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Budget 2019

What Budget?

Here’s The Breakdown: if the Liberals win the election then the budget will be valid (more or less) for a year. If Labor wins, the budget will have a life of six weeks.

The clincher will be how well the Liberals sell it over and how much capital they have lost with in-fighting.

The hilarity will be if Labor is elected and they miss out on sci=oring a surplus. Again.

The last Labor surplus was in 1989. When Jason Donovan had one of the highest-selling records (only a link, sorry, you have to really want it to see it).

It’s hard to feel sorry for the ‘victim’

Not good that he is alleged to have stolen money, but who accepts a blank cheque? A casino, that’s who:

The Star Gold Coast is chasing a $43 million debt from a Singapore-based high roller who flew out of the country and cancelled a blank cheque casino bosses were holding as collateral.

Wong Yew Choy jetted into the Gold Coast in late July last year and spent five days playing baccarat at the recently revamped casino at Broadbeach.

The ABC understands Mr Wong handed over a cheque which would cover any potential losses during his stay.

Those losses quickly racked up, with the gambler losing the equivalent of $8.6 million for each day he spent on the Gold Coast.

How much Islamophobia actually an inside job?

This isn’t the way the narrative is meant to run:

A Melbourne jury has been told three men facing terrorism charges over the burning down of a Shia mosque in Melbourne’s northern suburbs in December 2016 returned to the centre several times the day after the fire to “rejoice”.

Ahmed Mohamed, Abdullah Chaarani and Hatim Moukhaiber have pleaded not guilty to engaging in a terrorist attack.

In the early hours of December 11, 2016 the Imam Ali Islamic Centre in Fawkner was set on fire, causing $1.5 million in damage.

They are accused of trying to intimidate the centre’s members, who are Shia Muslims.

The men followed an extreme Sunni version of Islam supported by the Islamic State terrorist group, the court was told.

Oh. That’s inconvenient.

Wow! Conservative values make for a better life!

Who knew? Well, we did, of course.

Can avoiding a handful of socially harmful activities virtually guarantee someone will not live in poverty? Social scientists in the United States said they have found the secret, and a new report from Canada has found it also applies across the northern border.

The “success sequence” began with Isabel V. Sawhill and Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution, who found that meeting a few criteria greatly reduced the likelihood of a family living in poverty: finish high school, work full time, wait until age 21 to get married, and do not have children outside wedlock. Rick Santorum became fond of repeating these conditions during the 2012 presidential primaries, and they passed into broader use.

How racist is Trump?

In January we mentioned the importance of Trump’s work in criminal justice; in particular, the impact it will have in the black community.

This has the potential to recast the Republican Party as the party that helps blacks (and other minorities) escape the pernicious cycle or incarceration.

The policy’s future advocates are now leaving prison:

Catherine Toney began February in prison and ended the month with a job at Walmart after White House adviser Jared Kushner called the Arkansas-based retailer on her behalf.

Toney, 55, is believed to be the first woman freed by the FIRST STEP Act, which President Trump signed in December. She was released Feb. 1 after serving 16 years, benefiting from the law’s retroactive crack cocaine sentence reductions.

Toney will join Trump on Monday for an event celebrating the criminal justice reform law, his first major bipartisan policy achievement. Other recently released inmates were invited to attend.

Read the whole thing at The Washington Examiner.

Rates of incarceration by race are frightening:

At the end of 2016, federal and state prisons in the United States held about 486,900 inmates who were black and 439,800 who were white – a difference of 47,100, according to BJS. In 2009, by comparison, there were 584,800 blacks and 490,000 whites – a difference of 94,800. (This analysis counts only inmates sentenced to more than a year.) The decline in the black-white gap between 2009 and 2016 was driven by a 17% decrease in the number of black inmates during that span, which outpaced a 10% decrease in the number of white inmates.

Wayne Newton (b 1942)

If we’re talking Wayne Newton, we’re only talking one song … and the version we all remember, with the bonus of Twist and Shout at the end.