Thursday, November 05, 2009

Headlines Thursday 5th November 2009


Thirty years after Iranian militant students seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran and took 66 Americans hostage, Fox News remembers the 444-day standoff between the Islamic Republic and the West.

Steele: Voters Said No to Obama Policies
ELECTION HQ: RNC chairman says election is a sign that Americans are fed up with Obama policies; White House claims the results are not about the president

H1N1's 'Special Threat' to the Obese
Weight playing a significant role in severity of H1N1 flu, new analysis shows

What Happened at the Lake?
Dickinson State students found dead in Jeep pulled from water likely drove into danger in the dark, cops say

Developer lobbies for Della Bosca to become premier

THE country's biggest property developer Harry Triguboff is privately lobbying Labor Party officials to support John Della Bosca's bid to become NSW premier. - Della Bosca still hasn't explained his position regarding Hamidur Rahman's death. - ed


Despite a long history as a nation where artists prove their worth as live performers, thousands of Aussies will watch Britney Spears

Retail spending may hold off rates
INTEREST rates could stay on hold before Christmas after shoppers tighten purse strings.

Fijian leader: You work with me or leave
ROW between Australia and New Zealand and Fiji intensifies with tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions.

Laser-powered space elevators compete for NASA prize in Mojave Desert

LASER-powered elevators are being tested in the Mojave Desert this week as part of a new space race.

Aussies dump $5bn worth of food a year
FRUIT, vegetables the items most often thrown out with singles living alone the worst offenders.

Video game addicts 'need a rehab centre'
ONE in 10 Aussie gamers show signs of addiction, prompting calls for a rehabilitation centre.

Fiddler crabs 'exchange favours for sex'
SCIENTISTS have found that, just like some people, crustaceans offer protection in return for sex.

Another boatload intercepted off Australia
ANOTHER boatload of suspected asylum seekers has been intercepted off the Australian coast, north of Darwin.

Sam Ibrahim charged for bail breach
THE oldest Ibrahim brother was last night back behind bars for an alleged clash with a cameraman. Read the latest on the Ibrahim saga here.

Eight school children drown in river
AT least eight school children drowned when a boat carrying 35 people capsized in a river in southern India, police said.



=== Journalists Corner ===

From the ashes of tragedy, a promise was made to keep America safe.
Now forged from the steel & wreckage of 9/11, the USS New York has become that promise.
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Election Reflection!
The winners-- the losers-- and what it all means! 'The Factor' political lineup breaks it down!
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Republicans Win Big!
What do the results really say about the mood of the country? Newt Gingrich weighs in!
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Guest: David Plouffe
Secret strategies & never before heard stories... The architect of Obama's presidential campaign comes forward
=== Comments ===
Reality runs rings around fictional council fiascos
Piers Akerman
IN the tradition of his contradictory tough-but-humane policy on refugees, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has sent contrary messages to Australia’s third tier of government, the local governments.
- Time to abolish/amalgamate the locals. One council for Sydney from Bondi to Katoomba and Palm Beach to The southern most point of the Shire. Split the rest of the State into 4 or 5 regions. With Newcastle and Wollongong having their own locals. And thats IT. Most of the ‘workers’ would remain the same, road, garbage , etc., however admin staff would be trimmed and not to mention the over payed and under-performing Mayors and Aldermen could all disappear. Saving billions, cutting development time to weeks not years and easier liaison with the useless state government. The only loss is the aldermen’s egos.
RWW of Sydney-Dallas
DD Ball replied to RWW
I feel that way too, but I also remember that such government can be well run. The problem, as I see it, is corrupt state governance and ALP domination. It isn’t yet law that the ALP have to be corrupt, but many are. Then, in affluent non ALP areas, you get this type of left wing creature who makes loony decisions.
A problem with corruption is some good people fall for it. So that well meaning council workers can participate in corruption, possibly thinking that it is ok, like when Fairfield Council workers stripped signs from privately run businesses calling for a car park. Or when Fairfield workers placed signs in public federal areas advertising their mayor during election times.

--- ---
In defense of local councils, I would point out that Latham, Lalich and Tripodi have all been serving mayors of Fairfield or Liverpool. It was in their time as mayors that they first learned how to lie, obfuscate and avoid responsibility. I think an independent prosecutorial body an excellent idea. It would be good to allow it to open matters in the recent past, too.
DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney
RWW replied to DD Ball
Yes, agree, in the same way that Hitler and Mugabe were democratically elected, and are held up to be the poster child for democracy you point out the shining stars of the ALP and their political kindergarten! As for an ‘independent prosecutorial body,’ what the F*&^K are we paying the trolls in ICAC to do? Very pertinent observation DD, brings a smile. One to watch. Look at the application by McDonalds to build in Haberfield, THE Federation suburb, with heritage Nazis to match the SS if you fail to paint in the proscribed colours, or fail to do anything that they deem to see fit. Watch Ashfield Council, see how they vote and for whom, and when McDonalds win (they have never lost) will the Federation Nazis finally allow people to do with their own home as they see fit?
===
John Stossel Scorched by The New York Times
This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 3, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Stossel Matters" segment tonight, our pal John recently gave a speech in front of the Americans for Prosperity group. That's a conservative free market outfit. Well, The New York Times didn't like it. No, they did not, saying it was another example of the conservative bias at FOX News Channel.

Here now, the very, very controversial John Stossel. Before we let you hammer The Times, which you can do as much as you want, you have been following the gambling on the New Jersey gubernatorial race. InTrade.com? What is InTrade.com?

JOHN STOSSEL, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: It's a Web site. It's run out of Ireland, because it's illegal in America to bet on these things. But Karl Rove may be a genius, but I think the best predictor of elections is where people put their money where their mouths are, and that's InTrade.com. Corzine was as high as 65 percent early this afternoon. Now he's down to 45 percent.

O'REILLY: So 65 percent were voting — were betting on him this afternoon, and now he's under 50 percent?

STOSSEL: Right.

O'REILLY: OK, now, that's just amusement. We're not making anything of that. But Stossel is a strange guy, and this is just what he does.

OK. Now, The New York Times says that this group, Americans for Prosperity, they're some kind of heinous conservative group that were paying you money — I know you gave it to charity — to do what? What were you doing? Why are they after you?

STOSSEL: I make speeches. I make about 25 a year. I've done that for years, and suddenly now that I'm at FOX, critics are leaping to attack me, according to The New York Times. And Americans for Prosperity, I like them. I'm an American. I'm for prosperity. I've discovered, from 40 years of reporting, that what creates prosperity is limited government. And...

O'REILLY: And that's what these people espouse, right?

STOSSEL: And I would like to share that with as many people who want me to speak.

O'REILLY: So they hire you. You fly down, I guess, to Arkansas, right? Do a couple of forums for them. Do they make you sign a paper saying that you hate liberals or something? Do they make you do that?

STOSSEL: No, and...

O'REILLY: Do you have to personally attack people? I don't understand why they're mad at you? So what, you make a speech in front of a group that you respect.

STOSSEL: Well, I'm aligned with this conservative group.

O'REILLY: Didn't you talk...

STOSSEL: Call them conservative; I'd call them libertarian.

O'REILLY: Didn't you talk to this group before you got to Fox?

STOSSEL: Isn't that interesting? When I worked for ABC two months ago, I also made three speeches for this group, but nobody worried about that.

O'REILLY: Nobody cared. Nobody cared then. But now...

STOSSEL: I'm sure somebody cared, but The Times didn't care.

O'REILLY: Now, Mark Feldstein, an associate professor of journalism at George Washington University, said your speaking to a partisan group was "pretty shameful." Why — why is it shameful?

STOSSEL: I guess they believe that all reporters have no opinions, no point of view.

O'REILLY: But you're a commentator now.

STOSSEL: And even before, I was a consumer reporter. I kind of invented it on TV. We made it up as we went along.

O'REILLY: You had an opinion. This product is bad. This is good. Here is hosing you.

STOSSEL: Or go to businesses, "Why are you a crook?"

O'REILLY: Right.

STOSSEL: They loved me then. I won 19 Emmy Awards. Then I got smarter. I saw how the regulation I called for made things worse, didn't help consumers and simple competition was better. And I started praising business and occasionally criticizing regulation. Suddenly, I stopped winning Emmy Awards. A journalism show had me on, and I found they had titled it "Objectivity and Journalism: Does John Stossel Practice Either?" If I'd been quicker, I would have said, "Look at the title of the show. It shows you have a point of view. We all do. I just admit mine."

O'REILLY: OK. I'm siding with The New York Times. I think you're shameful.

STOSSEL: Can't argue with you.

O'REILLY: Now, look, you know what the game is. Now that you're here — and Glenn Beck found this out very quickly when he came over from CNN — when you're here, you're a target. You become a target just by association, because now you work for Fox News. So they're going to find anything that you do, and this is The New York Times, which they hate us, and they're going to put you in the pejorative light. They're going to put you in the negative light just because you work for us. You committed the cardinal sin of all time. You left a liberal network, and you went to a traditional right-leaning network. So you're never, ever going to be liked again by anyone. Does that make you sad?

STOSSEL: Well, I live with these people. They all live in my neighborhood. So that makes me sad.

O'REILLY: Move out to Long Island where I live, because I live with the folks.

STOSSEL: I like taking the subway to work.

O'REILLY: You're a pansy. Come out to Long Island, all right? The best pizza in the world: Villa Milano in Manhasset, OK? Come out there. They're regular folks. You won't have to deal with those pinheads on the Upper West Side.

STOSSEL: It's good exercise. Living with the liberals, you get to hear their arguments, fight with them all the time. Keeps me alert.

O'REILLY: OK, but if you do that, you're a fascist. Do you really want to be a fascist, Stossel? Do you really want to be that?

STOSSEL: Someone did come up to me on the street and said, "Are you John Stossel?"

O'REILLY: Yes.

STOSSEL: "I hope you die soon."

O'REILLY: Oh, is that right? You know, that was our boss.

STOSSEL: I don't think so.

O'REILLY: Just a joke. All right. John Stossel, everybody. Stossel.

STOSSEL: Stossel it is.

O'REILLY: Stossel.
===
WHAT A FEELING
Tim Blair
After declining to compete in an Australian economy contest, Toyota now withdraws from Formula One. Seven years, billions spent, no wins.

UPDATE. In happier Toyota news, Australian NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose has signed a new two-year deal. Now all he needs is for Ryan Newman to stay out of his way …
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ARE YOU RACIST?
Tim Blair
Take the Harvard University racism test.

UPDATE. There are other tests.

UPDATE II. This Harvard-related story enables one to test several views at once.
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SLOW BOB
Tim Blair
Bob Ellis complains about Newspoll, which he figures to be biased and given to conducting phone surveys only when “the Labor voters are on holiday”. During, for example:
The week of the Bathurst 500, when no-one was at home …
The Bathurst 500 was last run in 1972. Newspoll was founded in 1985.
===
ENGLISH INCIDENTS
Tim Blair
An Australian idiot at Cambridge University throws a shoe – or tries to throw a shoe – at John Howard. Says a witness:
He got up and tried to throw a shoe but it was the weakest throw in the world.
The fellow later returned to ask for his shoe back. And in other English incident news:
London mayor Boris Johnson has rescued a woman who was being attacked by an armed group of young girls, chasing them down the road on his bicycle.
The woman was none other than Franny Armstrong, director of climate change panic film The Age of Stupid. Still on movies, Roland Emmerich has lately helmed The Age of Gutless.
===
IT’S ALIVE!
Tim Blair

The usual Halloween deal is that cartoon monsters knock on doors. Not in Boston, however, where John Kerry opens one. Dissent is the greatest form of Halloweenism.
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It’s about making cash, not cutting gas
Andrew Bolt
Even greens say emissions trading is more about hot money than hot air:
The world’s carbon trading markets growing complexity threatens another “sub-prime” style financial crisis that could again destabilise the global economy, campaigners warn today.

In a new report, Friends of the Earth says that to date “cap and trade” carbon markets have done almost nothing to reduce emissions but have been plagued by inefficiency and corruption that render them unfit for purpose…

The carbon market, mainly based in Europe, was worth $126bn in 2008 and is predicted to mushroom to $3.1tn by 2020 if a global carbon market takes off.

However, FoE fears that the area has been hijacked by speculators on the financial markets.
But surely Kevin Rudd’s scheme will be better. Right?
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The court of Hulls’ opinion
Andrew Bolt
The always entertaining Andrew Landeryou notes Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls is still appointing to our courts yet more people from his side of politics.
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Did Rudd’s free cash kill a green car?
Andrew Bolt
Did Kevin Rudd’s free cash handout to Toyota for one “green” car just undercut plans by Hyundai for another?

Back then:
But not all parties feel the $35 million contribution by the Rudd government was necessary. Reports have begun circulating that Toyota had planned to introduce a hybrid version of the Camry soon anyway forcing the Prime Minister to defend the funding decision.”
And now:
With the Camry likely to be priced from about $33,000, Hyundai Australia nominated a sub-$30,000 target price for the Elantra LPI hybrid, but this was deemed uneconomical by Hyundai HQ in Korea.
And to think the $35 million was money that Toyota admitted at the time it didn’t need.
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A warning to his colleagues
Andrew Bolt
The revolt begins. Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi warns his colleagues to fight the Copenhagen treaty that Rudd wants - warning of the billions we’ll power and the powers we’ll surrender. His letter:
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Gasp! Greens learn that sacred trees die
Andrew Bolt
The modern madness of the urban green worship of trees is in the forgetting that trees can not only grow, but die:
A GUM tree that cost taxpayers up to $400,000 and prompted a redesign of part of the Commonwealth Games pool is struggling to survive.

The 70-year-old tree sparked controversy in 2005 when it became apparent it was in the way of a temporary roof being erected over a stand for watching swimming events. The Albert Park tree was given an 11th-hour reprieve when it was decided that cutting it down would not be worth the public outcry and the roof was hastily redesigned.
Now, if the greens would have let us build a new dam, perhaps we’d be able to water such stressed trees more often…
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Why the CSIRO can’t be trusted
Andrew Bolt
Emeritus Professor Garth Paltridge won’t be surprised that the CSIRO has now banned a scientist from publishing a paper showing the Rudd Government’s emissions trading scheme won’t work. As he wrote last year:
I HEAR on the scientific grapevine that CSIRO’s biggest problem when providing formal advice to the federal Government on the matter of climate change is to say nothing that can be interpreted as giving aid and comfort to the army of irresponsible sceptics out there who are doubtful about the dreadful consequences of global warming.
But Paltridge warns that self-censorship is an even greater danger:

Basically, the problem is that the research community has gone so far along the path of frightening the life out of the man in the street that to recant publicly even part of the story would massively damage the reputation and political clout of science in general. And so, like corpuscles in the blood, researchers all over the world now rush in overwhelming numbers to repel infection by any idea that threatens the carefully cultivated belief in climatic disaster.
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Another boat, another policy failure
Andrew Bolt
Yet more proof that the Rudd Government’s polices aren’t working:
ANOTHER boatload of suspected asylum seekers has been intercepted off the Australian coast....The vessel was believed to be carrying 16 people, who will be taken to Christmas Island for security, identity and health checks.
But somehow the Government still claims this as proof that it’s policies are great:
The latest interception demonstrated the effectiveness of Australia’s border protection policy, Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor said in a statement.
But as Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard used to say in Opposition when a boat arrived on John Howard’s watch:
Another boat on the way. Another policy failure.
I’ll say it again: this is the most deceitful government in my memory.

UPDATE

So who are you going to believe, with a record like that?
SRI Lanka’s immigration chief says Canberra and Colombo have talked about bringing unskilled migrant workers to Australia, apparently in an attempt to stop the exodus of boatpeople… But a spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Evans played down the talks last night, saying Australia did not run an unskilled migration program.
So the way to stop illegal immigrants from sailing here is to calling them legal and let them fly in instead? Brilliant spin!

Let’s now count the ways the Rudd Government has deceive voters about these boat people. It has:
* falsely claimed its weakening of our border controls had nothing to do with the immediate surge in boats.

* falsely suggested the sudden increase in boats are all caused by Tamils fleeing civil war in Sri Lanka.

* falsely denied there was evidence that dozens of boat people were dying at sea.

* falsely claimed that sending the boatload of 78 rescued Tamils to Indonesia was to get urgent help to a sick girl.

* falsely claimed there’s been no discussion of bringing over more Tamil workers legally instead.

* falsely suggested there was no risk of terrorists - such as Tamil Tigers - being among the boat people.

* falsely implied that women and children it sent to Indonesian detention would not be held behind bars or barbed wire.

* falsely denied the increase in boats represents a policy failure.
If these deceits did not fit the agenda or suit the political preferences of many journalists and commentators, Rudd would be destroyed.

UPDATE 2

Arthur Sinodinos, chief of stafff under John Howard, says Rudd has been bowled by his own spin:
The government has been caught out walking both sides of the razor wire on boatpeople. It has argued that it has strengthened border protection while treating asylum-seekers more humanely. Labor milked the alleged perfidy of the Howard policy for years and promised change that unambiguously went in one direction. This part of Labor pre-election policy was a sop to the Left. The Labor Right, scenting power, held their noses and looked the other way.
UPDATE 3

We’re told that the Newspoll which showed a collapse in Labor’s vote - apparently on boat people - may be a rogue poll. But even Kevin Rudd doesn’t seem to believe that:
But since 5.30pm eastern summer time on Monday, Media Monitors says, the PM has done Derryn Hinch in Melbourne, Steve Price in Sydney, Howard Sattler in Perth, Greg Cary in Brisbane, Grant Cameron in Adelaide, AM, PM and The 7.30 Report.

“You’ve conducted a nationwide media blitz from Townsville late today; at least five radio interviews around the country in less than an hour,” Kerry O’Brien observed on the Newspoll eve on Monday. “… What sparked it?”

“Not at all, Kerry,” Rudd replied with a smile. “When I’m in parliament during the week, life’s pretty busy; I’ve got other things to do in Canberra. I’m on the road today in Townsville and there was an opportunity to respond to a whole range of interview requests and to do other interviews as well.”

With all due respect, Prime Minister, bollocks. The requests bit was true, but only because virtually every talk show in the country, radio and TV, has a permanent interview request in to the PM.

“Good to have you on the program for the first time, I think, since you became PM,” was how Sattler began.

“Could be. I’m not quite sure, mate,” a noncommittal Rudd responded, complete with a nervous little laugh.

But angry ant Steve Price was close to the mark. “It’s really difficult,” he observed to a caller straight after his conversation with Rudd. “These interviews you have with the Prime Minister when you get no notice and he suddenly bobs up, you do it in a bit of a scramble.”
When Rudd’s spin is so flagrant, isn’t it better to call it lying?

UPDATE 4

Greg Sheridan on why Kevin Rudd’s “Indonesian Solution” was bound to fail:
So, Jakarta gets asked to do Australia a favour and solve another security problem for us, and naturally, as a very rich country, we accompany the request with some aid to underwrite it. So the Indonesians agree. And then what happens? They get universally portrayed as greedy and heartless, and our media descends on their detention facilities and starts criticising them because they are not up to Australian standards. From Jakarta’s perspective, the equation is simple: do Australia a favour and get bashed up in the Australian and international media as a result.
UPDATE 5

Again on ABC 774 this morning I hear the fashionable meme that Rudd’s fall in the polls comes from his having pleased “neither side” in the boat people debate - neither the let-’em-in side or the keep-’em-out.

It’s true he’s pleased no one, but the huge switch of votes to the Coalition doesn’t come from people who think Rudd should show more “compassion”. The Left is dreaming if it thinks a more Greens-pleasing policy would be a winner.
===
A piece of Pilger
Andrew Bolt
The Sydney Peace Prize is confirmed as a trinket of appreciation from the far-Left to its radical own:

The prize and the $50,000 cheque went last night to Australian-born and London-based journalist John Pilger…

The win does not acknowledge considerable disquiet about Pilger’s reporting on the US and Israel. More than once he has referred to “ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinian people.

He has said the US and Israel agree on a “final solution” for the Palestinian people (starving them), and that the Palestinians have fought back “courageously, with slingshots”. He has described the “routine murder” of Arabs in Palestine, he has called US President Barack Obama a “glossy Uncle Tom”, and in an interview with the ABC’s Tony Jones during the Iraq war, Pilger seemed to be barracking for the defeat of the coalition forces.

Such statements may not immediately be recognisable as peaceful...

===
Copenhagen crumbles, but our cash still wanted
Andrew Bolt
Good news:
A legally binding agreement on cutting greenhouse gas emissions is no longer a realistic goal for next month’s Copenhagen summit, the UN Secretary-General says. According to Ban Ki Moon such an agreement will not be signed next month and the most likely outcome is voluntary targets, which countries could announce but then ignore.
Which they will.

But that won’t stop the demands for our cash - which the draft treaty suggests should be around $7 billion a year from Australia alone:
Mr Ban also said that developed nations would have to increase the amount that they paid to poorer countries to help them to adapt to climate change. Asked whether he believed that the European Union’s proposal of a fund of up to $50 billion of public money a year would be sufficient, he said: “As we go into the future, I think that should be scaled up.”
That’s your billions to the sticky-fingered UN, to pass on to China and the Third World.
===
Nicely balanced by the ABC
Andrew Bolt
The ABC’s Q&A finishes the season with a panel that retains its traditional imbalance even when it purports to address it:
Graham Richardson - legendary Labor identity
Joe Hockey - Shadow Treasurer
Maxine McKew - Member for Bennelong
David Marr - journalist and commentator
Kerry Chikarovski - former State Liberal leader
UPDATE

Gavin Atkins’ head-counting of Q&A’s panel guests here.
===
State-sponsored victims
Andrew Bolt
Damian Thompson on Christophobes complaining about homophobes:
The Glasgay! arts festival is staging a play called Jesus, Queen of Heaven, in which Christ is a man who wants to become a woman. As soon as I read about it, I thought: “I bet some public money has gone into that”. But even I was taken aback when I visited the festival website...
Good Lord. No wonder.
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Give us your hottest tip
Andrew Bolt
Place your bets now. How long before someone blames the usual suspect for this?

GIANT jellyfish have sunk a 10-tonne trawler in Japan.
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If even gangs can be tolerant, why can’t we?
Andrew Bolt
Lovely to see multiculturalism being adopted even by - or especially by - bikie gangs:

POLICE have named 20 people they say are members of Sydney’s Notorious bikie gang including four Ibrahim family brothers… The names released by police are:

Ali Akbari
Masood Atai
Imad Barghachoun
Mahmoud Bazzi
Joseph Dersahabian
Ewing Joseph Filipo
Ahmed Ghulamaskhi
Hassib Hassani
Christian Edward
Herrera
Sam Ibrahim
John Ibrahim
Fadi Ibrahim
Michael Ibrahim
Alla Kassoua
Kelepi Kolopeaua
Dan Levi
Sofe Levi (David
Lima)
Uitime Levi
Sam Lutau
Aki Machee
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