Costa left to play catch-up
Michael Costa and the NSW Labor government have suddenly found there's a lot of catching up to do on infrastructure spending, according to Alan Jones.
What will it cost us, Michael?
NSW Treasurer Michael Costa has based his 2008-09 Budget on trust. Trust in the federal Rudd Labor Government.
If you can’t sober up your own party…
If the Rudd Government is truly serious about cracking down on binge drinking, it might start with Young Labor
Calling in foreigners to take out a prime minister
What a stupid, spiteful and anti-democratic move:
A legal brief has been sent to the International Criminal Court (ICC) alleging former prime minister John Howard committed a war crime by sending troops to Iraq.
Top drug cop accused of selling police secrets
Top criminal investigator Mark Standen has been accused of handing secret Crime Commission information to an international drug syndicate.
UN food chief roasts 'overfed' West
UN food agency chief Jacques Diouf said today that billions of dollars are being wasted on feeding obese people in the West while millions starve around the world. - those obese people pay for it. - ed.
'Public sector workers will leave in droves': Unions furious at Costa's budget
It's being claimed public sector workers will leave NSW for other states, because of the state government's 2.5 per cent cap on wage rises in today's budget.
Explosion rips through WA gas plant
An explosion has ripped through an offshore gas plant which supplies 30 to 40 per cent of Western Australia's domestic gas supply.
World Youth Day 'will be a boost for sex industry'
By Sean Plambeck
THE sex industry is expected to be blessed with an increase in customers thanks to the most unlikely of sources - World Youth Day.
A report by Industry analysts IBISWorld predicted the 2008-09 financial year would see strong growth for brothels, strip clubs and prostitutes, primarily on the back of a marked increase in tourism levels to Sydney as a result of the Catholic Church's World Youth Day.
IBIS World senior industry analyst Ed Butler said the report did not suggest the 225,000 international pilgrims or clergy would be heading to brothels or strip clubs.
But the event, to be held from July 15 to 20, would also draw people from outside the church including tourists, support staff and media – and some of them would use the sex industry's services.
I'm not going anywhere, says defiant Hillary
DEMOCRATIC presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is "absolutely not" planning to concede her long campaign is over.
Parents paid to send kids to school
By Alyssa Betts
PARENTS in the Northern Territory are being paid to send their children to school in a radical move to fight rampant truancy.
It follows threats from the NT Government that negligent parents would be prosecuted, and comes as the Government prepares to launch an advertising blitz on school attendance.
Fine speech from Bardot
And in fining her, France’s speech-punishers prove her right:
FRANCE’S 1960s screen icon Brigitte Bardot has received a 15,000 euros ($24,440) fine today for inciting hatred against Muslims.
In December 2006, the film star-turned-animal rights activist wrote a letter to France’s then interior minister, current President Nicolas Sarkozy, arguing that Muslims should stun animals before slaughtering them during the Aid al-Kabir holiday.
She outraged anti-racist groups by saying: “I’ve had enough of being led by the nose by this whole population which is destroying us, (and) destroying our country by imposing their ways.’’
If free speech must be criminalised, is immigration worth the price? Or put it this way: If it’s too dangerous to even discuss, has mass immigration of this particular community gone too far?
Bardot would understand
Now if he’d complained instead about there being too many foreigners in Britain....
A British holidaymaker was awarded compensation by a court because there were too many German tourists at the hotel he booked in Greece...
Alan Wood seconds much of the above post:
The wave of resentment that erupted in Canberra after Rudd’s unsympathetic response to complaints about his demands on the public service was not against hard work. The objection is to the Prime Minister’s chaotic, disorganised work habits, with their lack of discipline, focus and follow-through on issues.
Ministerial submissions pile up on his desk, more detailed work is inevitably demanded, senior public servants are called at all hours and then, all too often, nothing happens.
Rudd is now widely perceived in Canberra as obsessed with frenetic activity as an end in itself, accompanied by a failure of organisation and focus. And his ministry is paralysed by fear of acting without the nod of approval from a tyrannical PM who wants to run every portfolio.
Rudd must grow into the Rudd he seems
THE private Kevin Rudd is smashing into the public image of Kevin Rudd, and his blood is now all over the polls.
I’ve said it for a year, but only now do more Left-leaning commentators agree there’s a potentially fatal flaw in the Prime Minister.
It’s that personality thing. Once again we find - as we did with the unstable Mark Latham - that character in politics is king. Or knave.
The public Kevin Rudd is in fact more charming than the original, as well as calmer and more self-assured.
He talks of long-term plans, is usually cool in a crisis, smiles often and exudes an intelligence no one doubts.
His pitch is spot-on: “I’m Kevin, and I’m here to help.” And this is the Kevin that until this week had approval ratings higher than any seen before.
Yet the private Kevin Rudd is rather different - actually deeply uncertain and short of big ideas.
The art of utter conformity
WANT proof our artists think in a pack, and not for themselves? Then see their reaction to the photographs of Bill Henson.
Henson is now being investigated by police for taking sexually suggestive pictures of a naked 13-year-old girl.
In the two weeks of this controversy, Henson has been damned by politicians, priests, talkback hosts, columnists and the public, in poll after poll.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd rejected his pictures as “utterly revolting” and NSW Premier Morris Iemma called them “disgusting”.
But has a single artist, a single gallery owner, a single curator, a single arts critic said the same, and demanded Henson’s photographs be withdrawn from display and sale?
Rudd’s dodgy dagwood dog
Yet more Rudd spin? This time to cover up the Energiser Bunny’s health scare?
Here’s the story as told by Rudd’s spinners:
Mr Rudd had attended the Broncos 34-22 defeat of the West Tigers at ANZ Stadium on the Saturday night, and had eaten what his adviser called “a dodgy dagwood dog”. The Prime Minister woke at about 3am with a severely upset stomach and vomiting.
Here’s the rumors as peddled by Labor staffers:
But the gossip mill in NSW Labor circles has it that Mr Rudd was felled by a minor heart attack and advised by a doctor not to keep his appointments on the Sunday. He was said to have been ashen-faced but determined to fulfil his speaking commitments at that weekend’s NSW Labor conference.
And here’s a fact that pokes a hole in Rudd’s spin:
Last night a spokesman for ANZ Stadium threw doubt on the Prime Minister’s version of events...: “We don’t serve dagwood dogs anywhere in the stadium, either in the public areas or in the corporate entertainment areas and we’ve certainly had no reports of any issues relating to the food service on that night,” the spokesman said.
I can’t say I believe the heart attack story, but I sure don’t swallow the dagwood dog, either.
Rudd chews over the menu, and settles for a party pie as the villain.
Obama wins, and McCain must worry
The inevitable has at last been conceded:
Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois sealed the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday, a historic step toward his once-improbable goal of becoming the nation’s first black president. A defeated Hillary Rodham Clinton maneuvered for the vice presidential spot on his fall ticket.
“Liar” is no way to win votes
A WAR of words between farmers and the State Government broke out yesterday over the proposed north-south pipeline after Premier John Brumby labelled them liars.
The flare-up between Mr Brumby and protesters will reinforce concerns among Labor insiders that the Premier’s personality and policies are harming the Government’s standing in rural and regional areas.
Not sorry, either. It’s Labor’s past irrationality over water supplies - banning a much-needed and cheap new dam for purely religious reasons - that has landed it in this mess, with an essentially rational premier having to defend irrational ideas. No wonder he’s short-tempered.
Warming faith defied in Parliament
Liberal MP Dennis Jensen made a fine speech in Parliament last night puncturing the global warming scare:
I have three graphs: one from the third IPCC assessment report and two from the fourth assessment report. All of the projections show an increase from the year 2000, even if the graph for carbon dioxide is held constant at year 2000 levels. I repeat: all the projections show an increase over the last decade. But what do actual measurements show? I have many charts showing the global temperature as measured by four groups, including the Hadley centre, whose data is officially used by the IPCC. This data shows that the temperature has flatlined over the last 10 years. Observation does not fit theory and yet the theory is deemed correct…
So what we have is a more and more desperate anthropogenic global warming theory supporters club who, when the data indicates that the planet has not been heating for the last 10 years and the oceans have not heated for at least the last five, tell us that global warming is happening even more quickly than the theory predicts.
What is most interesting is not that Jenson, a nuclear physicist, dare defy the warming faith with facts. It’s that you know not a single member of Parliament could contradict him with half the command of the issues and the evidence. So be sure his objections will be met not with argument but with mockery.
The only artist to damn Bill Henson
No sooner do I write this about group think, than Ivan Durrant steps forward as the only artist to damn Bill Henson:
I don’t think (Henson) should have photographed a 13-year-old girl in the nude. We can get involved in our own ego in producing something, but we also have to consider the other person and the possible repercussions. In this case it has been downloaded onto the internet and will possibly be an icon for deviates. It should be a lesson and an eye-opener.
“If you are going to produce these photographs, you have to take responsibility. A person may be damaged...
Breaking in for porridge
Tens of thousands of prisoners are opting not to apply for early release amid allegations that Britain’s prisons are now so comfortable that they are effectively “expensive bed and breakfasts"… Between 2003 and 2008, 42 individuals were detected attempting to break into prisons.