March 27, 2004


"I know what argument is more likely to resonate with Australian voters," writes Sydney Morning Herald sourboy Alan Ramsey. That’s a big call, especially from someone who doesn’t know birdflesh from plastic or Christmas from Thanksgiving.

Ramsey also writes of "the angst in Washington, where Bush - in an election year going as badly for him as it is for Howard in this country - is under immense pressure on the economy as well as over his Administration's deceit and dissembling over the invasion of Iraq, the supposed war on terrorism and the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington of 2001."

Wonder if Ramsey is up for a bet on Bush’s re-election?

UPDATE. Professor Bunyip probes Alan Ramsey and his SMH cellmate Mike Carlton. Go read it!

Posted by Tim Blair at March 27, 2004 01:27 AM

Clarke says on page 127 (?) of his book AQ might have been involved in Oklahoma City.

Absorb that. Ponder that. Turn it over in your brain.

Then check out Jayna Davis and Lauie Mylroie.

Posted by: Sandy P. at March 27, 2004 at 03:18 AM

I'm always amused by people who think they can take the temperature of Washington - FROM THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY - and come to those conclusions by reading their own domestic press - written - yes - THOUSANDS OF....

Posted by: Joe at March 27, 2004 at 03:26 AM

Hey I really don't think things are going all that badly for Bush but what the hell do I know? I am just an American who lives, works, pays taxes, and votes in America.

And if there is a connection between AlQaida and OKC then I fail to understand how Clarke could have said that Clinton was on top of things when he obviously spent all his energies blaming that on other Americans.

Posted by: Terrye at March 27, 2004 at 04:14 AM

Things are going so badly for Bush, he's ahead in the polls..

Posted by: shark at March 27, 2004 at 04:25 AM

Just imagine if things were going well for Bush...

Posted by: david at March 27, 2004 at 05:04 AM

It's all that smooth-talking John F'n Kerry. He has slickly positioned himself as the overwhelming favorite of international leaders, a thing greatly desired by the average American citizen. Plus, did you know he served a whole 4 months out of a year term in Vietnam? This man of the people uses his silver tongue to beguile his compatriots from the vantage of one of his 5 multi-million dollar homes, and they are, I can tell you, _entranced_ with his rhetorical brilliance.

Bush, that tongue-tied village idiot is done. What chance has he against the combined wit, wisdom, and humility of John F'n Kerry? (Don't forget he served in Vietnam and received massive, er debilitating, uh minor wounds, ahhh ouchies or boo-boos then.) Bush is history.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at March 27, 2004 at 05:18 AM

This is amazing. There must be some kind of international conspiracy that includes Alan Ramsey because wherever you go there are people JUST LIKE HIM who say the exact same things. Facts, logic or reason be damned, they stick to the party line, which has me convinced is being written in France. Or some other God-awful place...

Posted by: gary at March 27, 2004 at 06:02 AM

Keep in mind people, Ramsey was spruiking heavily for those well-known PMs in waiting, Kim Beazley Jnr and Simon Crean (son of Frank).

(Why does the left only concerned about political dynasties when they are of the opposite side?)

Posted by: Quentin George at March 27, 2004 at 06:38 AM

Bush is history

Definatley. He'll go down as the first Bush to serve two terms.


Posted by: Quentin George at March 27, 2004 at 06:53 AM

But maybe not the last.

Posted by: Jeb at March 27, 2004 at 07:25 AM

I read this 'Ramses' people in papers and make Drago VER MAD! Why do he's have to lie? GRR! Drago will have to KICKBOX 'Ramses'!

Posted by: Drago at March 27, 2004 at 10:29 AM

Unlike former President Clinton, who says he never inhaled while smoking pot, Ramsey sounds like he did inhale.

And it REALLY sounds like Ramsey hasn't stopped inhaling since. There must be some really potent stuff grown down there. Or someone spiked his stash with LSD.

Posted by: JeffS at March 27, 2004 at 03:08 PM

There was a time when I found Ramsey interesting - putting to one side his misery-guts, all politicians are bastards view, he still came up with some interesting stories.

Lately I think he's simply lost the plot. Today's article, where he glossed over the differences between Rudd and Latham was just pathetic.

I also remember about this time last year he made a bold prediction that John Howard would retire by end 2003 - gee he's been silent on that forecast hasn't he?

Perhaps someone can dig it up and post his prognostication here, as well as send it to him for updated comment?


Posted by: Tom at March 27, 2004 at 08:49 PM

Someone earlier remarked on the absurdity of the Canberra press gallery pundits spouting forth on the mood in America. Precisely. When was the last time Alan Ramsey spent more than five minutes outside of his hole above the Senate actually talking to real people in real places. Has Ramsey been to the United States recently? Ever? And what about his gallery colleagues? Do they ever venture outside the Canberra-Sydney-Batemans Bay triangle to observe what goes in the rest of the world outside of their chaperoned trips when the PM travels overseas? Rarely, I bet. At least writers like Peter Hartcher, Rowan Callick and Paul Kelly have been to places and met some of the people they write about from afar. Which, unsurprisingly, makes their reporting all that better informed ...

Posted by: Mike at March 28, 2004 at 05:22 AM

Good Lord, Clarke is claiming an AQ link to Oklahoma City?!?!?!!!?

Too bad he didn't pass this intelligence to the FBI before McVey was, wait, he probably claims his report was returned for spelling errors. Guess his spell checker was down.

I'll have to read book, but I am NOT buying it. I'll lift it from the next left winger I find.

And I'll see my doctor about a temporary tranquilizer subscription so I can read it without having an aneurism. Bourbon would not be sedative enough.

Posted by: JeffS at March 28, 2004 at 02:34 PM