Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Headlines Tuesday 23rd June 2009

Relentless Turnbull renews OzCar attack
Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull has opened another rowdy question time in parliament, renewing the coalition's OzCar attack on the Prime Minister.

Man at centre of OzCar scandal, Godwin Gretch, worked for Joe Hockey
Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey is distancing himself from the public servant at the centre of the OzCar scandal, amid revelations they worked together. - It is Rudd that should be distancing himself from the PM's position. Rudd folding will destroy the ALP and it appears the more likely with his shrill denunciations and the supporters increasingly desperate attacks on the Opposition. All the ALP need do is censure those who mislead parliament .. it began with Swan, but has extended to Rudd, Tanner and Gillard. - ed

Godwin Grech's home egged
Eggs have been thrown at the house of Godwin Grech, the Treasury official at the centre of the...... - Rudd supporters at their most charming. - ed.

Second Australian swine flu death
A 35-year-old man from western Victoria diagnosed with swine flu has died in hospital, bringing to two the number of people with the virus to die in Australia. - Australia's health service is failing and Rudd's broken promise on health care is at fault. - ed.

Neda a tragic internet icon for Iran
A young woman killed while protesting in the streets of Tehran has become a tragic symbol of the struggle for democracy in Iran, stirring support from around the world. - another victim of Obama, who promised much and delivered little. A president like Bush would not have let Iran feel they could get away with this. -ed.


Mum guilty of daughter's starving murder
A mother has been found guilty of murder after her seven-year-old daughter was left to starve in a putrid room.

'Mass casualty event': trains collide in Washington
At least one person is reported to have died when two subway trains collided at peak hour in the US capital on Monday.

Australian journalist Peter Lloyd to be released from Singapore prison
Australian journalist Peter Lloyd is expected to be released from prison in Singapore today.

Islamic burka 'not welcome' in France: Sarkozy
The Islamic burka is "not welcome" in France because it is not a symbol of religion but a sign of subservience for women, President Nicolas Sarkozy says.

Kimberley Vlaminck admits face was tattooed with stars at her request
Kimberley Vlaminck, the girl who claimed her face was tattooed with 56 stars while she slept, has admitted she made up the story.

Why is NAB spending up big?
The National Australia Bank says it will become the country's biggest life insurer and investment platform provider after buying Aviva Australia Holdings for $825 million.

Cristiano Ronaldo already tired of Paris Hilton
Cristiano Ronaldo has lost interest in Paris Hilton, barely a week after they were first romantically linked.
=== Journalists Corner ===
Special Breaking News Hour
Police and protesters clash in Tehran!
As the turmoil continues, Shepard Smith has the latest from the troubled region!
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The Healthcare Debate
How will the Dems pay for it and are more tax hikes the answer? Neil gets the facts!
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Guest: Brit Hume
Brit reveals how the media in general and FOX News is covering the president.
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The War on Prosperity
As changes give the Gov't more control, Dick Morris on why he says it's a catastrophe!
=== Comments ===
Red herrings dragged over the really fishy business
Piers Akerman
WHEN clouds of smoke billow over schools of herring one can hope at least for a kipper at day’s end.

Not so in Parliament yesterday where the ALP released flurries of red herring and enough smoke to close Canberra airport in its attempts to shield Treasurer Wayne Swan from the utterly damning Senate committee evidence of his office’s involvement in Utegate.

Neither Prime Minister Kevin Rudd nor Swan or the train of Labor luminaries who followed them to the dispatch box could disperse the fishy stench that surrounds the now well-documented push orchestrated from the Treasurer’s office to enlist the Treasury Department to get Ford Credit to provide funding for car dealer John Grant.

It was an exercise in smear and distraction which might fool casual viewers but Labor’s tag-team skirted the real point, focusing only on one email which now appears to be bogus.

The case against Treasurer Swan does not rely on a sole email. The case against him is supported by an encyclopaedic dossier of emails.

All related to attempts - above and beyond anything done for any other car dealer - on behalf of the Prime Minister’s friend to get a line of credit from Ford Credit.

The case is extraordinary because Ford Credit was at the time applying to the Federal Government for a $500 million line of credit it needed to keep afloat.

When Treasury officials met Ford Credit executives they even took with them Grant’s mobile number to pass on, knowing Ford Credit would be most amenable to assisting in anything that Treasury suggested and the company indicated it was happy to help when asked for the favour.

Some might think it is unusual for Ford Credit to help a Kia dealer, but if he is a friend of the PM and if the alternative may be loss of a business-saving handout, it is easy to see why Ford Credit found Treasury’s suggestion so persuasive.

But members of the ALP apparently believe it is appropriate to suborn public servants into keeping constituents happy by making sure that a supplicant to the Government - Ford Credit - was aware the Treasurer was anxious for a particular car dealer - John Grant - to be looked after.

That is the nub of the matter. And that is the issue that Labor will not address because it cannot address it.

Stripped of its obfuscation and persiflage, Labor looks rattled. The Labor benches sounded like a busload of losing league players returning from the pub. Rudd in particular looked uneasy because he knows that the greatest political crime a Member of Parliament can commit is to mislead the House.

But the louder the ruckus from the Labor benches, the more desperate they seemed to be to keep hidden a culture of cronyism and patronage.

We now know the Auditor-General has not put forward terms of reference for an inquiry, or indeed, whether he will accede to the request for an inquiry.

Forget false emails and protestations of threats to staffers, they don’t mean a thing. There’s no kippers here. The fishy stink flowing from this is over-powering, unedifying and unappetising. - Every call denouncing Mr Turnbull is an obfuscation in favor of Rudd. Turnbull has done nothing wrong in pointing this matter out to the public. Mr Turnbull has done nothing wrong in calling for Rudd to explain himself or quit. Yet a cabal of journalists are calling on Turnbull to quit and claiming he is making tactically poor decisions. What is tactical about pointing out corruption? Except the ALP seem to breathe it in. - ed.
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The 'Axis of Evil' Challenges President Obama
By Bill O'Reilly
The "Axis of Evil" challenges President Obama -- that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." Two-thirds of the "Axis of Evil," Iran and North Korea, are still causing major trouble worldwide. Of course, the other third, Saddam Hussein's Iraq no longer exists.

Let's take Iran first. There's major debate over how President Obama should react to protests against the fascist government there. Many Iranian voters believe the crazy mullahs fixed the presidential election. And now protesters are risking their lives in pursuit of a new regime.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

People wailing and grieving over the body of a woman, known only as "Neda" gunned down by Iranian paramilitary police.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

Well, since Iran has cracked down on press coverage, we don't know what happened to that woman and we don't know how many protesters have been killed or hurt, but the number surely is into the hundreds.

So what should President Obama do? Critics of the president believe he should take a harder line, perhaps even supporting the protesters against the mullahs. But as "Talking Points" said last week, that kind of rhetoric could ignite more violence in Iraq and Afghanistan against American forces.

Also, as Henry Kissinger pointed out here on FOX News, if President Obama backs the dissenters, the mullahs will blame the protests on the USA. And some inside and outside of Iran will believe that. Thus, Mr. Obama must be cautious.

But he does have the human rights card to play. And now is the time to play it. The president should speak to the world as he did in Cairo and reiterate his belief that human beings, including women, have the right to freedom, not oppression. The president must begin to be more Reaganesque in that regard. Or risk being seen as weak and indecisive.

And that is what the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il apparently thinks Mr. Obama is -- weak. Kim, a certified nut, is threatening the USA with a missile launch on the Fourth of July and a nuclear attack if we dare stop North Korean violations of the United Nations weapons mandates.

Right now, the U.S. warship John McCain, named after the senator's father and grandfather, tracking a North Korean vessel believed to be carrying illegal arms. Should President Obama order the Navy to board that vessel? That would definitely provoke Kim Jong Il, who would retaliate somehow. Mr. Obama knows that. It will be fascinating to see what he does.

If the president does nothing, Kim wins, taunting the president and getting away with it. But if the president orders the Navy to board, violence will likely occur. At this point, I don't believe the president of the United States can stand by and do nothing. So get ready.

Of course, many on the left will condemn Obama if he acts against North Korea. And these are his people. The committed left has elevated the president to power. So, another Barack and a hard place situation, no question.
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