Monday, June 29, 2009

Headlines Monday 29th June 2009

Plot to dump Turnbull 'within days'
MALCOLM Turnbull's credibility has been smashed in polling and senior Liberals believe he may be replaced within days or weeks. - one hopes the press call, ALP wish isn't how other Liberals feel. History suggests that Rudd has more cause to look over his own shoulder .. but one would not expect the press to report it. - ed.

Labor expects poll hit
PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd expects Labor will take a hit in the opinion polls because of the OzCar affair. - the headline is disingenuous. It fails to analyze how Rudd is responsible for the hit and suggests it might be unfair, excusing Rudd for his behavior. - ed.

Former MP in court, a close colleague of Rudd
FORMER Queensland minister Gordon Nuttall's corruption trial begins in Brisbane's District Court today.

Boat intercepted, almost 200 aboard
A boat containing almost 200 people has been intercepted near Christmas Island.

Michael Jackson's former nanny makes explosive claim
In shock new revelations, the woman closest to him has said the first call she received from Jackson’s family in the hours after he died was a demand for “hidden cash” that the relative was searching for. - Michael was a star of the New Age, and as such collected none of the care, devotion and love that someone with virtue would experience. - ed.

Autopsy reports: Jackson bald, emaciated
Details are emerging of Michael Jackson’s autopsy, with London paper The Sunreporting that his body was emaciated, his head almost devoid of hair, and his skin riddled with needle marks.

Jackson's father provokes outrage
Michael Jackson's father, who had an uneasy relationship with the superstar, has angered fans by making a commercial plug at his first appearance since his son's death.

States move to re-open Brimble inquest
NATHAN Rees and Anna Bligh are seeking to have the inquest into the 2002 cruise ship death of Dianne Brimble re-opened. - very late in the day. -ed

Aussie 'Trojan horse' to kill cancer
Two Sydney scientists have developed a cancer treatment that uses "Trojan horse" cells to infiltrate tumours.

North Korea recycles old Kim Jong-Il picture, speculation about death increases
North Korean state media this month apparently recycled an old photo of leader Kim Jong-Il, raising speculation that his health may have worsened, a report said on Monday.

Coles offloads 45 stores to FoodWorks
There could be more competition on the horizon for grocery shoppers with Coles selling 45 of its supermarkets to independent chain Foodworks

Date with Bruno sends PM into panic
KEVIN Rudd says he was a bundle of nerves after finding out he would be sharing the spotlight with Austrian fashionista Bruno. - Why, did Bruno offer him a free ute? - ed.

'I slept with Kevin Rudd': Bruno
Bruno might have a crush on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, but Australian men in general don't impress him.

Court bans dad from weighing son
A MAN has been ordered to stop weighing his nine-year-old boy after he developed an obsession with the child's eating habits.
=== Comments ===
Tim Blair
The Sydney Opera House once featured boxing. Once.

Tim Blair
Kofi Annan in 2006. Barack Obama in 2009.
Tim Blair
The UK Telegraph reports:
Michael Jackson was working on a song about climate change in the days before his death, his friend Deepak Chopra has disclosed.
Was it called Chiller? Heat It? Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough Carbon Credits? Guess we’ll never know. As if in tribute, Nancy Pelosi’s ridiculous (but catchy!) climate change bill has made it through through the House of Representatives, although without the support of Republican John Boehner:
When asked why he read portions of the cap-and-trade bill on the floor Friday night, Boehner told The Hill, “Hey, people deserve to know what’s in this pile of s--t.”
More than a few Democrats were just as dismissive:
Mississippi Rep. Gene Taylor (D) voted against the measure that he says will die in the Senate.

“A lot of people walked the plank on a bill that will never become law,” Taylor told The Hill after the gavel came down.
UPDATE. Not in our name! Obama’s climate change bill passed in the House: 219-212. Bush’s Iraq War Resolution passed in the House: 296-133.

UPDATE II. Here’s a shock:
The mother of two of Michael Jackson’s children has claimed Jackson is not actually their father …

[Debbie Rowe] has told the News of the World that she was artifically inseminated with sperm for both births from an anonymous donor.
Tim Blair
Creative art adorns an appropriate Melbourne sign:

Tim Blair
“The evidence of global warming keeps piling up,” writes the Australian‘s Mike Steketee, “but that seems only to embolden the climate contrarians and sceptics to press their case harder.”

Mike, the only stuff that’s piling up around here is called “snow”. One of Steketee’s commenters writes:
What really p***es me off about opposition to taking action to mitigate climate change (climate turbulence would be better description for now) is that they are stopping the stitch in time that saves nine, and mine AND their children and grandchildren are the ones who will be denied opportunities because of it.
Presumably that descendant-fixated correspondent is opposed to abortion. By the way, “climate turbulence”? Can’t we achieve a consensus on what this thing is called?
Tim Blair
NineMSN asks:
Is it time for Brendan Nelson to step down as leader?
Considering he was ousted last year, the answer is probably “yes”. - Which is good by Nine MSN standards. The question was probably kept in the aftermath of the leadership spill so as to embarrass Turnbull if it was adverse to him. Then they probably forgot how clever they were being. Of course no one has asked who will replace Rudd now Gillard, Swan and Tanner are too compromised over Utegate. - ed.

UPDATE. In other poll news, the Cairns Post asks:
Do you think the name of a menu item called The Chocolate Slut is offensive?
Dear UN: is this the evidence you seek?
Andrew Bolt
The world is crazy. Latest proof? The UN enters a territory controlled by a rocket-firing terrorist group to investigate war crimes allegedly committed by ... Israel:

A UN Fact-finding Committee has arrived in the Gaza strip to investigate violations committed during Israel’s offensive on the territory earlier this year…

Israel has been accused internationally of committing war crimes. The war crimes include the use of deadly white phosphorus shells in densely populated civilian areas and the use of civilians as human shields.

If the use of human shields in Gaza is what the UN seeks to investigate, here’s the most flagrant example yet caught on film:

But how odd. The perpetrator doesn’t actually look very Jewish. So I guess that’s the last we’ll hear of this.
How children are taught to loathe us
Andrew Bolt
How should students celebrate Queensland’s 150th birthday? Well, how about we get them to write something creative, and then reward those who imagine the state as its most violent, racist worst?

So here’s the competition launched by the Department of Education and Training. And here’s excerpts from the winning essay for years 11 and 12:
Maria saw a few of the other mothers around the mission begging at the foot of a very well dressed white man. She didn’t understand at first, but then realised he had taken their children. She ran to the school and took Luke home and cradled him in her arms until dark…

Two days later Maria was dragged out of her hut as she was making breakfast for Luke and questioned by a white government official about her son’s strange absence from school and lack of interaction with other children… The official declared that Luke was to be taken out of her care and placed in a white family… The official seized her by the neck of her mandatory frilly European dress and spat in her face…

The next day, as Maria made Luke breakfast, there was a loud thud and the door to their hut came crashing to the ground. The culprit was the official from yesterday; he had two more officials with him. As he came towards Maria and Luke and put the gun to Maria’s temple, as she trembled with fear, he blew a puff of his cigarette straight into her mouth. She instinctively reached toward Luke but the officials were faster; one seized Maria and the other grabbed Luke, and led him out the door and to a car parked only a few meters away. One official let go of Maria but the fierce official from the day before continued to hold the gun to her face; he dismissed the other official and told Maria they had unfinished business; He forced Maria to the ground and hit her over the head with his gun, knocking her unconscious. He found it easier to deal with the black scum when they were barely alive. He ripped her dress to shreds and forced himself on top of her, he then proceeded to repeatedly hit her and burn her with his cigarette. When he was tired of this, he raped her and stuffed her naked body in the boot of the car outside, with the son inside. As the boy screamed out for his mother the officer turned around and slapped the boy across the face, sending his head into the side of the car door.
Happy birthday, Queensland! You’ve taught your children to be so grateful for ... for…
Suffered for us all
Andrew Bolt

Boris Johnson tries to explain the tears for Michael Jackson:

He spoke to the billions of people the world over who feel that they do not conform in some way to the Hollywood stereotype of good looks - either because they are too fat or thin or the wrong colour or have the wrong sort of eyes or nose. In a world dominated by a demoralising canon of physical perfection, he was the patron saint of dysmorphia.

Never was someone so obviously and so literally unhappy in his own skin, and by his obsessional suffering he earned the potential sympathy of everyone who feels doubtful about their appearance, which is a fair chunk of the human race.

And by his musical triumphs, he proved the essential point, that you can look weird, feel weird, be weird - and still be a genius.
How the truth on warming is kept from you
Andrew Bolt
Remember the Left screaming that global warming believers were being wickedly censored? Well, where’s that Left now that the censorship of warming facts is real?
The Environmental Protection Agency may have suppressed an internal report that was skeptical of claims about global warming, including whether carbon dioxide must be strictly regulated by the federal government, according to a series of newly disclosed e-mail messages.

Less than two weeks before the agency formally submitted its pro-regulation recommendation to the White House, an EPA center director quashed a 98-page report that warned against making hasty “decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data.”

The EPA official, Al McGartland, said in an e-mail message to a staff researcher on March 17: “The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward… and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision.”

Add to that:
TOP of the agenda at a meeting of the Polar Bear Specialist Group will be the need to produce a suitably scary report on how polar bears are being threatened with extinction by man-made global warming. But one of the world’s leading experts on polar bears has been told to stay away from this week’s meeting. Mitchell Taylor has been researching polar bears in Canada and around the Arctic Circle for 30 years, as an academic and a government employee. The (PBSG) chairman, Andy Derocher explained in an email that (Mitchell’s) rejection had nothing to do with his expertise on polar bears: “It was the position you’ve taken on global warming that brought opposition.” Taylor was told that his views running “counter to human-induced climate change are extremely unhelpful”.
The Jackson children - unwanted and unmoored
Andrew Bolt

In my opinion, the doctors should be sued for malpractice in creating the ultimate example of the modern bred-to-order family:

THE mother of two of Michael Jackson’s children has claimed Jackson is not actually their father.

Debbie Rowe made headlines 13 years ago when Jackson announced she would be the mother of his first child, Prince, now 12.

Rowe was a receptionist at the dermatology clinic where Jackson received his skin treatments and a year later, bore him a second child, Paris.

Now she has told the News of the World that she was artifically inseminated with sperm for both births from an anonymous donor…

She said it was at that stage the Jackson ended their relationship and paid her $9 million over nine years in exchange for custody of the children… Rowe admitted she was never a good mother and said she never wanted to see her children again.

Which means the two children have no father and knew no father, and have no mother who wants to know them, either. I hope they one day sue the people who so frivolousy brought them into this world at the request of a freak.
Bolt throws his hat in the ring in ignoring Rudd's transgressions in favor of opposing Turnbull
Andrew Bolt
Just a couple of weeks after Peter Costello says he’ll quit, Malcolm Turnbull is finished, too.
Rudd the ruthless
Andrew Bolt
Glenn Milne says Kevin Rudd’s decision to send the Federal Police to investigate Malcolm Turnbull over the Beaut Ute is sinister:

Rudd wants to be careful about his penchant for persecution, flushed as he is with the fruits of his total war against the Opposition Leader. He too is capable of overreach…

Last week the focus was on special treatment for the Prime Minister’s friends. The other half of that equation is yet to be fully explored; the punishment meted out to those who dare to publicly criticise Rudd.

Stories are beginning to filter through. For example, a commentator who publicly questioned the government’s economic policy was told that a senior member of the government had made a direct representation to the chairperson of a private company asking that the company no longer use the commentator’s services. A senior minister followed up with the chief executive of the same company to see whether the government’s wishes had been complied with.

Ugly stuff.

No doubt we’ll soon have David Marr update his famous denunciation:

(The Prime Minister) has cowed his critics, muffled the press, intimidated the ABC, gagged scientists, silenced non-government organisations, neutered Canberra’s mandarins, curtailed parliamentary scrutiny, censored the arts, banned books, criminalised protest and prosecuted whistleblowers.

Of course, Marr was then damning a Liberal Prime Minister. Will he dare say the same of a Labor one who deserves the criticism far more? - Bolt is being too kind to Rudd here. This is not about strength or character. Rudd is an opportunist with a fragile grasp on his own emotions with an overpowering ego. Rudd has committed acts that may well be worthy of jail time. - ed.
Another $7.5 million boat
Andrew Bolt
Here we go again:

A BOAT carrying 194 people, the largest number in eight years, has been intercepted by border protection 23 nautical miles north-west of Christmas Island…

On board were mostly men, understood to be of Afghan or Iraqi descent, who are now being processed on Christmas Island in immigration detention…

It is the 16th boat to arrive in Australian waters this year — during which 867 people have been intercepted by border protection. Arrivals this year are up from the 161 asylum seekers who came by boat last year, but well down on the 5516 people who arrived in 2001.

Do the sums:

(N)ew figures reveal the cost of processing the latest influx of boatpeople is about $38,000 an asylum seeker.
The nine lives of the great warming scare
Andrew Bolt
Global warming is creating too many cats:

The RSPCA claims climate change is producing a boom in the number of feral felines prowling streets in Melbourne’s leafy east.

Global warming is killing too many cats:

Climate change could kill pets, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), as warmer temperatures cause an increase in exotic diseases among cats and dogs.
Rove badly wants to like Rudd
Andrew Bolt
In how many ways was Kevin Rudd’s appearance on Rove’s show last night excruciating?

(Apologies for the technical qualitiy of the video.)

Perhaps most excruciating of all - and most telling - was how much Rove, his cast and his crew were desperate to like and find amusing a man who so clearly struggled to say anything witty or warm, and so clearly tried to spin.

It’s that wanting that’s so telling.
Fewer stunts, more statesmanship, please
Andrew Bolt
Kevin Rudd is now almost certain to win the next election. With his growing security, can he now drop the stunts that have been his greatest weakness and source of his greatest embarrassments? After all, the dumping last week of Grocery Choice - the preposterous scheme to monitor grocery prices - is only the latest populist ploy to bite the dust:

Consumer Affairs Minister Craig Emerson announced on Friday Grocery Choice would not proceed, after major retailers protested that the program was unfeasible.

Before that was FuelWatch:

THE Rudd Government has given up on FuelWatch after the Senate killed off legislation for the national petrol price monitoring scheme.

And the ideas summit:

A year after 1002 of the nation’s “best and brightest” brought a heady mix of energy, enthusiasm and “big ideas” to the 2020 Summit in Canberra, the Federal Government has announced an underwhelming response. Of the delegates’ rich mix of 962 ideas, it has formally adopted only nine modest proposals.

And the plan to take Japan to court over its whaling:

Mr Rudd later insisted that Labor’s policy had not changed from last year, when he demanded that the Howard government take Japan to the International Court and pledged that Labor would do so. But he made it clear yesterday that Labor now had no plans to take Japan to court...

And to take Iran’s president to court, too:

The Rudd Labor Government has abandoned a pre-election promise to bring Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad before the International Court of Justice to face charges of inciting genocide against Israel.

And to create a new Asian forum no one actually wants:

KEVIN Rudd’s proposal for an Australian-led Asia-Pacific community similar to the European Union has been slapped down by the top envoy chosen by Barack Obama to represent US interests in the region. Kurt Campbell yesterday raised serious difficulties with the Prime Minister’s plan, declaring that Asians hated to be compared with Europe. - Bolt still fails to recognize that Rudd is fatally injured from Utegate. -ed.
Iranians defy the beatings and shootings
Andrew Bolt

Iran’s fascist leaders still struggle to impose control over voters furious at the stealing of an election:

Iranian security forces have used tear gas and batons to disperse about 3,000 protesters after they gathered in northern Tehran, witnesses say.

The demonstration outside the Ghoba mosque on Sunday saw the first unrest in four days. Authorities had allowed the gathering to go ahead as it had officially been called to mark a bombing in 1981 that killed 70 people.

But police broke up the crowds after they began chanting “Where is my vote?” and “Ya Hussein, Mir Hossein”, linking Mir Hossein Mousavi, the reformist candidate, to the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.


The headline that best sums up how fast the region has changed over this past year:

Iraqi Foreign Minister Concerned over Instability in Iran


Upping the ante:

Iran has arrested eight local British embassy staff, triggering London’s fury on Sunday and further exacerbating tensions with the West over the post-election turmoil in the Islamic republic.
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