The Aged Care Minister’s funny friend. Russell Egan Junior, a pal of deposed Queensland Liberal Party powerbroker and Minister for Ageing Santo Santoro, has boasted on a blog of hitting the ‘jackpot” after scoring 94 taxpayer funded bed licenses for a yet-to-be built nursing home on the Gold Coast, the Courier Mail reports. Egan says the 94 bed licences are a “massive asset to receive from taxpayers… I hit the jackpot with my block of land. Keep in mind that these places can be on sold on the free market for up to $40,000 each.” Yet The Courier Mail hasn’t fully explained how close Egan is Santoro. He was one of Santoro’s failed candidates for the party’s vice-presidency and, thanks to Santo, still sits on management committee in an unelected position. Handily, he’s also a key Santoro fundraiser. Senior Liberals are saying his position is now untenable and in the best interests of the party he should step down. And while the post in question has been pulled from the blog, thanks to the marvels of caching you can take a dekko here.

You can fight City Hall. Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman’s closest political confidantes are jumping ship as his political woes worsen. As Newman struggles with his road tunnel projects, two of his senior personal political staff are playing it smart and getting out before it gets too hot. Financial policy advisor Victoria Miller and business advisor, chief political fund raiser and business advisor Greg Bowden won’t be returning to work after the Christmas break. More, we hear, are considering their options.

Wet cat country. NSW Labor blogger Naomi Parry, noted for her claim that Premier Morris Iemma had “the charisma of a wet cat” is still active and still hoping that retiring Blue Mountains MP Bob Debus will steer his seat her way. Debus is looking towards Canberra – and with the redrawn boundaries the futures of current Liberal MP for Macquarie, Government Whip Kerry Bartlett, independent MP for Calare Peter Andren and Labor wannabe and National Union of Workers Mark Ptolemy are all looking interesting. There’s even some talk Ptolemy will be put up against Howard talisman Jackie Kelly.

Democracy, Chavez style. Hugo Chavez, the latest love of the latte left from Leichhardt to the London Lord Mayor’s office, has been formally sworn in as President of Venezuela. “Chavez had always said that with his new term in office, beginning on 10 January, the socialist revolution would start in earnest,” the BBC reports. He has announced he plans to merge all his coalition partners into a single party, warned he will not renew an opposition TV channel’s licence nationalise key businesses, declared himself a Trotskyist and cited the ideas of Marx and Lenin. He also plans to grant himself the power to rule by decree. In other words, he doesn’t give a sh-t about democracy and freedom. Once again, our latte left just can’t help themselves. Once again, they’re creaming their jeans over yet another tin pot dictator. They’ve decided he’s OK – because he hates the USA.

Peter Fray

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