Thursday, May 14, 2009

Headlines Thursday 14th May 2009

I'm sorry but she was willing: Matthew Johns
Rugby League personality Matthew Johns admits he was not aware of the distress the caused to the woman at the centre of the New Zealand sex scandal but still insists she was a willing participant. - A bit like Rudd calling himself an economic conservative, now we have an idiot saying he was a member of a coalition of the willing. - ed.

Rudd threatens early double dissolution election
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd won't rule out an early election using a double dissolution trigger, saying he needs to protect the integrity of the budget. - good if he can find some. - ed.

Scientists find man-flu a symptom of weaker male immune system
A new study has revealed the dreaded man-flu is not a figment of male imagination but proof that they are actually the weaker sex. - apparently Matthew Johns is proof of THAT - ed.

Symonds has a week to impress
Andrew Symonds has one week and a handful of Indian Premier League games to force his way into the Ashes squad.

Financial system is starting to "heal": Tim Geithner
US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says the financial system "is starting to heal" as a result of massive efforts to rescue banks and steady the housing market.
=== Observations ===
So Now What?
Greta Van Susteren
The controversy is big and looks like it is going to get more explosive for many reasons — the ACLU is saying the President is not being transparent as promised (see headline below and click to read article) ...others say it will endanger troops…bottom line: Some of the pics are already out... will there be more? and now what? What do YOU think? [...]
=== Comments ===
Sorcerers make words disappear
Piers Akerman
PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd and Treasurer Wayne Swan have lost a word. They can no longer bring themselves to utter “billion”. - I looked at a word cloud of a Rudd speech recently, and was interested in following how it changed with a subsequent speech. The first speech had been before he decided to push back his environmental plan to kill business. The latter speech radically reduced the size of words suggesting immediate action. More interesting is the little known fact that Rudd visualizes his speeches in terms of word clouds. As for the budget, as I’ve written before, the ALP now owe Australia a debt they will never repay. - ed.
===
These numbers are just dreams
Andrew Bolt
Terry McCrann says the Treasury forecasts - so optimistic - are guaranteed to be wrong:

The effect of all this is to produce a much lower deficit in the projection years than would normally be the case.
===
Rudd’s UN ambitions become clearer
Andrew Bolt
Greg Sheridan says Kevin Rudd has outgrown Australia and is already planning his next move - to be secretary general of the UN:

Rudd enjoys a good reputation on the international stage. He can’t become pope because he’s not a Catholic and he has a wife and kids. And he can’t become president of the US because he wasn’t born there (although there is talk of a constitutional amendment...). I think it’s clear that the only possible career move that makes sense from the Lodge is to UN headquarters on New York’s East River.

You heard it here first.

Actually, you didn’t. I’ve been saying the same thing - and often - from as far back as last June.

Nothing else explains Rudd’s bizarre campaign for support in Africa, his manic hunt for a UN Security Council seat, his repeated calls to current UN chief Ban Ki Moon, his sacrificing of Australia’s interests to the UN’s global warming ambitions, his frantic travel, his plans for instantly redundant international fora and more.

And then there’s the factor Sheridan doesn’t consider - Rudd’s character.
===
“Safe” people were dead
Andrew Bolt
This revelation from the royal commission into Victoria’s Black Saturday fires is hard to believe, and impossible to excuse:

Emergency services commissioner Bruce Esplin said “unfortunate and wrong” updates were issued on February 7, including advice that everyone was safe in Marysville, where 34 people died after the town was wiped out… Situation reports issued by his office at 8am and 5pm on February 8 advised that everyone in Marysville was safe and gathered at a park inside the town.

UPDATE

This excuse didn’t sound very good, either - for either man:

However, he said he was in the towns of Wandong and Whittlesea with Premier John Brumby that day and was not in the office.
===
Warming bill - doing less of what’s not needed
Andrew Bolt
Even the most eager of warming Democrats are watering down their plans to cut gases - even before their haggling with the rest of Congress begins:

House Democratic leaders are scaling back plans to curb global warming and make the transition to cleaner energy in the hopes that they can get a bill passed this year.

Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., announced Tuesday evening the outlines of a deal that they said would ensure the legislation will please both environmental and industry groups and have the support of moderate Democrats on the House Energy Committee…

The bill - the American Clean Energy and Security Act - would place a limit on heat-trapping gases for the first time and reduce fossil fuel use by boosting energy efficiency and requiring more electricity to be produced from renewable sources…

Initially, the bill called for electricity producers to generate 25 percent of their power from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2025. That target has been lowered to 15 percent by 2020, with as much as 5 percent coming from improvements in energy efficiency.

The deal also makes more modest cuts in greenhouse gases. The draft unveiled in March called for a 20 percent reduction by 2020 in the emissions blamed for global warming. The version that will be unveiled later this week will call for a 17 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2020.

Meanwhile, the planet keeps cooling… - I think mother nature is doing her best to take the heat out of the issue. Cooler heads will prevail. - ed.
===
Star hypocrites of the warming faith
Andrew Bolt
Oprah Winfrey is very concerned about global warming:

“I believe that everybody should see [An Inconvenient Truth],” Oprah says.

Oprah gets a pal onto her show to preach about saving the planet:

Former Vice President Al Gore delivers the sobering news about a threat to our civilization’s future.

Oprah suggests he show folks how to save the planet in one little trip:
Take a trip to the hardware store with Al Gore to see what you can do to stop global warming.

But when Oprah makes her own little trip, all that global warming preaching is suddenly forgotten as she climbs up the stairs to her private Bombardier. Said she this week:

It’s great to have a private jet. Anyone that tells you that having your own private jet isn’t great is lying to you.

All of which proves what fools people were to name Al Gore and Oprah among the most influential of preachers on global warming:

Former US vice-president and recent environmental celebrity Al Gore has topped the list of most influential people to champion the cause of global warming in a 47-country Internet survey conducted by The Nielsen Company and Oxford University.

Over a quarter of Australian consumers (28%) picked Al Gore as the most influential spokesperson to champion the global warming debate (compared to 18% globally), ahead of talk show megastar Oprah Winfrey (23%) and PR stuntman Richard Branson (20%).

Oh, and Sir Richard Brazen’s latest effort for the global warming cause?

Australia’s most famous environmentalist, Tim Flannery, has lent his name to a scheme by the world’s most infamous self-publicist, Richard Branson, to burn untold tonnes of greenhouse gases so rich people can become space tourists. Flannery yesterday defended his new role as an “environmental consultant” to Branson’s Virgin Galactic venture, which aims to sell space trips to civilians.

Truly, global warming is the first major religion to be led entirely by shameless sinners, attended by assorted hypocrites and carpetbaggers.
===
Sexted to death
Andrew Bolt
Such betrayals are now becoming so common that I suspect the next generation may be scared into prudery by the new technology:

The family of a Sycamore High student who hanged herself after nude pictures she took on her cell phone were disseminated without her permission is suing the school, the city of Montgomery and several students they believe are involved.
===
Joe Biden’s Graduation Gaffe
By Michael Goodwin
College commencements are typically exuberant events, but Vice President Biden’s embellishment habit hit a new dimension during his Sunday address at Syracuse University, where he earned his law degree.

“Imagine a country where within a very short time, 20 percent of all our energy comes from renewable, clean sources of energy,” Biden said in an “imagine” refrain that included the following: “Imagine a country where our carbon footprint shrinks to virtually nothing.”

Actually, it’s easy to imagine a zero carbon footprint because there is a word that describes the moment it happens: Death.
===
Insulting Presidents
By Bill O'Reilly
Over the past 13 years of doing "The Factor," I have attended a few of these presidential press dinners, and I always think: What is the point of these things?

It's great for the media. We get to strut around and look like big-shots, hobnobbing with the swells, eating and drinking for free. But just about every year, inappropriate things happen, largely driven by the hired help.

Whether you like them or not, presidents are entitled to respect. Loyal Americans understand the office of the presidency is far bigger than the person actually in the Oval Office. So understanding that, it is hard to believe that this controversial dinner stuff actually happens time and time again.

Here's Don Imus on President Clinton:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DON IMUS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: And we all heard the president in his obvious excitement holler, "Go, baby." I remember commenting at the time, "I bet that's not the first time he's said that." Remember the Astroturf in the pickup?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Remember, Mr. and Mrs. Clinton were sitting just a few feet away.

As were Mr. and Mrs. Bush when Stephen Colbert popped off:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, "THE COLBERT REPORT": I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound with the most powerfully staged photo-ops in the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

That brings us to Wanda Sykes and the Obamas. As we said Monday night, throughout most of her monologue, Ms. Sykes was funny. But then she got mean:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WANDA SYKES, COMEDIAN: Rush Limbaugh, "I hope the country fails." I hope his kidneys fail. How about that?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Unfortunately, President Obama kept a smile on his face throughout Ms. Sykes' exposition. I couldn't see Michelle Obama, but there is no doubt that Wanda Sykes put them both in a bad place.

So again, why is this happening?

I think it's because presidents like to come off as good sports and want to have a regular guy rapport with the press on occasion. But we are living in a time of hyper-partisan hatred where rules of conduct have broken down, where being notorious is a money-making industry. Any exploitation or attack on the presidency can bring instant worldwide attention.

The president of the United States might take that into account the next time an invitation flows in.
===
Trying to Unravel the ACORN String
By Glenn Beck
For over a week now we've been trying to unravel the ACORN string. We're getting closer, but the one thing is that ACORN is so complex, so intentionally complicated, that we don't even know what we don't know.

But first, let's try to tie together what we do already know. And, keep in mind, we aren't getting caught up in the politics of the voter registration fraud during the election that everyone already knows about. In other words, this is not a Barack Obama vs. John McCain thing; it's a right vs. wrong thing.

This is about corruption and money.

First piece of string: We had ACORN spokesman Scott Levenson on to ask him some simple questions about some bad things reportedly happening within his organization:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN BECK: Why have you hired people who have been imprisoned for fraud — identity theft?

SCOTT LEVENSON, ACORN SPOKESMAN: Excuse me? I mean, really, excuse me. Do you really want to go and talk about that case?

BECK: Yes.

LEVENSON: Do you want to talk about the furlough program that the state authored?

BECK: Identity fraud.

LEVENSON: Listen, the furlough program...

BECK: Identity fraud.

LEVENSON: The furlough program that the state offered who released these people to work for us.

BECK: It's so hard. I apparently can't do it because it's so hard. How could you hire people with identity fraud?

LEVENSON: When you throw out these numbers like 23,000 — you aren't even clear what the 23,000 was, Glenn.

BECK: Help me out. Identity fraud — you have nobody? Nobody?

LEVENSON: Do you not hear me on the state furlough program?

BECK: Do you not — identity fraud?

LEVENSON: Excuse me?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

But that wasn't it. During the break, the dirtbag had the nerve to call me a racist, so I kicked him off the set.

Later on in the week, I had some much more reasonable people from ACORN on the program. They gave us an insider look at the kinds of problems they ran into just by asking simple questions to ACORN's leadership.

We learned from these current and former ACORN members that ACORN actively looks to hire people from prison. Why? Here's how Washington, D.C.'s ACORN Chair Marcel Reid explained it:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARCEL REID, ACORN: The very same people they were supposed to be enabling are the same people that we sacrificed. So, we can't have that kind of divisiveness there. If we're out to help people, who works for $9 an hour all day long or less? Who works for that kind of money? If you're empowered and if you're not an idealist student or retiree who has a very cushy life, you can't afford to work for that kind of money.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Our guests went on to explain how these people are basically forced to meet quotas, which led to some of them registering "Mickey Mouse" or other fake names over and over again. When ACORN got caught, these people were thrown to the wolves. They explained that this was the protocol for two reasons: First, even if the form said "Mickey Mouse," they still got paid. And second, if the person they threw to the wolves was black, they could always pull the race card. That could help them raise money in these communities by saying, "Look at the evil, conservative, white man keeping the black man down."

Then we unraveled the fact that while ACORN claims not to accept government funding, $10 million in federal money was funneled to them through other organizations just last year.

But ACORN receives a lot more money than that and most of it is virtually impossible to trace. Because of that, the "ACORN 8" started asking questions and they didn't like what they found:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REID: ACORN doesn't need to be funded with any more taxpayer dollars until we find out what happened to the last taxpayer dollars that ACORN was funded with.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

While we don't yet know what's really going on, we do know these ACORN affiliates have powerful friends, like the SEIU — the Service Employees International Union. Actually, they're even more than friends; they're swapping so much spit they're riddled with mono.

The head of ACORN, Wade Rathke, is the founder and chief organizer of SEIU, which donated $33 million to President Obama's campaign last year. We also know that the place the main ACORN affiliate calls home in New Orleans, is supposed to house about 270 related organizations, a mix of corporations and non-profits from California to Louisiana.

Does that former funeral home look big enough to you to house 270 organizations? The owner of the building is a company whose partners are — oh my gosh! — Wade and Dale Rathke (name sounds familiar?)

As I told you earlier, Wade also happens to be the president of ACORN and he and his brother Dale — who's accused of embezzling $1 million — are listed as president or partner in dozens of companies based in that building in New Orleans.

So that's what we know so far. But the big question remains unanswered: Millions of dollars flow into that building every year; where does it go?
===
Media Trying to Silence Dick Cheney?
By Neil Cavuto
So Dick Cheney speaks and the media says he should stop.

Why?

Because protocol says he should, or because they just wish he would?

Because they think he's crazy for saying things and they really don't want to listen, or he's not at all crazy for saying things and they're very much afraid a lot folks will listen?

Who knows? This much I do know: He's free to speak his mind. Just as critics of the vice president are free to say he's lost his mind. It’s his call, not theirs.

But if he's so crazy to think releasing interrogation photos compromises both our image and our security around the world, then why has an administration that's all but called him crazy seen the wisdom of his crazy case?

Now the White House objects to releasing thousands of those photos, just like it continues to object to the release of CIA memos that might give some context to those photos.

No worry now, because no photos now. Just like no memos now. So no telling who's right now: The crazy veep who continues to pound his point or the cool predident who continues to ignore it.

Weird because the crazy guy just got the cool guy to cool it. Which makes you wonder whether the cool guy is really all that cool, or the crazy guy all that crazy.
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