Friday, June 19, 2009

Headlines Friday 19th June 2009

Claims PM used taxpayer money to fund friend's car dealership
Kevin Rudd is being asked for a ''please explain'' over claims he lobbied parliament to bail out a friend and struggling car dealer with tax payers’ money.

Rudd rocked by new OzCar revelations
Malcolm Turnbull has called on the Prime Minister to stand down after a Treasury official revealed Kevin Rudd did help a car dealer friend secure finance, despite Mr Rudd's previous denial.

Paedophile's son jailed for child sex
The 23-year-old son of a jailed West Australian pedophile has himself received a lengthy sentence......

School bullying victim wins $468K
A NSW man who was cruelly bullied throughout high school has been awarded almost half a million dollars in damages after suing the state.

Backhoe sunk in harbour after Rose Bay blunder
An excavator is stuck in Sydney Harbour after getting bogged while clearing sand.

Pilot dies mid-flight, plane lands safely in US
The pilot of a Continental Airlines flight from Belgium to the US died over the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday, but the jet landed safely with two co-pilots at the controls.

Senator humiliated after child removed from chamber
A Greens Senator, whose daughter was thrown out of the chamber, says it was incredibly embarrassing and humiliating.
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Aboriginal man Australia's first swine flu death - although he may not have died from Swine flu
A young Australian man has died from swine flu in Adelaide, just one day after being diagnosed with the disease.

The Aboriginal man, from the remote Western Desert, was being treated Alice Springs hospital but a rapid deterioration in his condition meant he was transferred the Royal Adelaide Hospital intensive care unit on Monday.

The 26-year-old was diagnosed with the virus yesterday.

He died at Royal Adelaide Hospital today.

The man is understood to have suffered other chronic medical problems.
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Australian banks grow stronger, greedier
The Australian banks are claiming the need for more special treatment to stop terrible things happening, as they claim to see them.

Bruno v Borat: British satirist pokes fun at former guise
British satirist Sacha Baron Cohen has brought London's theatre-land to a standstill at the premiere of his new film "Bruno" - and jokingly rapped his former hit character Borat for fuelling stereotypes.
=== Journalists Corner ===
Not Scared, a Grudge
Just to set the record straight ... I am teasing the President about being "scared" to come to FOX. Of course he is not scared. He is simply holding a grudge. And yes, while I admit to having held grudges in my life, I think he would be smart to set this one aside since Fox has a giant audience compared to the other cable networks and audience means taxpayers. [...]
=== Comments ===
If we wanted kids in Parliament we would have elected them
Piers Akerman
The Greens have now enlisted a two-year-old child in their latest attempt to downgrade the parliamentary process.
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GODWIN’S LAW
Tim Blair
Kevin Rudd’s ute mate received a helping hand, contrary to Rudd’s claims in Parliament:
The Prime Minister’s office approached a senior Treasury official to intervene on behalf of a friend of Kevin Rudd in order to help the friend secure crucial government financing for his struggling car dealership.

In explosive evidence before a Senate Committee in Canberra this afternoon, Godwin Grech - the Treasury official running the OzCar scheme – recalled an overture from the Prime Minister’s office concerning Ipswich Kia dealer John Grant.
Someone is going to be severely counselled after this. Perhaps even Rudd himself.

UPDATE. Rudd’s previous claim:
Neither I, nor my office, have ever made any representations on [John Grant’s] behalf.
UPDATE II. Rudd has announced an Auditor-General’s inquiry into Tailgate.
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THEY’RE PLANNING SOMETHING
Tim Blair
I’m pretty certain this is code:
The bronze frog will appear towards the Independence Day in Kyiv.
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WERRIBEE BATHING HORROR
Tim Blair
Shocking news from the old home town:
Naked man found in bath
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TAILGATE
Tim Blair
A earlier ute-based controversy flares anew:
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is facing serious allegations that he misled Parliament after lobbying for a car dealer and friend to secure a taxpayer-funded financial lifeline.
Senate hearings today will pursue this. In other Rudd transport news:
The Rudd Government has smashed the annual record for VIP jet flights, handing taxpayers a $3 million bill in the process.

New figures obtained by The Daily Telegraph show VIP aircraft activity last year was up to 10 per cent more than the previous year …

Government documents state the increase was due solely to extra use by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Governor-General Quentin Bryce.
Aren’t we meant to be cutting down on this sort of thing? You know, as an example to China?
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THIN-SKINNED LIZZY
Tim Blair
“Never call me anything but Elizabeth again,” orders Democrat staffer Elizabeth “Liz” Becton. “Also, make sure you correct anyone who attempts to call me by any other name but Elizabeth.” You got it, Libby. Er, Beth. I mean, Liza. Whatever, E-Bec.

(Via reader Lee. Whose full name is possibly Leeferstoon. Apologies.)

TOUCHY DEMOCRAT UPDATE. It’s “senator”, not “ma’am”:

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FAITH-BASED DISCRIMINATION
Tim Blair
MIT physicist and warmy sceptic Richard Lindzen:
In our recent house fire, an 18th century oriental rug was burnt, and we needed an appraisal of its value for our insurance. We were referred to a dealer, [name withheld], who agreed to do the appraisal.
A routine enough process, you’d think. But the art dealer objected on religious grounds:
I am sorry to inform you that after some consideration, I’ve decided not to perform the appraisal service that you’ve requested. Your writing on the subject of global warming is offensive to me personally, and I feel that I would have difficulty being an impartial appraiser of value given my view on the subject.
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How to spot a racist. Or not
Andrew Bolt
UNTIL last week, when a black man and a white man bashed Sunny Bajaj, I thought I could tell a racist thug from the, er, good one.

Not that I thought the difference mattered much, to be honest.

Broken teeth are broken teeth, after all, and will hurt just as much if the bozo who broke them has not a racist bone in his tattooed knuckles. Or so I figured.

But now I see that’s just one of the many dumb things I’ve got wrong about this new racism game.

Here’s the Times of India report:

Bajaj is the latest victim of the racial attacks that have been unleashed in Australia in the past two months and seem to be continuing unabated . . .

“I was returning to my car after shopping when two men accosted me and asked for money. When I said I didn’t have any, they began abusing me and then attacked me without any provocation. One of them was white and the other seemed to be of African origin.”

To my shame, when I first read of this appalling assault I didn’t see at first the Australian racism that the Times now informs me is plain to an honest eye.

Forgive this witless sinner, but I’d actually been relieved to read that a white Australian and a black newcomer had worked together like brothers, overlooking any trivial difference of race to focus instead on what truly united them - which in this case happened to be a mutual desire to get ahead by bashing people and stealing their stuff.

In my madness I even hummed a few triumphant bars of McCartney:
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Gillard channels Thatcher
Andrew Bolt
IS Julia Gillard paying the building unions to protest against her?

I’ve never seen a campaign more likely to please the person it’s supposedly meant to monster.

Much more of this and the Deputy Prime Minister - once a leader of the Socialist Forum - will complete a metamorphosis into the Aussie Margaret Thatcher. And guarantee she’ll be prime minister.

One of Gillard’s several roles is Workplace Relations Minister, which is just the kind of job you’d normally fear to fall to a minister from Labor’s Left.

But Gillard, from conviction and perhaps also from personal calculation, is infuriating the union movement by not giving it what it now demands most.

The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, along with the ACTU, has lobbied her to scrap tough laws that the Howard government brought in to crack down on one of the most lawless sectors of the economy.

The law they most want gone compels building workers to give evidence to regulators investigating criminal activity, or face jail. But Gillard has refused to buckle, not least because Prime Minister Kevin Rudd promised to keep “a tough cop on the beat”.

What’s more, since the Howard government set up its Australian Building and Construction Commission, working days lost to strikes in construction have plummeted and productivity soared, which should already be enough for Gillard to insist that while she’ll scrap the ABCC, she’ll keep most of its tough powers in her new Fair Work Australia.

Also pushing her to stand firm will be data showing building unions are already feeling more bolshie under this Labor Government, with reports of thuggery and illegal strikes again soaring, and ABCC staff being punched.

But there is yet another very personal factor that the union boneheads ignore.
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OReilly factor
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