climate change bill passed in the House: 219-212. Bush’s Iraq War Resolution passed in the House: 296-133.

    Is it just me or is this sort of rubbish now way beyond trifling and juvenile?

  • 3
    GavinM
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Well confessions, those numbers do suggest that belief in AGW is far from unanimous, indeed, it’s not really a convincing majority and looking at the links from Blair’s post, it seems even many of those who voted for the Bill are far from convinced that its a good piece of legislation.

    I’d say the filing of a 309 page amendment at 3 in the morning when no-one is around also raises questions about it.

  • 4
    bertus
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Another possibility GavinM is that members of the US House of Reps had fewer wealthy backers to offend in Iraq than they did in the American petrochemical, transport and mining industries.

    Just a thought.

  • 5
    monkeywrench
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    GavinM, why do the numbers imply that the 212 nay-sayers do not believe in AGW? A more likely scenario is that many of them are unhappy with the legislation for pure voter-popularity reasons.

  • 6
    GavinM
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Hello Bertus,

    You could be right, although I’ve always believed that the Iraq invasion received bi-partisan support in the USA because there was — at least initially — a genuine belief that Hussein had WMD’s and was complicit in the attack on the twin towers.

    I’ve also never been one to believe that everyone who is sceptical of AGW is in the pay of BigOil.

    Hi Monkey,

    I didn’t suggest that all 212 who voted no didn’t believe in AGW, but I reckon it would be reasonable to assume that at least some of them wouldn’t. Remembering to make the distinction between Global Warming and Anthropological Global Warming.

    I’m happy to stick with my statement that belief in AGW is far from unanimous.

    “….that many of them are unhappy with the legislation for pure voter-popularity reasons….”

    I’d suggest that many of the 219 who voted yes did so purely for voter-popularity and/or political reasons too.

  • 7
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Hmm having clicked through the Bolt article I mentioned earlier. Andy is being a little rubbery with his figures again. The Oz claimed the $38k per person based on spreading fixed costs as well as individual costs to each asylum seeker.

    Obviously if there are more asylum seekers the fixed costs are spread across more people and the $ per head reduces. But of course that doenst matter for Andrew does it?

  • 8
    confessions
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    GavinM: in no way should a parliamentary vote on proposed legislation be indicative of “belief” in AGW! as others have pointed out, faults in the legislation, the extent to which legislators are beholden to the oil industry for campaign funds, even those representatives whose electorates are in non-renewable industry areas all impact someone’s vote on such a matter.

    The point i was alluding to is that in no way can the vote for invading Iraq (in the emotion-charged wake of 9/11) be compared with something like an ETS. furthermore, by trying to paint the close vote as some kind of indication that AGW is not occuring is just desperate. Tim never argues on the science like bolt does – he always tries it on with ridiculous analogies: OMG AL GORE IS FAT!!1!, it’s raining RIGHT NOW therefore we aren’t in drought, OMG WAXMAN IS UGLY!!1!, and other stupid juvenile arguments. this is just the latest.

  • 9
    GavinM
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    “GavinM: in no way should a parliamentary vote on proposed legislation be indicative of “belief” in AGW! ”

    confessions please, are you trying to tell me that politicians never follow their personal beliefs when they vote for a piece of legislation ?

    Of course other factors can influence their votes I never suggested otherwise, what I said – (and I wouldn’t have thought this was too controversial) – was that it is reasonable to assume that at least some of the 212 who voted against this legislation did so because they are non-AGW believers, therefore its also reasonable to assume that belief in AGW amongst US senators is not unanimous.

    As to Tim Blair’s views on AGW I agree with you, his opinions seem rather vacuous, I suppose its probably because he has less of a grasp of the science than Bolt does – not that I’m suggesting that Bolt has any great knowledge either.

  • 10
    RobJ
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    “confessions please, are you trying to tell me that politicians never follow their personal beliefs when they vote for a piece of legislation ? ”

    Peter Garrett! Either that or he was just lying when he was an advocate for Green policies.

  • 11
    confessions
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    are you trying to tell me that politicians never follow their personal beliefs when they vote for a piece of legislation ?

    no, my comment was specific to this particular legislation as opposed to the iraq war bill that was put to the house in the emotion-charged wake of 9/11 – using the vote for the iraq war bill to somehow suggest that AGW is not occurring as tim has done is simplistic and childish.

    but now you mention pollies voting with their personal beliefs, my view is that most pollies will tailor their ‘personal beliefs’ to suit either what they think the prevailing mood of the electorate is, or toe the party line as per Peter Garrett when voting on legislation. In my view it is a rare breed of politician that genuinely votes according to his/her conscience or personal beliefs, especially where they might run contrary to public sentiment or party political line.

  • 12
    GavinM
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    “Peter Garrett! Either that or he was just lying when he was an advocate for Green policies.”

    Peter Garrett I think still leans pretty heavily towards his Green roots, clearly he’s had to temper his language and at least publicly support the party line but who knows how much negotiating goes on behind closed doors in party room meetings ?

    Bob Brown
    Barnaby Joyce
    Steve Fielding
    The Republican Senators that crossed the floor to vote for Obama’s ETS scheme. (I’m assuming they would only have done so if they believed in the scheme).

    Wether we agree with them or not these are just a few politicians off the top of my head that I believe have voted according to personal beliefs…I’m sure there are many more.

    “In my view it is a rare breed of politician that genuinely votes according to his/her conscience or personal beliefs,”

    I think you’ll find that most polticians will vote according to their beliefs if they feel strongly enough about the issue – the abortion pill is an example that springs to mind immediately.

  • 13
    RobJ
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    “Peter Garrett I think still leans pretty heavily towards his Green roots,”

    He’s pro Uranium mining! He came to Victoria to campaign in the State Election for Labor (not a green fucking bone in their body) against the Greens. Rarely have we seen such a complete sell out, if you’re Green you don’t campaign against the Greens, you do if you’re a dishonest sell-out prick maybe.

    ” think you’ll find that most polticians”…..will sell their own grandmother for a vote!

  • 14
    confessions
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    the abortion pill is an example that springs to mind immediately.

    actually that’s a bad example because politicians were allowed to do a conscience vote on the issue, freeing them up from having to vote along party lines. And i would still contend that there would of been some politicians who voted against the abortion pill, not because they were personally against it, but because they may have feared political blowback if their vote was made public.

    Incidentally the US is different from australia where congressmen and women are entirely free to vote according to their own personal/electorate circumstances. in australia our pollies almost always vote along party lines, rare exceptions being where they’re allowed conscience votes on subjects, and where individuals crossing the floor has no bearing on the overall vote outcome their party wanted in any case. And of course independents.

  • 15
    GavinM
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    “And i would still contend that there would of been some politicians who voted against the abortion pill not because they were personally against it, but because they may have feared political blowback if their vote was made public.’

    I agree confessions, but I also would contend that many would have voted for it because they believed it was the correct thing to do, hence I think its quite an apt example. The Liberals in particular could still have voted against it regardless of what they believed in order to show party solidarity with Abbott.

    I’m not so sure that Garrett supports uranium mining Rob, and it seems Kevin Rudd doesn’t believe he does either :

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/garrett-to-play-ball-on-uranium-says-rudd/2007/04/29/1177787951187.html

    As for him campaigning for Labour against the Greens, what else would you expect him to do as a Labour Party member ?

  • 16
    RobJ
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    “As for him campaigning for Labour against the Greens, what else would you expect him to do as a Labour Party member ?

    Why is he a Labor party MINISTER if he’s a Green? I wouldn’t expect a true Green to even contemplate becoming an Environment Minister for a party that doesn’t espouse Green policy. Maybe he thought he could turn Labor Green? What an idiot!

    From your link:

    “The federal opposition’s environment spokesman Peter Garrett is a team player and will now promote the party’s stance on uranium mining despite his well-known opposition, the opposition leader Kevin Rudd says.”

    He’s a sellout, he proves confessions point that politicians do not follow their own beliefs.

  • 17
    GavinM
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    “Why is he a Labor party MINISTER if he’s a Green?”

    He’s not a Green any longer though is he — he’s a Labor Minister, therefore he campaigns for the Labor Party.

    I suppose he joined Labor because he decided the Greens aren’t likely to gain power in his lifetime and thought he’d be able to have some influence in a major party — I don’t know, you’d have to ask him that question.

    He possibly is a sell out — but I don’t think he alone proves confessions’ point, he’s just one politician. Her contention is that “most” politicians don’t follow their beliefs when they vote on issues, I think if they truly believe in an issue they’ll vote accordingly, or at least voice their opinion in the party room, perhaps I’m just naive ;)

    Actually I reckon confessions’ point about the USA’s system is worth noting “….congressmen and women are entirely free to vote according to their own personal/electorate circumstances….”, it’s one thing about their system that I like and its a pity we don’t really have a similar thing here.

  • 18
    RobJ
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    “He’s not a Green any longer though is he ”

    Heh, exactly, he’s a sell out, he doesn’t believe what he used to, he’s a man lacking principles.

    “I suppose he joined Labor because he decided the Greens aren’t likely to gain power in his lifetime and thought he’d be able to have some influence in a major party”

    I imagine that’s exactly what he thought, but he was wrong, he’s a piss weak minister who does as he’s told, not what he believes, if he was a man of principle he’d quit.

    “it’s one thing about their system that I like and its a pity we don’t really have a similar thing here.”

    I agree, if I had my way i’d ban political parties, admitedly nothing would get done ;)

    “Her contention is that “most” politicians don’t follow their beliefs when they vote on issues”

    I’d agree but I have a cynical view of politicians (and cops ;) ), whilst some may start with good intentions it seems once they get their snouts in the trough all they worry about is re-election, fuck the long term, fuck the big problems (like we burn too much coal) let’s worry about maintaining our power and superannuation!

  • 19
    GavinM
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Hello confessions,

    As another couple of examples of politicians voting according to their beliefs, several opposition pollies crossed the floor to vote in favour of Rudd’s alcopops tax and some did the same to vote for the amendment to the bill which removed the requirement for asylum seekers to pay for their own detention costs.

  • 20
    GavinM
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    “I agree, if I had my way i’d ban political parties, admitedly nothing would get done’

    That’s an interesting thought Rob, go back to the Ancient Greek method of democracy perhaps…It seemed to work ok for them, at least for a while anyway.

    I must admit, I do share your cynicism towards politicians, (and some coppers at least too), but I’d like to think that sometimes they vote on principle and not just on party or vote-catching lines.

  • 21
    RobJ
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Well if the party line aligns with their principles, it’s bound to happen occassionaly. :)

  • 22
    confessions
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    GavinM @ 19: yes they did, but like i said before them crossing the floor had no bearing on the overall vote their party wanted to convey (which was to support alcopops). If their crossing the floor would of meant the coalition voting against the alcopops again, i’d bet they wouldn’t have done it.

  • 23
    GavinM
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    ” If their crossing the floor would of meant the coalition voting against the alcopops again, i’d bet they wouldn’t have done it.”

    You could be right, I guess we’ll never know, so in the meantime I’ll stick to my naive belief that there can perhaps be a skerrick of honour in everyone — even politicians…

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