Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Headlines Wednesday 20th May 2009

Taxpayers fork out for MPs to stay at home
Federal MPs are accused of claiming taxpayer funded allowances to stay in their own homes.

Doctor Rob Carson saves Nicholas Rossi's life with household drill
A 13-year-old boy owes his life to a country doctor who used a household drill to bore a hole into his skull following a bicycle accident.

'Clare' wasn't paid, didn't boast: Four Corners
Four Corners has released a statement in response to a number of questions raised, after their interview with a woman 'traumatised' by an NRL group sex incident.

'We all make mistakes': Rudd on Thai bar mat prank
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has expressed sympathy with a Melbourne woman charged over a drunken prank in Thailand.

Ponting tips Symonds to make Ashes squad
Australian captain Ricky Ponting says he wouldn't be surprised if wayward star Andrew Symonds is named in the Ashes squad on Wednesday.

Thinking of quitting? Google already knows
Google, concerned by the recent departures of several top executives, has developed an algorithm to try to identify which employees are likely to quit.

US rapper Dolla shot dead at shopping mall
Up-and-coming rap artist Dolla was shot dead outside a landmark Los Angeles shopping mall on Monday, friends and family of the slain musician were reported as saying.

'3 years not enough for Sione's killers'
The cousin of a Sydney man who died in a knife fight, says three years jail for his killers is not long enough.

NSW confirms first swine flu case
The first cases of swine flu in New South Wales and Victoria have just been confirmed.

68 confirmed dead in Indo plane crash
The death toll from a military plane crash on the Indonesian island of Java has reached 68, an airport spokesman said on Wednesday.

18yo speaks out on selling her virginity
Romanian teenager Alina Percea who auctioned off her virginity for $20,000 has spoken for the first time about her night with the highest bidder.
=== Journalist Corner ===
Notes from an FNC Capitol Hill Producer
By: Chad Pergram, FOX News

FOXWIRE: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) turned up the heat on the media Tuesday for its continuous coverage of the controversy involving House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and whether she was briefed on waterboarding during interrogation sessions.

"You guys want to hang on this like a laser," said the usually genial Hoyer to a briefing of about 30 reporters in his office Tuesday morning. "And I think that’s unfortunate."
=== Comments ===
EXTREME AND DANGEROUS
Tim Blair
Tim Flannery predicted in 2007 that Brisbane could run out of water by year’s end. Said the Flanster: “Even a year ago this would have been unthinkable. I think it’s the most extreme and the most dangerous situation arising from climate change facing any country in the world right now.” Time for Tim to calm down:
Heavy rainfall has pushed the combined level of South-East Queensland’s three major dams above the drought-breaking 60 per cent level …

Premier Anna Bligh broke the news on social networking website Twitter this morning, telling her followers: “Good news for SE Qld - our dams have now reached 60%!”.
Unthinkable.
===
RULE DEFIED
Tim Blair
Peter Roebuck, March 17:
Brett Lee will be hard pressed to regain his place in the Australian Test team. Indeed, it is no longer his place. No matter that he has been a formidable fast bowler — 289 Test wickets at 29.59 before this frustrating season began — he is also 32 years old and has not bowled a ball at full pelt for several months, arguably for an entire year. Not only has he fallen back, another generation has risen — so the desperation to restore Australia’s only experienced pace bowler has diminished …

It’s hard to see him playing any part in the 2009 Ashes and he’ll be 33 in November, a combination that does not bode well for a wholehearted cricketer deserving of a better fate.

Lee has crossed a fine, unseen line and, as a rule, there is no going back.
Today’s news:
Brett Lee has been chosen in the squad - his return marks a significant comeback for the bowler who has battled injury and personal issues for the past 12 months.
===
THE JUNKIES WERE NICE
Tim Blair
From Saturday’s Melbourne Herald Sun, a Victoria-wide sample of Twitter comments (not published online):

BROADMEADOWS: “Off to Broadmeadows Magistrates Court this morning. Pretty sure my client is going to jail.”

FRANKSTON: “Sore foot, eating 2 minute noodles.”

DERRIMUT: “Cars getting torched monthly now … !!! And one in our street 4am this morning!! Wat a joke!!”

FOOTSCRAY: “At least the junkies on my line were nice to me today when my train finally did arrive. Man I really need to move out of Footscray.”

BURWOOD: “gunna get myself some maccas.”

LAVERTON: “ugly people on Werribee at 715am laverton station.”

NARRE WARREN: “I can carry 15kgs of cat litter and 2 bags of cat food all by myself.”

ALBURY: “new fashion hits Albury … Bogan pink fur boots. Hehehe.”

WARRNAMBOOL: “Oh warrnambool, what are you doing to me.”
===
THEY’RE ALL OUT TO GET US
Tim Blair
Environmentaloid actor Adrian Grenier:
“There’s a lot of paranoid sentiment within the enviro movement,” he says.
Well, yes. Paranoid sentiment is difficult to avoid when your movement’s central belief is that humankind is destroying the planet.
===
SHOW GOES ON
Tim Blair
Art meets hate in Houston:
The organizers of the second annual Opera Vista Festival suspected one of their featured operas would draw controversy. But when an anonymous letter threatening the founders of the Nova Arts Project arrived at founding director Amy Hopper’s doorstep, she realized the show had potential to ignite a firestorm.

“We received this letter that was all about ignorance and hate, and that’s the whole point of this opera – to confront ignorance and hate. It makes it even more important to tell the story,” Hopper said. -more at the link. - ed.
===
PURE EVASION
Tim Blair
Yet more comedy at the central clearing house for intellectual dishonesty. These chaps need an editor.
===
Feeling good, driving bad
Andrew Bolt
Jeremy Clarkson:

Much has been written about the Insight, Honda’s new low-priced hybrid. We’ve been told how much carbon dioxide it produces, how its dashboard encourages frugal driving by glowing green when you’re easy on the throttle and how it is the dawn of all things. The beginning of days.

So far, though, you have not been told what it’s like as a car; as a tool for moving you, your friends and your things from place to place.

So here goes. It’s terrible. Biblically terrible. Possibly the worst new car money can buy. It’s the first car I’ve ever considered crashing into a tree, on purpose, so I didn’t have to drive it any more… This is hairy-shirted eco-ism at its very worst.
===
Is this above your reading age, Ken?
Andrew Bolt
Terry McCrann isn’t buying Treasury Secretary Ken Henry’s aggressive - even abusive - defence of the Rudd Government’s Budget - and its big claims that record growth will soon save us from its record deficit:

Henry & Co are ‘projecting’ growth zooming up to 4.5 per cent in that year, staying up there for the following year, then dipping a bit but staying ‘above trend’ - implicitly around 4 per cent - for the next four years out to 2016-17. That’s to say, six successive years of 4 per cent-plus growth.

This is a huge ask, almost unprecedented in the past 30-35 years. Indeed, yesterday Henry reached back - had to reach back? - all the way to the 1960s to justify its reasonableness…

There are three huge issues which shred the credibility - if that’s not too generous a word - of his and Treasury’s optimism.

Doesn’t he understand the trauma the world has gone and continues to go through? Yes, we might have a global upturn. But there is no way we can go back to sustained global growth of even the recent past.

Doesn’t he understand all the stimulus that’s been unleashed to try to mute the global slump and which will have to be unwound? The world faces exactly the same fiscal restraint - except much, much more harsh - that his own budget commits to.

And then there’s our own peculiar form of economic flagellation. The carbon tax. In 2012-13, the government is going to impose the equivalent of a 25 per cent increase in the GST, right across the entire economy.
===
Solar power kills jobs. So Rudd announces …
Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, May 20, 09 (11:15 am)

A university study into Spain’s world’s-best renewable energy scheme finds that green power kills jobs - and solar power kills most of all:

No other country has given such broad support to the construction and production of electricity through renewable sources....

The study calculates that since 2000 Spain spent €571,138 ($1.03 million) to create each “green job”, including subsidies of more than €1 million ($1.8 million) per wind industry job… The study calculates that the programs creating those jobs also resulted in the destruction of nearly 110,000 jobs elsewhere in the economy, or 2.2 jobs destroyed for every “green job” created....

Each “green” megawatt installed destroys 5.28 jobs on average elsewhere in the economy: 8.99 by photovoltaics (solar), 4.27 by wind energy, 5.05 by mini-hydro… These costs do not appear to be unique to Spain’s approach but instead are largely inherent in schemes to promote renewable energy sources…

The high cost of electricity due to the green job policy tends to drive the relatively most energy-intensive companies and industries away, seeking areas where costs are lower.

The study, by Spain’s Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, should make any fool think twice before pouring millions of government money into solar energy. But not one fool:
Australia is planning to build the world’s largest solar power station, with three times the generating capacity of the California plant that has been the biggest to date.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the photovoltaic plant would cost A$1.4 billion (US$1 billion) and will have an output of 1,000MW - equivalent to that of one coal-fired power station. He said he wanted Australia to be a ‘solar leader’ rather than a ‘solar follower’.

How many jobs did you kill today, Mr Rudd?

UPDATE

For quick updates on the latest evidence of the planet warming - or actually cooling - bookmark Climate4you, the site of Professor Ole Humlum.
===
Not waving, just checking you out
Andrew Bolt

Pattie Maes demonstrates an extraordinary new technology that lets you take pictures with your fingers, use your hand as a calculator, use your wrist as a watch and search the internet by pointing at a wall. Open up a book in a bookshop and an instant review will be projected onto its page. Your paper is updated as you read it. You can even have data on the person you’re talking to beamed onto his shirt as you speak.

You’re sure to see it in a blockbuster film any day now. I’m guessing the next Jason Bourne.
===
Has Sherlock been murdered?
Andrew Bolt

Sherlock Holmes has been waiting a long time for a stunts-and-all modern movie makeover. So this release for Christmas may seem promising - although Robert Downey Jnr? And will Holmes be retained as the aesthete, or are his manners to be trashed to suit these coarser times?
===
Rudd makes contracts no contracts at all
Andrew Bolt
Janet Albrechtsen warns that the Rudd Government’s planned contract law “reforms” will cause havoc in business:

The new national unfair contract terms legislation will, at a stroke of the legislative pen, render the vast majority of Australian contracts uncertain… Overnight no business or consumer will know whether the contracts they have entered, or seek to enter, will be enforceable. Any term - apart from the price and main subject matter of the contract - in a standard contract may be declared void by a judge who thinks it unfair.

The certainty of contract so fundamental to Western commerce - and prosperity - will no longer apply in Australia. We will substitute rule by judges for the rule of law, at least in contracts. No standard contract, though freely entered into by willing parties, is final. If one party decides the contract no longer suits him, he can take it to a court and roll the dice to see if a judge will back him out of that contract…

(A)pplying the new laws to all standard-form contracts between businesses is radical lunacy of a kind that even Gough would worry about.
===
If you knew Aussies like they do
Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, May 20, 09 (09:09 am)

ANNICE Smoel needs our help. So let’s lay off giving our usual moral lectures to the Thais.

Given the kind of Australians they see in Patpong, Pattaya and Phuket - and who I’ve talked to in their jails - I doubt they’d be impressed.

They’d be less likely than even Indonesians or Singaporeans to respond well to our usual flaming outrage at wicked Asians, which proved so useless in helping Schapelle Corby, the Bali Nine, or Nguyen Tuong Van.

But here we go again. In fact, it may be precisely our brand of abusive finger-wagging at Asian authorities that got Smoel into this pickle.
===
The prisoners, not the prison, are the problem
Andrew Bolt
Democrats are finally dealing with the fact that Guantanamo isn’t just a prison, but a collection of very dangerous prisoners:

President Barack Obama’s allies in the Senate will not provide funds to close the Guantanamo Bay prison until the administration comes up with a satisfactory plan for transferring the detainees there, a top Democrat said Tuesday. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said Obama’s plan to close Guantanamo is not dead—only that the funding will have to wait until the administration devises an acceptable plan to handle the closure and transfer the detainees. Obama has promised to close the military prison by January.
===
Today’s happy news
Andrew Bolt
Courage, smarts, skill, nerve - a terrific story on how a GP saved the life of a dying boy by using a household drill to bore a hole in his skull.
===
I wouldn’t be advertising this, ladies
Andrew Bolt
Further evidence, I’m afraid that women may tend to be less rational than men:

WOMEN hold the answer to cutting Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new campaign which aims to echo the women’s movement of the 1970s and harness female power to fight climate change.

The plan may provide an antidote to male apathy: polls show fewer men are excited by the issue. The “one million women” campaign, launched in Sydney yesterday, aims to get at least one in every eight Australian women to join an online program of weekly carbon cuts.

Also further evidence, of course, that the great global warming scare is fundamentally irrational.
===
Not too old to be glad to be born
Andrew Bolt
ELIZABETH Adeney says she’s not too old at 66 to have her baby, and it’s no one else’s business, anyway.

So she’s half right.

Ms Adeney, the divorced head of a plastics company, expects to become Britain’s oldest mother when she gives birth, probably next month, and has taken all the media criticism you’d predict.

She’s selfish, she’ll be dead before her child finishes school, she’ll have no puff to keep up with a toddler, she’s treating her child as a plaything, and it’s, it’s . . . it’s unnatural. She’ll be in nappies before her child’s out of them.

Besides, doesn’t she know what a chance she’s taking with her body - and with the genetic lottery she’s playing at that age?

Much of the criticism has its place, of course, because Ms Adeney (referred to in some reports by her maiden name of Munro) is wrong - it is everyone’s business that a child is given their best chance of happiness and health. Thus all this chat.
===
Relax! Rudd says we’ll owe only $300
Andrew Bolt
Tony Jones tries to get Prime Minister Kevin “spin, spin, spin’’ Rudd to put a figure on the deficit he’s giving us. My God, but how hard is it for Rudd to say simply $300 billion?

TONY JONES: OK. Let’s move on. What’s the peak figure of the projected public debt in terms of tens or hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming years? What’s the peak figure?

KEVIN RUDD: Well, these are clearly outlined in the Budget papers and they’re usually expressed in terms of a percentage of GDP. We peak, in around about 2013, at about 13.8 per cent of GDP.

TONY JONES: How much of that is in tens of billions or hundreds of billions of dollars; how much is that?

KEVIN RUDD: Well, let me step back in terms of the elements of this. First of all, 70 per cent of our overall position here is determined by a $214-billion collapse in tax revenue. That’s one slice of it.

TONY JONES: OK. I understand - we understand that. So what is the figure of peak debt in hundreds of billions of dollars? What is the actual figure?

KEVIN RUDD: Well, Tony, I’m about to come to that when I go to constituent parts. About $214-billion comes from a collapse in tax revenue and that is happening right across all the advanced economies across the world. That’s about two thirds of it. Then you go to the remaining third of it, which is made up of what we’re investing in infrastructure and other forms of temporary stimulus. And of that remaining one third of our total borrowings, the largest proportion is made up through infrastructure investment and the smallest proportion is made up through other forms of temporary stimulus. Put that altogether…

TONY JONES: But all I’m asking for is one figure.

KEVIN RUDD: Well, I’m about to come to that, Tony. I’m taking you to the constituent parts. Put all that together and you’ll see clearly outlined in the Budge papers, that we’re aiming to a gross figure of 13.8, which comes out at about $300-billio). The Liberals have said about $275-billion and then they’ve failed to nominate or to support $22-billion of savings in the Budget, which makes our positions virtually identical. That’s the point I was making.

TONY JONES: That figure is $300-billion, is that right?

KEVIN RUDD: As I said before, 13.8 per cent of GDP as described accurately in the Budget papers. There’s nothing new about that.

TONY JONES: Is there a political spin rule which says the Prime Minister must not say that figure? Because it seems very hard to get you to say $300-billion.

KEVIN RUDD: Well, Tony, there seems to be a political spin rule on your part to go back to this time and time again. The Treasurer made this absolutely plain in the Budget papers. I said before the figure was 300 as the Liberals’ was 275.

Jones then gives up. But in the transcript, Lateline adds “billion” after Rudd’s answer of “300”. Just in case you thought Rudd really did mean the $300 he seemed to suggest.
===
Ancient Primate Could Be Distant Ancestor of Humans
In what could prove to be a landmark discovery, a leading paleontologist said scientists have dug up the 47 million-year-old fossil of an ancient primate whose features suggest it could be the common ancestor of all later monkeys, apes and humans.
===
Will Obama and the Democrats Trigger Another Credit Crunch?
By Phil Kerpen and James Valvo
The federal government can’t seem to decide whether it wants to get credit flowing—as we’re told the endless bailouts will do—or dry it up, the inevitable result of the credit card crackdown moving through Congress and being advanced by informal pressure from the White House.
===
The Score — Notre Dame = 0, Team Obama = 2012
Fr. Jonathan Morris
On Sunday in South Bend, Team Obama had its way with the Fighting Irish. While Notre Dame officials argued for months that the decision to invite President Obama to give the 2009 commencement speech and offer him an honorary law degree had nothing to do with his “unacceptable” stance on abortion and the killing of human embryos for research purposes, President Obama shrewdly and shamelessly proved that for him, the occasion had everything to do with these issues.

During much of his 25 minute speech, President Obama lectured Notre Dame about why some of the Church’s fundamental values don’t really matter that much and why graduates should burn these values at his altar of feigned dialogue.

And all the while, students and professors cheered. And Fr. Jenkins took bows. And Team Obama scored points, moving quickly toward its goal of winning another electoral victory in 2012.
===
It's War Between 'The Factor' and The New York Times
By Bill O'Reilly
Well, it took them a few days, but the far-left Times is now pounding the drum to get those prisoner abuse pictures released to the world.

In its lead editorial Sunday, the paper wrote: "Just as Mr. Obama was wrong to reverse field on the military tribunals, he was wrong do so on the release of the photographs showing American soldiers abusing prisoners ... These pictures will come out through the courts or through the press. It is better for those same soldiers for Mr. Obama to release them ..."

Of course, that is insane, and just about every military adviser in the Obama administration knows that, which is why the president acceded to their wishes. Any abuse pictures will harm the American military.

Is The Times crazy? No, it has a plan.

The New York Times simply wants another trumped-up scandal it can blame on Bush in order to further damage the Republican Party. The crazy paper could not care less about the safety of American forces.

It is time for American vets to get involved here. You guys have power. You can confront organizations like The Times and NBC News, which are pushing to have the pictures released. I hope the vets will stand up for their comrades in the field.

And then there's the Obama-ACORN connection. There are allegations that The Times killed a story last fall connecting the Obama campaign to ACORN, which is currently under investigation in 14 states for various campaign illegalities.

On April 1, we reported this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Last fall before Election Day, The New York Times was investigating ACORN's ties to the Obama campaign. The Times reporter on the story, Stephanie Strom, called one of her sources and said this:

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

STEPHANIE STROM, NEW YORK TIMES REPORTER: Hi, Anita, it's Stephanie. I have just been asked by my bosses to stand down. They want me to hold off on coming to Washington. Sorry, I take my orders from higher up sometimes. Anyway, I'm sorry about this, and we'll still be in touch. Take care. And let me know if there's anything I can do to help you. Take care. Bye-bye.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Well, that greatly embarrassed The Times, causing its ombudsman to swing into action.

Clark Hoyt began his investigation. He called us. We gave him the information he asked for and then on Sunday, Hoyt wrote this: "O'Reilly played part of a voicemail message from (Stephanie) Strom to (Anita) MonCrief canceling their appointment but did not tell his viewers that he had deleted the reason: the article running the next day spelling out ACORN's partisanship problems."

Hoyt is implying that I misled "Factor" viewers. Of course, that's a blatant lie.

Immediately after playing the audio tape, I told you this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: To be fair, The Times did run a story before the election about ACORN's partisan approach, but stopped there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

So Hoyt writes I didn't tell you about the article I told you about. Am I in "The Twilight Zone"?

As far as what we edited for time, here it is:

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

STROM: We're running a story tonight for tomorrow that pretty well lays out the partisanship problems that Project Vote may have based on a report that I got. So they think that that's going to — that's going to be the story about the partisanship issue.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

Which, of course, again, is exactly what I said on camera in front of millions.

Now, we asked Hoyt to come on the program, but of course he's hiding under his desk. How could he possibly defend his deceit?

Still don't believe me? Well, there is an e-mail from Times reporter Strom to Ms. MonCrief that says: "Am also onto Obama connection, sadly. Would love to have the donor lists. As for helping the Republicans, they're already onto this like white on rice. SIGH!"

That sounds like an objective reporter, does it not?

And here's what Clark Hoyt, the ombudsman, wrote about that: "Was Strom betraying her own political leanings or was she expressing sympathy for MonCrief, who was unhappy about possibly hurting her own candidate? Strom said she does not know what was on her mind eight months ago."

Yeah, sure.

The New York Times is a dishonest publication in business to promote a far-left point of view. Strong evidence suggests the paper killed a story linking ACORN to some Obama people. Instead they ran a general piece stating ACORN has a left-wing bias, knowing that story would be largely ignored while the Obama connection would not be.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is media corruption.
===
Did Stimulus Bill Really Save Many Jobs?
By Bret Baier
Stimulating Conversation

Vice President Joe Biden claims the federal stimulus program has created or saved 150,000 jobs since February. President Obama said the same thing during his news conference last month.

Both have said the stimulus legislation will help save or create as many as four million jobs by the end of 2010. But, finding the data to back up any of the numbers is a real challenge.

The progress report on the stimulus plan issued from Biden's office last week contains no reference to the 150,000 number. Cybercast News reports Biden's office says the number was taken from a report published last Monday by the President's Council of Economic Advisers. But that report doesn't contain the 150,000 figure either.

And as for the jobs saved or created, the Labor Department reports more than 1.3 million jobs have been lost since the stimulus was signed into law. It's nearly impossible to find how many were saved.
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