Thursday, May 21, 2009

Headlines Thursday 21st May 2009

Aussie swine flu toll hits six, Roxon warns more cases likely
The number of confirmed swine flu cases in Australia has jumped to six, as the Health Minister warns more diagnoses are likely. - still more chance of being chewed by mice than dying of Swine flu in Australia. - ed.

Woman paid $20K after accidentally punched by Sharks boss Tony Zappia
The Cronulla Sharks paid $20,000 to a female staffer after she was accidentally hit in the face by the club's chief executive Tony Zappia, Fairfax has reported.

NSW prepares for floods with one killed in Queensland disaster
One man has been killed as south east Queensland is gripped by the most devastating floods in 30 years, with northern New South Wales residents now being warned to prepare for the worst. - NSW has not prepared, as a state, for floods since the NSW Gov't got office in '95. They have been warned about things, but argued flood mitigation programs like dams were not in the environmental interest. - ed.

Waugh to be shock omission from Wallabies squad
Warhorse flanker Phil Waugh is expected to be a controversial axing when the 30-man Wallabies squad is announced on Thursday.

Time for a bit of realism about US 'green shoots'
Three reports have exposed the hollowness of Monday's 2.9% surge on Wall Street, and the way we in Australia and other countries followed suit.

Tarantino dances up Cannes red carpet for 'Basterds' premiere
Quentin Tarantino danced his way up the red carpet at Cannes as he arrived with Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie for the premiere of his Inglourious Basterds.

Second Slumdog child star home torn down
Authorities have demolished part of a city slum where the nine-year-old girl who starred in Slumdog Millionaire, Rubina Ali, lived.
=== Comments ===
Treasured servant now a slave to politicians
Piers Akerman
TREASURY secretary Ken Henry has outed himself as a political player with his unsubtle attacks on the Opposition’s Budget analysis. - The ALP have a long history of corrupting public service. The same is not true among the conservatives mainly because Conservatives don’t require it for their policies which are generally .. conservative. The sole reason to corrupt public service is for corrupt purposes. If you examine the judicial appointments of the ALP, and compare them with conservative appointments you can see the difference in their decision making. Similarly with Governors and Governor Generals.
My issue with the NSW Government relates to what I believe to be a corrupt appointment intended to cover up the death of a school boy. The appointment is remarkable in that they had attracted no police attention despite it being standard to have fielded erronious complaints had they achieved their level normally. Their appointment occurred after a bizarre shuffle made for no reason so that the previous incumbent could work at another place to ‘see out the last year of their career.’ The appointed replacement was shouldered aside at the last minute. The decision making they applied to me was clearly against the spirit of the legislation applied so that they could not give it in writing while threatening my career. Then, when I questioned a new Minister about the issue, the appointment was given to me as the final arbiter of my issue .. completely at odds with natural justice and something which if examined by an anti corruption body would be seen to be corrupt .. luckily for the government no corruption body will look at it .. even those mandated to. - ed.

===
FUND THE SOCIOLOGISTS
Tim Blair
The Guardian demands action:
Changing behaviour will be as vital as new technologies in tackling climate change. So where is the funding for linguists, anthropologists and sociologists?
===
CHK-CHK BOOM
Tim Blair
This is excellent:
Outspoken Sydney shooting witness Clare Werbeloff has become an overnight internet sensation — so much so, she has engaged a PR representative to deal with the flood of media interest.

The 19-year-old found fame online after giving her politically incorrect eyewitness account of a Kings Cross shooting to Nine News.

The resulting public attention has apparently been so overwhelming for Ms Werbeloff, who is from Sydney’s northern beaches, that’s she’s been forced to turn to a PR agency to manage her.

“She’s been inundated with calls this morning,” spokesman Adam Abrams told ninemsn this afternoon.
Incidentally, the skinnier wog is recovering in hospital. The fatter wog remains at large.
===
NON-ACTION IS ACTION
Tim Blair
Highlights from change enthusiast Joe Biden’s Monday commencement speech at Wake Forest University:
There’s not a single issue on this President’s plate that will not yield a change — just merely by ignoring it, it will change …

Folks, we’re either going to fundamentally change the course of history, or fail the generations that come after us, because change will occur. Non-action is action, unlike most generations …

But today, with all the difficulties you face, you graduated into a moment where your opportunities are much greater. And your charge is not to restore anything but to make anew.

Click for Mark Hemingway’s analysis of this entertaining insane person. Further highlights, from the transcript of Biden’s speech:
We’re either going to revive and reverse climate change, or literally drown in our indifference.
If climate change is a bad thing, why would you want to revive it? As for “literally drowning”, Biden was speaking in Winston-Salem, which is 912 feet above sea level.
Remember your physics class? You’re driving along in an automobile and you move the wheel slightly to the left or right, and you send the car careening in the direction that absent another change will end up a significant distance from where you were aimed.
Unless Joe is referencing some kind of wild oversteer theory, he’s crazy wrong. Your car will go where you aim it. Test this notion yourself the next time you drive anywhere.
It is to not sustain — we know we cannot sustain the way we’re going now. So it’s time to steel our spines, and embrace the promise of change, even though we cannot guarantee exactly what that change will bring. And the good news is that’s exactly what the country did when they voted this last November. They voted for change, not certain what it would mean, but convicted in the assumption that we cannot sustain the path we’re on.
Joe has ended up a significant distance from where he was aimed. Here’s an unexpected line from Vice President Amtrak:
I had planned on driving my ‘67 Corvette up the middle of this area here.
Biden owns a vintage ‘Vette, but he’s all hot about climate change and is leading an administration that seeks to impose new fuel economy laws. This bloke is fantastic.
===
NO HOME OFFICE FOR YOU
Tim Blair
According to local sub-media identity Tom McLoughlin, I now have eviction powers:
My history is deconstructing the big media sector. I just read Tim Blair attacking me back in March 2008 directly. I’ll take that - judge me by my enemies.

No doubt purely a coincidence I also got an eviction notice in Feb at my home office …
It wasn’t a coincidence. This is what I do. (Actually, McLoughlin might be crediting former NSW Premier Bob Carr for that mysterious eviction episode; it’s difficult to tell. But I’m claiming it anyway. Let this be a warning to all.)
===
HOPE AND CHANGE IN LAS VEGAS
Tim Blair
Former V8 owner Barack Obama brings down the hammer on those who would aspire to own similar vehicles. Change! Also, here’s President O back in February:
You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers’ dime. There’s got to be some accountability and some responsibility, and that’s something that I intend to impose as president of the United States.
You can’t take a trip to Vegas on the taxpayers’ dime. But Obama can.

UPDATE. Change denied:
In a major rebuke to President Barack Obama, the Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to block the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the United States and denied the administration the millions it sought to close the prison.

The 90-6 Senate vote — paired with similar House action last week — was a clear sign to Obama that he faces a tough fight getting the Democratic-controlled Congress to agree with his plans to shut down the detention center and move the 240 detainees.
The Senate is obviously racist.
===
LOOK AT MEEEEE
Tim Blair
Environmentalism is imploding, according to Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger:
Sometime after the release of An Inconvenient Truth in 2006, environmentalism crossed from political movement to cultural moment. Fortune 500 companies pledged to go carbon neutral. Seemingly every magazine in the country, including Sports Illustrated, released a special green issue. Paris dimmed the lights on the Eiffel Tower. Solar investments became hot, even for oil companies. Evangelical ministers preached the gospel of “creation care.” Even archconservative Newt Gingrich published a book demanding action on global warming …

And then, almost as quickly as it had inflated, the green bubble burst.
Which isn’t all that surprising, considering the shallow nature of mass greenism:
A 2007 survey that appeared in The New York Times found that more Prius owners (57 percent) said they bought the car because it “makes a statement about me” than because of its better gas mileage (36 percent), lower emissions (25 percent), or new technology (7 percent). Prius owners, the Times concluded, “want everyone to know they are driving a hybrid.”
They’ll grow out of it.

ENVIRO UPDATE:
A state biologist says a golden eagle was killed by a wind turbine blade at a southwest Washington wind farm.
===
SCENIC LAKE BIKKO
Tim Blair
“I always wanted a waterfront property,” emails Queensland’s Paul Bickford, “and now I’ve got one.”

“I don’t know about the dams being 60 per cent full, but my street’s currently over 100 per cent. I reckon it’s Gaia‘s revenge for me going to Plimer’s book launch last night.”

UPDATE. The moistness continues up north:
===
WORD DODGED
Tim Blair
As Piers Akerman noted previously, when it comes to debts and deficits, Kevin Rudd has problems saying the word billion. The PM’s crippling billionphobia is becoming ever more noticeable:
The Prime Minister and Treasurer looked like a pair of bloody idiots with their efforts to avoid mentioning a net debt figure in billions while they were out and about in Adelaide today.
I wonder if they’d have the same problem if they were discussing a surplus. We’ll probably never know.

UPDATE. Ongoing attempts to make Rudd and Swan say $300 b … b … b …

UPDATE II. An inaccurate claim – “Rudd had already said $300 billion” – is gently rebuked.

UPDATE III. Michelle Grattan:
The budget has brought some new political sport. How long does it take on any given day to force Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan to put the numbers for the D words (debt and deficit) side by side with the B word (billion)?
UPDATE IV. Rudd claims he doesn’t follow opinion polls.
===
Many hands make lines erk
Andrew Bolt
It is a maxim that people tend to be more rational when thinking on their own than they are when reacting in a crowd. So I already suspected the worst when former Seeker Judith Durham thanks the following horde for helping her to rewrite our national anthem:

LOU BENNETT, REBEKAH BOOTH, SHARYN CAMBRIDGE, CAMILLA CHANCE, MICHAEL CRISTIANO, DENNIS DONOVAN, PATRICK EDGEWORTH, KUTCHA EDWARDS, GARY FOLEY, BILL HAURITZ OAM, LEE HUNT, ELIZABETH LANGFORD AM, JOY MURPHY AO (SENIOR WOMAN ELDER, WURUNDJERI PEOPLE), BARBARA POTGER, BOORI ‘MONTY’ PRYOR, ALAN SCOTT, BEN SHEEHAN, BEVERLEY SHEEHAN, GRAHAM SIMPSON, MAHLIA SIMPSON AND ROBBIE THORPE … AND TO MANY OTHERS WHO GAVE PERSPECTIVE IN THE REVISION PROCESS . . . DOROTHY BOOTH, SHELLEY BOVEY, TONY CHARLTON AM, LORIN CLARKE, ATHOL GUY, MICHAEL HARDING, DR JACKIE HUGGINS AM (DEPUTY DIRECTOR ABORIGINAL & TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER STUDIES UNIT, UNIVERSITY OF QLD; CO CHAIR RECONCILIATION AUSTRALIA), RACHEL MOORE, PROFESSOR TED PERRY, CHIEF SEATTLE, PROFESSOR BARRY SHEEHAN, DICK SMITH AO AND LEIGH WALLACE

And when you note the pious names on this list, and the broadcasters who promote the result, you can be certain that your worst fears will be confirmed:

Australia, celebrate as one, with peace and harmony.
Our precious water, soil and sun, grant life for you and me.
Our land abounds in nature’s gifts to love, respect and share,
And honouring the Dreaming, advance Australia fair.
With joyful hearts then let us sing, advance Australia fair.
2. Australia, let us stand as one, upon this sacred land.
A new day dawns, we’re moving on to trust and understand.
Combine our ancient history and cultures everywhere,
To bond together for all time, advance Australia fair.
With joyful hearts then let us sing, advance Australia fair.

Why does sanctimony never sing?
===
Costello biffs Henry
Andrew Bolt
Former Treasurer Peter Costello gives Treasury secretary Ken Henry a whack for helping the Rudd Government with its spin:

I think where the rot set in is shortly after the last election the Government, Mr Rudd and Mr Swan started using Ken Henry to do press conferences in order to try and back them up. They were new, they were on the job, they wanted to show that they had somebody with a bit more experience and they started doing photo calls and press conferences with Ken Henry. I think it is a very bad principle. I think the Minister should do the press conferences, the Minister should take the questions, the Minister should take accountability...

And he wonders why Rudd doesn’t release the rest of Henry’s advice, if the Prime Minister is so keen to hide behind this public servant when excusing his record $300 (billion) debt:

Well here is an interesting question why doesn’t he release the Treasury advice which said before Christmas that he should be doling out cheques of $1,000 per child and per pensioner? Where is the Treasury advice that says after Christmas he should be doling out $900 cheques?… Where is the Treasury advice that says the Government should enter into a $43 billion program to build fibre to the home? Where is this advice? Now presumably Mr Rudd would have you believe he only ever acts on the Treasury advice, he only ever does what Dr Ken Henry tells him to, so presumably these Minutes will be around and he can release them. But of course he won’t because they’re not.

Hmm. What does Costello know about what Henry didn’t recommend?
===
Description given
Andrew Bolt
Clare Werbeloff prefers accuracy to manners in describing a shooting - and that includes doing the voices, too. It’s made her instantly famous, thanks largely to Tim Blair, that she now needs an agent.

One organisation which won’t need be knocking on her door, eager to harness such a vivid talent for reporting, will be the Sydney Morning Herald.

UPDATE

The police, on the other hand, have suddenly gone blind.
===
Tell us why the Liberals stink, Mr Rudd
Andrew Bolt
The ABC can’t help itself, and boss Mark Scott has given up trying to restore some balance. Gerard Henderson:

RNB scored a coup by having Kevin Rudd come on the program on Thursday to discuss the Budget.... So here was a real chance to ask the PM certain questions. Perhaps why Wayne Swan had not even mentioned the word “deficit” in the Treasurer’s Budget speech on Tuesday night. Or perhaps about the Budget’s projections concerning growth some years out which (allegedly) will move the deficit into surplus. But no. Fran Kelly knows what the big issue is - the Opposition Liberal Party leader Malcolm Turnbull, of course. So this was her first question to Mr Rudd:

Prime Minister, you’ve put your budget on the table. What’s the challenge now for the Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull in his Budget reply speech tonight?
Talk about a soft question.

Then, today, Fran Kelly interviewed Malcolm Turnbull. This was her first question to the Opposition leader.

Malcolm Turnbull, welcome again to Breakfast. Now you’ve offered the Government a deal. Tax smokers not the rich. Is that it?

Good question, don’t you think? So good, in fact, it could have been drafted by the Prime Minister’s Media Office.

That wasn’t all:

Following the Kelly/Turnbull exchange, RN Breakfast rolled out what Fran Kelly referred to as “three esteemed members of the Canberra Press Gallery”. Namely Network 10’s Paul Bongiorno, the Daily Telegraph’s Malcolm Farr and The Age’s Michelle Grattan.

It was the familiar RNB “Political Forum” whereby everyone agrees with everyone else and a fine ideological time is head by all. Paul Bongiorno bagged the content of the Opposition leader’s speech. Michelle Grattan agreed. So did Fran Kelly. And so did Malcolm Farr - sort of…

It was all summed up at the end when Fran Kelly asked the panel who was the winner in the Budget week. The responses were immediate:

“I think the Government, frankly.” - Paul Bongiorno
“I think the Government.” - Michelle Grattan

“I think the Government…” - Malcolm Farr

That’s political debate, RN Breakfast style.

I’m sure the Left approves of that kind of “debate” on ideological grounds. But don’t the more intelligent among them now and then feel embarrassed to be thought so impressionable and weak that they cannot be entrusted with a diversity of views and just a teesny, weensy debate? Heavens, you’d almost suspect the ABC Left feared their arguments would collapse if subjected to the occasional interjections of even a token conservative.

UPDATE

From the Chicago Tribune - published in 1934, but relevant right now: - at the link - ed.
===
Trujillo knows his mananas
Andrew Bolt
Former Telstra boss Sol Trujillo is even more sceptical of Kevin Rudd’s whitest elephant - his $43 (billion) broadband plan:

I haven’t (commented on the proposal) and I won’t… I’ll comment in four or five years. Let’s see if it ever happens. We’ll draw a conclusion if it happens.
===
Sub-optimal
Andrew Bolt
How about we fix the submarines we have before we buy the Navy even more?

THE Navy’s submarine woes have hit a new low with just one of six Collins Class boats fit for service. Experts differ on the risk this poses, but agree having just one boat available to defend the nation is a terrible return on a $10 billion investment.

They do?
===
Pandemic arrives! No one very sick!
Andrew Bolt
Swine flu is in Victoria! Swine flu is in Victoria! Headlines scream and health officials swarm:

Schoolmates of a boy confirmed as Victoria’s first case of swine flu face seven days in voluntary quarantine says, acting Chief Health Officer Dr Rosemary Lester.

Public health officers would be at the school tomorrow to answer parents’ questions, she said, adding that personal hygiene ``remained vital’’ for all Victorians.

Clifton Hill Primary School principal Geoff Warren this afternoon said all parents of year 3 students had been asked to go to the school at 3.30pm to grant permission for their children to receive the antiviral drugs Tamiflu or Relenza. He said an information meeting would also be held… The school has cancelled a year 3 and 4 music concert planned for tonight…

Government officials are contacting all passengers on QF94 from Los Angeles to Melbourne on that day who were sitting close to the boy..

Now let’s look at the objective facts of this latest illness:
``All three boys remain at home where they are getting the care that they need because they are not ill enough to be hospitalised,’’ (Health Minister Daniel Andrews) said.

Mr Warren said no students at the school apart from the two (of the) boys had been ill with flu… “(T)he symptoms of the child are very, very mild,’’ he said.

And many parents refuse to freak as if they were some journalist:

Parent Shane Sweeney said he was unconcerned by the positive diagnosis of swine flu and he was happy for his two children, one in year 3 and one in prep, to return to school tomorrow.

“It doesn’t bother me, I think the whole thing has been a bit overdone,’’ he said....

A number of parents arriving at the school declined to comment, telling The Age the swine flu issue had been blown out of proportion and was a media beat-up.

UPDATE

Reader Bruce catches swine fear:

My daughter woke up this morning with her hair in pigtails. Should we be worried?
===
Unions against Jew-hatred
Andrew Bolt
Three union leaders - including impressive AWU boss Paul Howes - make a stand against the rising anti-Semitism in the Left:

In recent weeks and months a number of unions have called for boycotts and sanctions directed exclusively against Israel.

They are attempting to demonise the Jewish state, to deny it legitimacy, and to whip up hatred against it. Sometimes that hatred spills over into anti-Semitism. Those unions are terribly wrong.
===
Too hungry for savings, too hard on enterprise
Andrew Bolt
It didn’t take long for the Budget to start to unravel:

THE Rudd Government has paved the way for a rewrite of one of the most contentious elements of last week’s budget, flagging likely changes to its crackdown on the tax treatment of employee share schemes.

After more than a week of controversy as large businesses shut down their employee share schemes and unions expressed concern that ordinary workers would be worse off, Assistant Treasurer Chris Bowen yesterday was considering a compromise that could see a raising of the $60,000 threshold at which the measure takes effect.

It’s hard to understand why you should pay tax on shares you’ve only been promised and may never cash in, or why the Government should go in this hard against a scheme that has employees taking a stake in their company.

Andrew Main on this “stuff up”

There are about two million Australian employees who have been gradually building up stakes in the companies where they work via what are called “qualifying” share schemes… The strangest element of all is that Swan himself has long been a champion of employee share schemes on the basis that they align the interests of the workers with the shareholders.
===
That baaing sound of writers debating
Andrew Bolt
The Sydney Writers’ Festival holds an ABC-style “debate” on global warming:

David Spratt, co-author of Climate Code Red, Dr Sharon Beder, author of Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism, and Deltoid science blogger Tim Lambert discuss the state of the climate change debate today with Overland editor Jeff Sparrow.

Are the big polluters changing their ways or simply greening their public image? Who are the main climate denialists? What kind of action do we need, and how close are we to achieving it?

That’s a “debate”? RWDB checks the biogs of the speakers. Not one is a climate scientist, not one is the author of the biggest-selling book this year on global warming, and not one is outside that narrow spectrum of opinion ranging from Marxist to green zealot.

Why are these people so very, very scared of a debate? Is it that they worry they’d lose?
===
Where’s that runaway man-made warming?
Andrew Bolt
Tom Quirk checks the data of the four main measurements of global temperature:

So for twelve years there has been a rise 0.10C with a 140% error, in other words, no significant measureable temperature rise....

Both the GISS and Hadley series show a larger temperature increase then the satellite measurements. This may be due to urban heat island effects… Short term, less than thirty years, temperature series are not the place to seek evidence of human induced global warming.
===
Learn from Aung San Suu Kyi
Andrew Bolt
It’s a tragedy, but so predictable. What started as the ”Burmese Way to Socialism” has inevitably led to a tyranny that now stages yet another fake trial:

Aung San Suu Kyi, ... who has been in detention without trial for more than 13 of the past 19 years, is accused of violating the terms of her house arrest by allowing an American visitor to stay at her home without official permission. The offense is punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment.

If only her suffering was at least redeemed by young zealots swearing off an authoritarian socialist creed that has led to so much misery.
===
Our wonderful sense of humor
Andrew Bolt
Turns out the local police chief had seen such Australian “jokes” before his men arrested Annice Smoel for stealing a bar towel from Phuket’s Aussie Bar:

“The police brought her to Kathu Police Station for questioning, but she refused to admit her guilt and continued to insist that she was joking with her friends,” said Col Grissak, who has extensive experience in the ways of foreigners from his work as head of the Tourist Police in Bangkok.

“This is not a joke… The police must uphold the law...”

Ms Smoel’s case isn’t the first time the Aussie sense of humor has backfired on the streets of Patong, he revealed.

“We once had a case of an Australian man who stole a shirt from a deaf-mute [street vendor]. He ran away, but was later caught. After he was apprehended, he said he was just playing a joke on the vendor. This is not a joke. If we don’t catch this bad guy, the deaf guy loses his shirt,” he said.

What! These bad police arrested TWO Australians? Outrage!

UPDATE

And yet another source in Phuket to challenge the story of an innocent Aussie wronged by corrupt Asian police:

The officer in charge, Lt-Maj Jongseam Preecha, said Ms Smoel was very drunk and kept shouting at him.

“She was very rude to the two police, but they didn’t properly understand what she was saying,” he said. “They brought her to me, and she was very loud.”

He said Ms Smoel claimed the bar mat had been put in her bag by friends, but he denied anyone had come forward to say they’d put it there.

UPDATE 2

Two outraged Melbourne women were interviewed tonight on Channel 9 complaining that almost the same happened to them at the Aussie Bar. They were monstered by staff accusing them of stealing one of the $60 bar mats, too. It was awful, awful, awful. Heavens, the police were called, too, although they didn’t actually arrest anyone. Brutal!

Oh, almost as an afterthought, we’re told that a young man (presumably) in their group actually stole the bar mat. Probably another one of those “jokes” that silly foreigners don’t get.

Does anyone ask themselves what kind of reputation we must have overseas?
===
Rudd repeats: our debt will be just $200
Andrew Bolt
What else isn’t this deceptive Prime Minister telling you if he won’t even tell you what you already know? First Kevin Rudd can’t say the “billion” word on Lateline. Now he can’t say it on Adelaide radio:

Kevin Rudd on Mornings with Matt and Dave, ABC Radio 891 Adelaide, May 20 2009

HOST: In simple dollar terms what will our net debt peak at?

PM: Well our net debt of course will peak at, in 2013, 2014 at around about 200. Our gross debt at about 300, the net debt figure is 13.8 per cent of GDP at that time and as I said that’s something like six or seven times less that of the average of the major advanced economies around the world.

Importantly what we have decided to do is embrace a strategy also of tough savings, some of which are politically unpopular, in order to return the Budget to surplus. That’s what we’re doing and therefore our strategy is to provide support for the economy now, infrastructure we need for tomorrow, jobs we need for today and then returning the Budget to surplus in the medium term.

It’s the right strategy, it’s also the responsible strategy. The alternative would be to bring about a level of unemployment the likes of which the country has never seen before and I’m not prepared to do that.

HOST Prime Minister 200 what and 300 what?

PM: These are billion figures.

HOST: So 200 billion dollars?

PM: That’s correct, yeah, and as I said the normal way which it is expressed as a net debt figure, as a percentage of gross domestic product because that then gives you a comparison between ourselves and the other major advanced economies. For example in countries in North America, in the United States for example you will have net debt as a percentage of GDP very, very high indeed. As I said our figure will be something like one seventh or one sixth that of the other major advanced economies.

Those other economies have a different set of circumstance to us but the overall strategy is, given that we have this unprecedented global economic downturn, this unprecedented global economic downturn since the Depression, it is very important that we act now.

Those other economies for example, a net debt figure Japan 103 per cent, The United Kingdom 56 per cent, the US 61 per cent, then we have Canada at 26.2, France 65, Germany 51, Italy 111. These are the figures as they exist in 2009, and what I’ve described before is where our figures would be when our net debt peaks at 2013.

HOST: And Paul Keating had a problem with the R word. Do you have a problem with the B word, billion, I notice and this was on Lateline, you wouldn’t say $200 billion and you still haven’t said it. You say 200 and 300.

PM: That’s exactly right, $200 billion, $300 billion, all I was explaining to you is the actual comparisons which exist between it and the performance of other relevant economies around the world.

Click the link and you’ll see the Treasurer is almost as tricky - and foolish. These guys have clearly agreed not to speak the plain truth to voters.
===
Alarmism means never having to say you’re sorry
Andrew Bolt
Which Alarmist of the Year in 2007 said:

I think it’s the most extreme and the most dangerous situation arising from climate change facing any country in the world right now.

And which alarmist must apologise, now that this “most extreme” and “most dangerous” situation has been washed away?
===
Left-Wing Radical Influencing Obama?
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 19, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: During the campaign we learned that candidate Obama had internalized some of the lessons of the late great radical, Saul Alinsky, but in a new column, the National Review's Jim Geraghty argues that Mr. Obama is ruling the country according to Mr. Alinsky's radical rules.

He writes, quote, that "moderates thought they were electing a moderate. Liberals thought they were electing a liberal. Both camps were wrong. Ideology does not have the final say in Obama's decision-making. An Alinskyite's core principle is to take any action that expands his power and to avoid any action that risks his power."

The author of that column, Jim Geraghty, joins me now.

Jim, thanks for being with us.

JIM GERAGHTY, COLUMNIST, NATIONAL REVIEW: Sean, very glad to be here.

HANNITY: Ridicule, the — one of the biggest weapons in the Alinsky model. To ridicule your opponent. You see that aspect of it, because I think that's actually a key component in the tactics that are being used by Obama?

GERAGHTY: I would. I would point out that he often lets surrogates do it. We saw a little bit of his — Obama's attempted ridicule at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

But I think really, actually, he's got everything from "The Daily Show" to "The Colbert Report" to, you know, liberal bloggers, entertainers, Bill Maher. He kind of outsources that aspect of the Alinsky operation. So he can often seem above the fray. It's all very important, because seeming too snide or too hostile might actually minimize his power.

The object is to look, you know, like he's respectful and fine while the other side are doing what they can to beat his opponents over the head.

HANNITY: So pick the target, freeze the target, personalize it, polarize it, all of that stuff that he talks about. You know, but we did see it when Santelli and Robert Gibbs went after Santelli, they went after Jim Cramer. They went after Rush Limbaugh. At different times, they've gone after me by name, trying to demonize people. That is a big part of the model and maybe even silencing talk radio could be a part of that. No?

GERAGHTY: Oh, absolutely. Just one thing that's interesting is I think Jim Cramer was perhaps one of the most interesting examples, because Jim Cramer, generally I like him, but even, you know, just as a financial mind, not as a political guy. He only became an issue to the Jon Stewarts of the world once he started criticizing Obama.

Cramer has been doing his, you know, fired-up and easily mockable schtick for a long time.

HANNITY: And by the way, do that again.

GERAGHTY: Criticizing...

HANNITY: Show me how — show me how you do that...

GERAGHTY: I know it's another network, but it's an often entertaining show. It's for those who find Glenn Beck too laid back and calm.

And so it's one of those things where I would say once you become a critic of Obama, it doesn't matter if you've praised him in the past, it doesn't matter if you were previously a friendly voice, you need to be tamped down. And even Obama doesn't do it. Other folks in his administration or other allies will do that.

HANNITY: All right. There is a photo of Obama in a classroom teaching students about Alinsky's methods. So who is Alinsky? Why don't you — because you've taken the time to investigate. Who is he?

GERAGHTY: I think he's best thought of as Obama's ideological grandfather. Alinsky died in 1972. It's not like he ever met Obama, but he had a great deal of influence on the Chicago community organizers who were kind of the mentors for Barack Obama during his key formative years as a young man. And it's a very interesting approach.

It is — the book I picked up, "Rules for Radicals." And I would just kind of point out that, for about 11 bucks, it was kind of the Rosetta Stone for Obama's decision making.

It kind of lays out that — that to a certain extent, it's almost Machiavellian. It basically says, yes, accumulate power. If you win, you one remembers how you've one, and then you can enact the changes you want.

HANNITY: All right. So — but no, go ahead. Finish your thought.

GERAGHTY: I was going to say that he almost kind of sneers at people who say they wouldn't compromise their principles and their pursuit of power and their pursuit of their goals. And he says, "Oh, you know, it must be really tough to tuck your angel wings under your covers when you go to bed at night."

So the message coming up from Alinsky when it comes to accumulating power is very clear.

HANNITY: So really for Obama, your analysis is that all of this for him, following the Alinsky model, is about power. So, in other words, if they want to dictate CEO pay, if they want to control or nationalize the banks, we know now they're going to — they're going to own GM as a result of this bankruptcy deal that we're talking about. They want to take over health care. They want to tell us what kind of cars to drive.

You're saying that they want to nationalize health care. They want to do all of this because it's government power?

GERAGHTY: It is, but I would note that it's not merely spending government power, it's about spending Obama's power. And that Obama will sacrifice his liberal allies if it will put him into a position less than his power.

The three basic examples that just come to find are gays who wanted to see an end to "don't ask, don't tell," and nothing has happened on that front. Armenian-Americans who wanted him to denounce Turkey for genocide back in the early part of the last century.

And I think another one probably would be those who kind of figured there would be sweeping changes in counterterrorism policy, rendition is sticking around and we're seeing continuing tribunals at Gitmo, now they're talk Gitmo may not be closed within a year, all of these things are being changed because Obama's not going to risk his popularity and his power just to placate people who are supposed to be his allies.

HANNITY: It almost seems like triangulation on speed, I mean when you think about it...

GERAGHTY: It's a good way of putting it, and I think to a certain extent Obama's goal — it makes him tougher to beat, but I would note this means it's not unbeatable. And to a certain extent, this is not a liberal ideologue. This is a very careful and strategic...

HANNITY: All right.

GERAGHTY: ... liberal ideologue. He's not going to make the easy mistakes with the military, the way Bill Clinton did.

HANNITY: But he does dramatically want to alter the American economy. He does have hard-core leftist views. And it's all about — while he's getting his power in the process, it's all about advancing those radical views, too. Correct or wrong?

GERAGHTY: No, you're right on this. I think one of the things that's most infuriating for those of us who don't often agree with President Obama, is to note how often he will do the exact opposite of what he's saying.

He talked about how much he doesn't want the government to run the auto industry. And for those of us there's a very simple way to avoid that, which is to not do it. But instead, he has the ever greater government role in running these American auto companies.

He keeps saying how he doesn't want to bail out Wall Street, and yet, you look at what Tim Geithner is doing in the extension of the TARP funds and how they don't want banks to give back the TARP money. He keeps doing the exact same thing. Acting one way and doing the precise opposite -– saying on thing and doing the opposite.

HANNITY: Thank you for being with us tonight. Appreciate it.

GERAGHTY: Any time, Sean.
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Hating America
By Bill O'Reilly
No way am I going to quiet down about the far left wanting to release military pictures of prisoner abuse. Those photos were taken in the course of criminal investigations, probes that put some American military people in prison. But now, anti-American loons want the world to see those pictures, knowing they would embarrass America and put our military in the field in even more danger.

President Obama is fighting the release of the pictures, but he needs to classify them. He is the commander-in-chief. It is his job to protect Americans, including the military.

Now, Monday night we told you that The New York Times and other committed-left media want the pictures out so they can blame them on President Bush and the Republican Party. It is a pure political play.

But the ACLU is a different story. That vile organization believes the USA is a bad place desperately in need of an overhaul. The ACLU sympathizes with The New York Times, but takes the situation much farther.

If you don't believe me, consider what is happening here in New York City. Once riddled with violent crime, New York is now largely safe, thanks to aggressive policing instituted by Bill Bratton and Rudy Giuliani. Thousands of lives have been saved because the cops here are pro-active. They try to stop crime before it happens by keeping close tabs on the bad guys. From the jump the ACLU opposed that, insisting the police only be reactive, responding after the damage was done.

Recently, the New York chapter of the ACLU filed a complaint against the police, charging they were stopping black people more than white people for questioning. The ACLU says this is bias, their usual charge. But a study by the Rand Corporation shows that 69 percent of New York City violent crime victims describe their assailants as black. Five percent are described by victims as white. So if you are investigating or trying to stop crimes, to whom would you be talking?

But the ACLU doesn't care about that. They believe that society causes some blacks to be violent, America's basic unfairness manufacturers criminals. It is the country's fault, not the perpetrator's fault.

I write about this anti-American mindset in "Culture Warrior," but now the issue is becoming one of life and death. Just about every military expert in the country believes any exposition of prisoner abuse will result in dead soldiers. And most criminal justice experts say if you cut back on pro-active policing, more Americans will die in the streets.

I believe the ACLU is the most dangerous, anti-American organization in the country. If clear-thinking Americans do not confront this group and their support system in the media, people will die.
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