The great waste of time, effort and words. I think I need to devise a new warning system to accompany any future comment I make about every promise a politician makes.

Something like: Certain lie; Probable lie; Potential lie; Probably true; Almost Certainly true. We have now gone from the core and non-core promises of a John Howard to the straight out ignoring promises of a Julia Gillard.

It makes you laugh to consider all the thousands of words that journalists and other pundits use every election campaign to analyse political party policies. Meaningless, the lot of them.

The stupidity of opinion polls.  I mean, how can anyone take them seriously? The same day and Morgan gives us two different versions of public opinion — one from interviews conducted face to face and the other from interviews over the telephone.

One says Labor is leading 51% to 49% on a two party preferred basis while the other says it is Labor 47% to the Coalition’s 53%. Forget the lot of them until election day approaches.

Assange should now cop it sweet. Whatever you might think about Sweden, it is a democratic country with an established and well functioning rule of law. With a British court now having determined that the Swedish request for the extradition of Julian Assange was lawful then the time has come to let that law take its course. The fact that we might not like that law or that it is different to what would apply in some other country is surely irrelevant.

When we choose to visit another country we accept that the hose country’s laws will apply to us. And as for thinking that Sweden would allow Julia Assange to be shipped out to Guantanamo — or that Barack Obama would allow his government to even try to do so — that is just ridiculous.

Oscars indicators. The Oscar ballot boxes will be opened on Sunday and the general expectation is that The King’s Speech will be voted best film. The Crikey Indicator gives it a 76% chance of success with The Social Network the second pick.

Surprisingly the director of The King’s Speech, Tom Hooper, is not favourite to win the best director award.

Indicators for other other Oscar elections are on Crikey’s The Stump blog.

Legal defeats for a government better news than victories. Only just over half of Americans, US opinion polls indicate, realise that the changes to health care that were passed through Congress last year are still the law. Some 22% told the pollster that it has been repealed and is no longer the law with another 26% being in the don’t know category.

In an attempt to explain the confusion, the Washington Monthly analysed how five recent court judgments — three that found the Barack Obama supported health law legal and two that said it was unconstitutional.

Those upholding the constitutionality of the health care law get very little attention, while conservative rulings against the law are literally treated as front-page news.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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