A wonderful morning for Liberals and Nationals. Two police investigations confirmed on the same day into scandals bedeviling Julia Gillard’s Labor Government. The Federal police, at long last. are having a look at the expenses claims of the side-lined House of Representatives Speaker Peter Slipper. The New South Wales police have finally got around to raiding a branch office of the Health Services Union to look for evidence that will put the former ALP national president Michael Williamson under the investigatory spotlight.

For Tony Abbott and his team the circumstances could hardly be better. And made even more so because police investigations take time — time that will help the stench reach even further into the public consciousness. Scandals take months and months to seep through and the Opposition, with their new found police aid, will have until the end of winter to help these current ones along.

The growing anti-Labor sentiment reflected in recent public opinion polls is sure to be just the beginning. Worse is to come.

The dam has burst. The leadership speculation has broken forth in a flood. The media last night and this morning is full of it and it will not go away until Julia Gillard does.Next week’s budget will be reviewed entirely through the prism of how long it will help the Prime Minister for if it helps her at all.

My guess? Not at all.

One thing that’s going right. While the rhetoric continues about staying the course in Afghanistan the retreat in defeat is now well under way. President Barack Obama’s trip to Kabul to sign a “strategic partnership agreement” with President Hamid Karzai is a major step in getting ride of a political negative not only for him but for Australian Labor as well.

A quote for the day on the uselessness of face-to-face debates

“Think about it: you approach what is, in the end, a somewhat technical subject in a format in which no data can be presented, in which there’s no opportunity to check facts …. So people react based on their prejudices.

Tales of historical debates in which one side supposedly won big — like the Huxley-Wilberforce debate on evolution — are, in general, after-the-fact storytelling; the reality is that that kind of smackdown, like Perry Mason-type confessions in court, almost never happens.”

— Paul Krugman after confronting Republican candidate Ron Paul in a televised debate.

Some news and views noted along the way.