Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Headlines Wednesday 18th November 2009

Police vehicle ahead of vice president's motorcade crashes into NYC cab, sending 3 to the hospital, after two other crashes this week left one dead and another injured.

Gov't Waste Soars to $98B
About 5 percent of spending in federal programs in fiscal year 2009 was improper, gov't financial report reveals

Minister Kristina Kenneally embracing solidarity with Nathan Rees

SEALED with a kiss. Once a contender for the top job, Planning Minister Kristina Keneally yesterday made no bones about where her new loyalties lie. And Premier Nathan Rees was eager to welcome her back into the fold, making a bee-line for the young US born member for Heffron with a warm embrace following the swearing in of his fourth Cabinet since becoming Premier.

Senate Eyes Long-Term Care Program
Insurance program to help the elderly, disabled avoid going to nursing homes is expected in Senate legislation

AP Showing Anti-Palin Bias?
News wire assigns 11 reporters to fact-check Palin's autobiography, but didn't fact-check Obama's books

Lawmakers rip gov't guidelines that recommend against routine mammograms for women under 50, questioning whether they are comparable to 'rationing' of health care

Probe on Red Flags?
Pentagon leaning toward massive investigation in light of Ft. Hood massacre that looks at how military services keep watch on potential problems in their ranks

Stupak Stands by His Plan
Dem lawmaker slams claim that Obama would intervene to change the abortion language in health care bill Under Fire
Congressman blasts White House for 'stupid mistakes' tied to government site, including unrealistic data

A single-sex travel company for women who want to avoid boozy, bed-hopping mixed tour groups has been grounded, with the judge saying these holidays could breach mens' human rights

Coffee, music for twins' surgery
DOCTORS tell how they got through 32-hour surgery to separate conjoined twins.

Pollie: Scientology 'a criminal organisation'
NICK Xenophon says people have told him of Church of Scientology's "criminal dealings".

Teens work to help support their families
MANY teens who work part-time after school use the money to subsidise their family income.

Eye surgeons 'earning $28,000 a day'
AUSTRALIAN eye doctors are paid twice as much for cataract surgery as doctors in the US.

Ferry assault boxer denied bail
HE has sparred with Kostya Tszyu, Jeff Fenech and Anthony Mundine but Grant "Tazzie" Brown's alleged latest knock-out blow on a ferry has landed him behind bars.

Schwarzenegger visits troops in Iraq
ARNOLD Schwarzenegger has visited Iraq on a morale-boosting visit for troops, drawing cheers from servicemen and women.
=== Journalists Corner ===

Obama sits down with Major Garrett --
It's the interview America's waited for!

Guest: Rep. Louie Gohmert
The trial of 9/11 suspects puts NY on edge! What's his plan to avoid potential dangers?
'Factor Investigation'
Lou's leaving CNN, but who's the real force behind his abrupt exit? It may not be who you think!
Guest: Sarah Palin
From why she decided to resign to whether politics is in her future, Sarah Palin tells all!
=== Comments ===
Victoria drive leaves NSW swinging in the wind
Piers Akerman
YOU don’t have to know a wedge from a woodie to be aware that golfing superhero Tiger Woods won the Australian Masters in Melbourne at the weekend. Melbourne, that is, not Sydney, where Premier Nathan Rees appeared before an easily pleased audience of ALP members and went through an act designed to distract attention from the failures of the past 14 years of Labor Party state government. - Should the NSW Gov’t choose to claim it is rejuvenated it could provide evidence of that. In the case of Hamidur Rahman, it could acknowledge the role played by the former Education Minister Della Bosca and Minister with local constituent Tripodi in threatening a whistle blower who appropriately reported on the issue.
Even now, that whistleblower works full time for his former employer but is not paid any conditions of super, sick leave or holiday pay, the result being that should they work for a whole year without leave, they would earn less than $30k. Thank you Julia Gillard for your fair work. - ed.
Linda replied
And while they are at it DD the current and past premier could confess to knowing that there was an accused paedophile in Cabinet for three months before he was arrested. During that time he was protected from discovery by removing the witness whistleblower, allowed to continue in his most sensitive portfolio attending several Aboriginal youth functions and supposedly considering a report on sexual abuse in Aboriginal Communities! This is a comparatively recent matter which is sadly lacking any serious media attention for some inexplicable reason because the evidence is there.
DD Ball replied
Linda, as I understand the thinking the press cannot report on the issue as it would be denounced as being provocative and counter to the public interest. I understand that the press are not supposed to ask questions on matters that have been settled by court and in which no remedy is apparent .. it would be considered scare mongering. It is ok to scare monger, like mis-report on the weather and claim it is hotter than it is, but not to scare monger and claim that the government killed a school boy when it has been ruled by the coroner as an accident. - ed
Linda replied to DD Ball
DD - none of the issues regarding the NSW Government and parliament’s mishandling of the reporting of allegations of criminal behaviour and of the existence of a police operation were settled in any court and considerable effort has gone in to ensuring that they are not examined in any other official forum either. This Government has tried that argument about all being settled in court which is absolute nonsense as the trial obviously was concerned only with the criminal activities of the Minister. The Premier has insisted that the matter has been looked at and found not to need an inquiry which cannot be true because no attempt has been made to access evidence which clearly indicates most questionable matters which need to be raised in the public interest. What does the Premier and his Government have to be afraid of?
'Factor' Exclusive: Lou Dobbs Explains Why He Left CNN
This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 16, 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: Now for the top story tonight, here he is, the recently emancipated Lou Dobbs. OK, you still got your radio show, three hours a day.


O'REILLY: And you're still popping off on there. But on CNN, you did quite well in the ratings when the immigration thing was in the forefront. And CNN actually moved you up from a — what they call the early fringe to 7 o'clock, because your ratings were strong.

DOBBS: Right. Right.

O'REILLY: Then your ratings leveled, as well as all the ratings for CNN, and began to go down. Just correct me if I'm wrong.

DOBBS: No, no, you're absolutely right.

O'REILLY: OK. So then they didn't like your anti-immigration stuff so much, did they?

Click here to watch the interview!

DOBBS: You know, I discern more of a difference between then, which was under the Bush administration whom I was criticizing, and now, when it is the Obama administration and an entirely different tone was taken, not so much in the case of CNN management, certainly, because there's no — my contract was very explicit. I had absolute editorial control. What I reported is what I chose to report...

O'REILLY: So they never said to you in the hallway, "You know, we don't like this," or, "This doesn't make you or the network look good." You never got that kind of feedback?

DOBBS: Never. The only issue that came up in the last 90 days of my employment there was Jon Klein and I had talked about the issue of opinion itself and advocacy journalism, and he wanted to take the network in a different direction, and I quite understood that and tried to accommodate him though.

O'REILLY: But it doesn't make any sense, so let's just go back. Under the Bush administration, and President Bush didn't do a lot to stem illegal immigration until his last two years…

DOBBS: Yes, he was...


O'REILLY: So you hammered him.

DOBBS: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: You hammered him. But at the same time, La Raza and other groups labeled you an anti-immigrant guy, not an anti-illegal immigrant guy, an anti-immigrant guy.

DOBBS: And so did, by the way, The New York Times...

O'REILLY: Right.

DOBBS: ...which conflated illegal immigration with immigrant...

O'REILLY: With legal immigration.

DOBBS: Right. Right.

O'REILLY: So you were demonized by the left...

DOBBS: Right.

O'REILLY: a bad guy. You don't think CNN bought into that at all?

DOBBS: I don't. I really don't. But that's just purely subjective on my part. CNN's management never tried — and, by the way, in 27 years — and this goes back to when Ted was running the operation...

O'REILLY: Ted Turner.

DOBBS: ...they never tried to do...

O'REILLY: OK, and I believe you, because as I said, they moved you up in the time slot when your numbers were good.

DOBBS: Sure.

O'REILLY: But then the numbers leveled and went down, and then a new president came in, and you were saying, as soon as the new president came in, and you went after him, not only on illegal immigration, but economic issues...

DOBBS: Right, other issues, right.

O'REILLY: ...they didn't like you anymore.

DOBBS: Well, I — I don't know whether that was the distinction that triggered any sort of response or difference in perspective on the part of CNN's management, but it is the only difference between the way I'm — I was conducting myself under this administration and the previous administration.

O'REILLY: But what did you hear? I mean, what — did you hear that they were uncomfortable with you?

DOBBS: No, what I heard very directly was that they had decided to take CNN in a direction in which advocacy journalism would not — wouldn't be a part of it.

O'REILLY: OK, so they just wanted — they just want an objective presentation in primetime.

DOBBS: Correct. Correct.

O'REILLY: But it doesn't make any sense, because their numbers — and with all due respect, because we don't have anything against CNN. NBC News, we don't like. But CNN, I don't have anything against you guys, Campbell Brown, Larry King...

DOBBS: By the way, it's "those guys" now.

O'REILLY: OK. Right. Those guys, I'm sorry. But every show that — that doesn't have an opinion is dying. It's dying. Campbell Brown is getting murdered. Larry King has declined like 80 percent. Anderson Cooper is getting hammered. So they want more of the same? They want more of that? Does that make sense to you, as an economic guy?

DOBBS: Well, you know, I'm just talent. They're — they're...

O'REILLY: No, you're an economic guy. You can read. You can read the numbers. They're in dire trouble.

DOBBS: Their — their ratings are — are objectively, without question, as you suggest, lower than they should be, than they'd been. By the way, I was partly to blame for that, because my broadcast was in that line-up. They're making choices now trying, obviously, to change that direction.

O'REILLY: But what? By knocking out all opinion? Opinion is what works. That's what works.

DOBBS: You know, I — you're going to have to talk to them on that one, Bill.

O'REILLY: OK. So you were in a position where you weren't getting criticized directly, you say. OK...

DOBBS: Correct.

O'REILLY: ...but the perception was things weren't — the perception was you were just too opinionated and they didn't want that.

DOBBS: That was — well, obviously, that's what they didn't want, because the direction was to move toward purely a neutral presentation.

O'REILLY: OK. Now, the birther thing, I think that hurts you. You gave them voice, and, you know, it's OK to give them voice, but they appeared a lot on your program.

DOBBS: Well, actually, no. This is about a two-week period. And by the way, my big offense here, and by the way, we have a (INAUDIBLE) — CNN has a broadcast called "Reliable Sources" with Howie Kurtz of The Washington Post. They ran some excerpts of what I had said about birthers. Here's what I said about birthers, Bill. I said, "Birthers have a question about a birth certificate. I personally believe that Barack Obama is a citizen of the United States. What I don't understand is that with Army officers refusing to serve in Afghanistan, with lawsuits going forward, why not just produce the doggone birth certificate and be done with it?" That was my offense, to ask the question. And my question to you is, what kind of country is it when someone in the media asks a question and that becomes a controversy?

O'REILLY: Well, if you're going to ask a question that Barack Obama doesn't want to answer, you're going to get hammered by the Obama people, and that's what happened, and it happened to the extent that you say you were shot at out in New Jersey where you live, right?

DOBBS: Well, it followed that shot at our house on a mid-morning on a...


O'REILLY: Do you — do you really believe that, that somebody shot at your house?

DOBBS: No, I know it.

O'REILLY: You know it?

DOBBS: It's a demonstrable fact. And that followed months and months of threats on the issue of illegal immigration over our phone...

O'REILLY: I get them, too. I know what you're going through.

DOBBS: And it became — it became a matter of some intensity in the last two or three months preceding that shot. And there are those who — you know, what's interesting, on the far left, there are people saying, you know, that just didn't happen. He made that up.

O'REILLY: Yes, they are.

DOBBS: Well, here's the conclusive evidence to my — to my thinking and to my wife's, and that is the threats stopped on that very day that that shot was fired. We haven't received a threat since then.

O'REILLY: Because the cops came out, and everybody — I'm going to carry Lou over for a couple of minutes here.

DOBBS: Sure.

O'REILLY: Now, there's been speculation you might run for the Senate in New Jersey. Is that on your mind?

DOBBS: A lot of things are on my mind. I'm not going to be coy about this.

O'REILLY: But I — yes, I mean, you would be a legitimate contender for the Senate.

DOBBS: I'm thinking — my wife and I are thinking about a lot of opportunities. I'm very blessed to have a lot of opportunities. I'm going to remain — I can guarantee you 100 percent — I'm going to remain in the public arena. These issues that matter so much to me, many of the same that matter to you, are not changing. What is immutable here is, I'm going to remain in the public arena.

O'REILLY: All right. So you'll be in the radio, you might come back to TV if the right circumstance presented itself, and you might run for office. Final question. Barack Obama, is he the devil?

DOBBS: He's not the devil, but he is certainly a man who is right now not making it easy to understand why he's making the public policy choices that he is. There has to be a better understanding from — and it can only result from his expression to the American people as to what is taking so long to come to a decision in Afghanistan, why it is so necessary to turn over a sixth of the economy to the United States government, which is not showered itself...

O'REILLY: Health care, right.

DOBBS: ...with glory on any other sector...

O'REILLY: So you don't think he's a devil, but you think he's mismanaging the country at this point?

DOBBS: I think that — absolutely.

O'REILLY: All right. I'm sorry to put words in your mouth, but we've got — we've got to go.

DOBBS: No, I decided those were a pretty good choice.

O'REILLY: I'd like you to come back on like a semi-regular basis. Would you be willing to do that?

DOBBS: It'd be my honor.

O'REILLY: OK. All right, Lou Dobbs, everybody. And we appreciate it. Good luck, Lou. Thanks for coming in.

DOBBS: Thanks, Bill.
At least Palin can spell
Andrew Bolt
The twitters of ABC News tweet all over the latest sighting of Sarah Palin - you know, that dumb Republican:
Sarah Palin pushes her book on Opera.
about 20 hours ago from
ABC News

Correction: Sarah Palin pushes her book and possible comeback on OPERAH.
about 20 hours ago from
ABC News

Sorry guys, having a bad day: Sarah Palin pushes book and possible comeback on OPRAH.
about 19 hours ago from
ABC News
Now I’m confused. Is this one about Oprah’s renovations?
Opera House a step closer to architect’s vision.
about 16 hours ago from
ABC News

And at least Palin can smell out the ”snake oil” being sold by warming alarmists (from 14:6).
Germans wail: but Obama lied!
Andrew Bolt
Germany’s Der Spiegel must have believed that hopenchange thing, because it sure feels cheated now:
US President Barack Obama came to office promising hope and change. But on climate change, he has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor, George W. Bush. Now, should the climate summit in Copenhagen fail, the blame will lie squarely with Obama....

Only if the US manages to reduce its excessive energy consumption, commit itself to mandatory CO2 emission reduction targets and help finance poorer countries’ move away from oil is there still a chance that countries like China and India will do the same and that a dangerous warming of the Earth can be stopped. On the weekend, Obama announced that there would be no agreement on binding rules in Copenhagen. It was the admission of a massive failing—and the prelude to a truly dramatic phase of international climate policy.

Obama lied to the Europeans...
And just to underline how uncommitted he is to this cut-the-gases cult:
71: The number of cars in President Barack Obama’s motorcade as he travels from the Beijing airport (including Chinese greeting vehicles).
Actually, doesn’t Der Speigel seem kind of happy to return to that familiar blame-the-Yanks trope?


Charles Krauthammer is utterly devastating on Obama’s claims to be the first “Pacific president”:

After the history lesson, this verdict:
The narcissism of the man is rather unbounded… Everything in his life makes him world historical.

46 handshakes, and just one bow.
Deceived again: how Wong whipped up those “1.1 metre” seas
Andrew Bolt
Remember this big scare a few days ago, suspiciously timed to coincide with Kevin Rudd sending his colossal tax on emissions to the Senate?
THE Federal Government says an alarming report on rising sea levels backs the need to have the emissions trading scheme agreed to without delay.

The Climate Change Risks to Australia’s Coasts report says up to 250,000 Australian homes are at risk of inundation by the turn of the century. The findings are based on a sea level rise of up to 1.1 metres by 2100 and more extreme weather events.

Climate Change Minister Penny Wong says the findings can’t be ignored...
Actually, Penny, you are right. Those findings shouldn’t be ignored, because as reader Lazlo, an academic, has discovered, they are another disgraceful example of how evidence is twisted by alarmist scientists and the bureaucrats of Wong’s own department.

Lazlo explains (I’ve added the graph, a quote and the links):
It gets a bit technical but please stay with me. It shows that they have told a big porkie in order to make their prediction of 1.1 metre sea level rise more ‘plausible’, and that their prediction is based on zero scientific authority.

Chapter 2 of the report: Climate Change in the Coast - the Scientifc Basis, is the foundation. In there, and in the Executive Summary, it is claimed that ‘The IPCC report estimated global sea-level rise of up to 79 centimetres by 2100..’. They are referring to the IPCC Assessment Report 4 (AR4) from 2007, the most recent one. This is untrue. Table SPM.3 on page 13 of the AR4 Summary for Policy Makers clearly shows that projected global average sea level rise at the end of the 21st century by the IPCC is in the range 0.18-0.59 metres, a maximum of 59 centimetres.

This is reiterating the main report from Working Group 1 and the numbers shown in Table 10.7 of their report on page 820.

To justify their 79 centimetres the Department of Climate Change report has a Box 2.2 on page 28. This states that the IPCC maximum forecast of 59 centimetres is ‘based on thermal expansion alone’ and thus excludes ice melt from glaciers and ice caps. This is untrue. Table 10.7 clearly shows that 41 of the 59 centimetres is estimated from thermal expansion with the rest due to ice sheet melt, and the caption to Table 10.7 clearly states this:
The sea level rise comprises thermal expansion and the land ice sum.
So, 59 centimetres is the most the IPCC is prepared to forecast, and much published research since claims that this is unjustifiably exaggerated. But let’s stay with it and ask why DCC needed to LEGAL SNIP (misrepresent) it and claim the IPCC has projected 79 centimetres.

It is obviously because to promote what they claim to be a ‘plausible’ prediction of 1.1 metre sea level rise would have been much more difficult if it had been nearly twice the level of the maximum (alarmist) IPCC projection. Much more ‘plausible’ if only 30 centimetres. But then how plausible is 1.1 metres?

Again Box 2.2 and surrounding text is their attempted argument. There is much huffing and puffing about ‘growing consensus in the scientific community’, and unsubstantiated and unreferenced speculation about the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, and statements about ‘very recent research’. Ultimately though the actual references cited consist of a number of non peer-reviewed reports and a ‘personal communication’ and one paper published in Sciecnce in 2007. The key report, cited many times, is from one Will Steffen, 2009 - ‘Climate change 2009: faster change and more serious risks’, perhaps the DCC bible for ‘it’s worse than we thought’… The report is a melange of unsupported alarmism from the likes of Stern and Garnaut and is replete with hockey sticks, including Piltdown Mann’s discredited orginal.

The only peer reviewed reference is from Rahmstorf in January 2007. Hardly ‘very recent research’, since this is the same date as the IPCC AR4, and cannot show that it’s ‘worse than we thought’. This paper proposes yet another model of projected sea level rise which has been rebutted in subsequent publications in Science, as I was able to ascertain in 2 minutes on google scholar.

So there you have it. Deceptive LEGAL SNIP (misstatements) about the IPCC AR4 projections on sea level rise in order to make their new projection more ‘plausible’, which itself has no authoritative scientific foundation. Then just add Photoshop, the ABC, Tim Flannery.. In the DCC report about 20 Australian academics are named as having participated in some way. I would be embarrased to be associated with it. If one of my PhD students came forward with such shoddy work they would be soundly admonished.
Wong should be ashamed to be spuiking such stuff. She is usually dodgy science to scare up votes. Disgraceful.
Give these warmists a medal
Andrew Bolt

I BLAME the fear merchants and hysterics. Or thank them, rather, which is why they deserve today’s prizes.

I’m sure it’s not the fact that the world hasn’t actually warmed since 2001 that’s making so many people tell pollsters they now think this new warming faith is a scam.

No, I suspect that what’s really turning people off are the characters who have scrambled on to this colossal green bandwagon. Thousands of alarmists, cranks, totalitarians, carpetbaggers, hypocrites and salvation seekers are now wailing that we’re doomed, unless you pray to Gaia and hand over a little something. Like your savings.

And, boy, haven’t you seen a lot of such folk bob up in these last weeks before next month’s United Nations Copenhagen summit on global warming - the summit the European Union says is our “last chance” to save the world.

Alert and alarmed readers have over the past two weeks scoured news items to submit the names of the most unbelievable of all these bandwagon warmists - the ones who have done best to make us doubt their cause most.

With pleasure I’ve gone through these dozens of nominations, and can today name the winners of November’s “Alarmist of the month” awards.

Alarmist of the month (overall champion)
This reckless lying must stop
Andrew Bolt
THE most astonishing thing about Kevin Rudd’s bungling over boat people is the lying.

The Prime Minister’s claim that he’s offered no “special deal” to the Tamils on the Oceanic Viking is just the latest untruth that he and his ministers have told to fool you about the twelvefold jump this year in boat people arrivals.

I’ve written before of the others. For instance, Rudd falsely claimed his weakening of the laws against boat people in late July last year had nothing to do with this surge, when in fact the boats started coming within weeks.

Rudd’s ministers also falsely claimed there was “no evidence” that dozens of people had since died at sea trying to get here, when the truth is that at least 54 asylum seekers have so far drowned.

Rudd deceived you again when he suggested no boats would contain terrorists, when the Sri Lankan Government itself warned they did.

Two Rudd ministers lied when they claimed that 78 Tamil boat people rescued by Australia were sent back to Indonesia only as a “humanitarian” move to get help to a “sick girl”, when in fact the girl was still on board the Oceanic Viking a month later.

And now Rudd lies in claiming there was no “special deal” to lure the Tamils off our ship.

No special deal? Here’s the offer that the Tamils actually received:
Get off my bus
Andrew Bolt
Stunning. A judge now bans people from choosing their own company under offensively intrusive laws:
A SINGLE-sex travel company for women who want to avoid boozy, bed-hopping mixed tour groups has been grounded.

A judge ruled that former tour guide Erin Maitland cannot advertise women-only holidays because it could breach the human rights of men. Judge Marilyn Harbison refused to grant Ms Maitland an exemption to the Equal Opportunity Act, ruling that she had not proved it was reasonable or necessary.
How interesting, though, that laws unwisely introduced to save women, above all, from discrimination now victimise women. Be careful what you wish for.
Can you trust a word Rudd says?
Andrew Bolt
There he goes again, our deceiving Prime Minister, this time claiming that the now-postponed visit of the Indonesian President was never really finalised, anyway:
We welcome his visit, we welcome the opportunity for him to address this Parliament, and the arrangements concerning have been the subject of continuing discussion between the two sides…
Not so:
And the government’s insistence that the details of a proposed visit by Dr Yudhoyono had not been finalised was undermined by Indonesia’s ambassador to Australia, Primo Alui Joelianto, who told Seven News a detailed itinerary had been set.

Mr Rudd has been adamant Dr Yudhoyono’s postponement was not a diplomatic snub, with representatives of the Prime Minister saying while dates had been discussed, none had been confirmed.

But Mr Joelianto said Dr Yudhoyono had been due to arrive this Sunday for a three-day visit that would have included an address to parliament, an official welcome, a special cabinet meeting and an official lunch.
The Australian’s Paul Kelly still can’t bring himself to say “liar”:
THERE is an emerging credibility gap in the Rudd government’s navigation of contentious policy issues, a compulsion that denies the obvious and rests on the apparent assumption that Australians are mugs…

Kevin Rudd invested much time in parliament on Monday insisting that the 22 asylum-seekers who first left the Oceanic Viking were receiving no preferential arrangement…

The criticism of Rudd is not that he paid such a price; it is that he pretends he paid no price whatsoever. He seems to think almost any line can be spun and will be believed, even when it is nonsense… The real point is that the Rudd government authorised a necessary special deal and, embarrassed about its domestic ramifications, tried to deny the obvious.
You mean they lied, Paul. And lied again.

The Age’s Michael Gordon can’t say “liar”, either, first spending most of his article attacking the retired Alexander Downer, before conceding of Rudd’s claims:
...palpably at odds with the facts...
Stephen Fitzpatrick reaches for another euphemism, this time for the “sick child” lie:
a furphy
Meanwhile, Josh Frydenberg lists the diplomatic achievements of a Prime Minister whose greatest expertise was his professional diplomacy:
Key relationships with China, Japan and India have been badly bruised. Now Australia’s crucial ties with Jakarta are under strain because of the Government’s mismanagement of the asylum-seeker issue. The Prime Minister’s proposal for an Asia Pacific Community is treading water and Labor’s election promise to haul Iran before the International Criminal Court for its nuclear program has been quietly shelved.

None of these failures are isolated incidents. Each reflects a common theme. Knee-jerk policy pronouncements that have been carried out with the aim of gaining maximum media attention and political advantage as opposed to maximum diplomatic effect.

Greg Sheridan breaks ranks:

Rudd needs to stop a recent and baffling practice he has developed of telling the most outrageous lies about Australian foreign policy. Last week, in India, he claimed the decision not to sell India uranium was bipartisan. In fact, the Howard government had approved uranium sales to India and the Turnbull opposition continues to support it.

For some bizarre reason Rudd keeps saying the people on the Oceanic Viking have not got a special deal. This simply defies the ordinary meaning of language and common sense.

What are we: East Germany?
Andrew Bolt
The Crawford report into sports funding is right - you must have megalomania or truly skewed priorities to demand that Australia, with just 22 million people, should stay one of the top five sports champions in a world rapidly growing richer:
The independent panel that compiled the report, led by Lend Lease and Foster’s Group chairman and BHP Billiton director David Crawford, has rejected outright the AOC’s call for an extra $100 million a year to maintain Australia’s position in the top five on the Olympic medal tally…

Mr Crawford has concluded that a top-10 position is more sustainable with current funding levels, “as other countries are spending more and more money than we could ever afford” and some countries with much larger populations are improving their performance…

AOC president John Coates was blistering in his response to the Crawford report… “This funding is vitally important to the entire nation… It seems unAustralian to me to settle for second best...”

The Crawford report asserts that more emphasis should be given to sports that are popular with many Australians… “For example, more government funds are provided for archery than cricket, which has more than 100 times the number of participants...”
A more interesting statistical comparison - and one which better exposes Coates’ grandiosity - is this:
Consider this. Australia, with just 20 million people, is sending the fifth biggest team to the Beijing Games, behind only China, the United States, Russia and Germany.

We’re sending 434 athletes, when countries as populous as Britain, France, Italy, Japan, Brazil and Indonesia have happily made do with far fewer.

India - with more than a billion people - thinks even 57 athletes is plenty. If it sent athletes at our manic rate instead it would have had to name a team of 25,000.

In fact, if the world sent athletes at the rate we do, the Beijing Olympics would have not 10,500 competitors but 145,500. It would need a city almost the size of Geelong to house them all. Or put it this way: if Australia’s team was, pro rata, the size of everyone else’s, we’d have not 434 athletes at Beijing, but just 31.
I agree that sports achievement are curiously important to a migrant society in Australia as a means of creating a feeling of national identity and solidarity. But to justify the wild spending that underpins our outsized Olympic teams Coates has at times had to resort to not the best in us, but the worst. For instance:
Class act, Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates:

Great Britain may have been in lane seven and eight but, um, they seemed to be getting there for a country that has very few swimming pools and not much soap,’’ Coates said.
This is the bloke who has asked for more of our millions because he “it would be too much for my pride for (Britain) to go ahead of us”.


Former squash partner Richard Hinds is typically sensible:

However, David Crawford and his panel should be hailed for one thing: attempting to unshackle the government-funded sports sector from the limited, stifling and self-serving influence of the Olympic movement and its costly, self-aggrandising gold-medal obsession…

Coates’s response yesterday was less than you would expect from an experienced administrator acting in the best interests of Australian sport or the wider community. It was a dummy spit on behalf of a smug, entitled organisation that has enjoyed three decades of lucrative patronage from populist leaders of successive federal governments.

The largesse came from politicians whose addiction to the gold-medal photo opportunity was too easily exploited given, as Crawford’s report notes, there is little or no quantifiable evidence to support the Olympic movement’s vague claims that Australia’s prominent place on the medals table creates any meaningful public benefits. Beyond, that is, the chest-beating of the ‘’oi, oi, oi’’ brigade. The so-called feelgood factor.

Spent somewhere somehow on something
Andrew Bolt
When the billions are free, and shovelled out just because spending - any spending - is good, how could you be surprised? Still, it’s curious how Barack Obama calculated the jobs his trillion-dollar stimulus package created: also shows 2,893.9 jobs created with $194,537,372 in stimulus funding in New Hampshire’s 00 congressional district. But, there is no such thing. The site also shows $1,471,518 going to New Hampshire’s 6th congressional district, $1,033,809 to the 4th congressional district and $124,774 to the 27th congressional district. In fact, New Hampshire only has two congressional districts; inviting confusion about where the money listed for the 00, 4th, 6th and 27th districts is going.
More here:
In Arizona’s 15th congressional district, 30 jobs have been saved or created with just $761,420 in federal stimulus spending. At least that’s what the Web site set up by the Obama administration to track the $787 billion stimulus says. There’s one problem, though: There is no 15th congressional district in Arizona; the state has only eight districts.

And ABC News has found many more entries for projects like this in places that are incorrectly identified.

The real emitters boom, while Australia chokes
Andrew Bolt
Any Copenhagen deal that does not limit the emissions of China and India is a deal that’s worthless:
DEVELOPING countries now emit more greenhouse gas than rich countries, according to a study that will intensify demands for all countries to set targets for cutting emissions.

Total emissions from burning fossil fuels in developing countries, including China, India and Brazil, have more than doubled since 1990 and are continuing to rise rapidly. By contrast total emissions from developed countries, such as the US, Japan and Britain have hardly changed over the same period.

Last year developed countries were responsible for 46 per cent of global emissions, with developing countries responsible for 54 per cent,
Which makes China’s no-targets-and-no-promises stand a deal-breaker at Copenhagen - and beyond:
President Hu Jintao ... said nations would do their part “consistent with our respective capabilities,” a reference to the firmly held view among developing nations — even energy guzzlers like China, India and Brazil — that they should be required only to set goals for reining in greenhouse-gas emissions, not accept absolute targets for reducing emissions like the industrialized countries.
If Australia promises to slash emissions but booming China does not, we’ll cut our throats for nothing - except the pleasure of watching an autocracy grow even strong at our expense.

And to think this suicidal folly is driven by a theory that most weathercasters in America think is a crock, according to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society:

“Most of the warming since 1950 is likely human induced.” A full 50% disagreed or strongly disagreed. 25% were neutral on this question. Only 8% strongly agreed.
MEANWHILE, another Australian scientist speaks out:
A Newcastle University professor says his research shows it is a myth carbon emissions are causing higher temperatures, blamed for the Murray-Darling catchment drying up.

Newcastle University Associate Professor Stewart Franks is the author of a paper due to be published in the American journal Geophysical Research Letters.

He says his research has found elevated temperatures in the Murray-Darling catchment are caused by a combination of natural factors associated with drought and not carbon emissions… Professor Franks says claims about increased evaporation rates and climate change impacts on the Murray-Darling Basin are entirely false.
Deceived again #2: More evidence of how Wong faked her sea scare
Andrew Bolt
Climate Change Minister Penny Wong this week released a suspiciously-timed report claiming 250,000 Australian homes could be drowned by rising seas by 2100, thanks to global warming.

The report claimed that warming could cause the seas to rise not by the 59cms that the most gloomy IPCC model put as the upper limit, but by 1.1 metres - or even 1,90 metes. More than three times as much.

In a post below, with the help of reader Lazlo, I show how Wong’s report, produced by her own department, actually told untruths about the IPCC predictions and relied on a discredited paper to justify its much more alarmist figure.

Now Kris Sayce, editor of Money Morning, picks yet more trickery in the report - trickery that should have been spotted by any competent, unbiased scientist in Wong’s department. Here’s just one extract from his email mail-out:
But first I’ll give you the (Wong’s) Department’s interpretation of the (Bureau of Meterology’s) research (on sea level rises):
“Global mean sea level has risen about 20 centimetres since pre-industrial times (Figure 2.6), at an average rate of 1.7 millimetres per year during the 20th century. Since 1993, high-quality satellite observations of sea levels have enabled more accurate modelling of global and regional sea-level change. From 1993 to 2003, global sea level rose by about 3.1 millimetres per year, compared to 1.8 millimetres per year from 1961 to 2003. These rates of increase are an order of magnitude greater than the average rate of sea-level rise over the previous several thousand years.”
Is that enough to scare you? An average of 3.1 millimetres per year between 1993 to 2003… But hold on, let’s see what the Bureau of Meteorology actually had to say...:
“A useful datum to distinguish abnormally high sea levels is the Highest Astronomical Tide (HAT), the highest level that can be predicted to occur under any combination of astronomical conditions. Likewise the Lowest Astronomical Tide (LAT) is the lowest level that can be predicted under any combination of astronomical conditions. To properly determine HAT and LAT tidal predictions must span at least 18.6 years, which is the period of a full rotation of the moon’s orbital plane about the ecliptic.”
In other words, using a ten year time frame is not scientifically valid as it doesn’t take into account the full 18.6 year orbit of the moon. And every fifth grader knows that the moon influences the tides…

But look at the quote above from the Department again. It states, that since pre-industrial times the global mean sea level has risen at “an average rate of 1.7 millimetres per year during the 20th century.” It then says that between 1961 to 2003 the rate was “1.8 millimetres per year.”

But shock horror, between 1993 to 2003 (too short a period to measure remember) it was “3.1 millimetres per year.”

That surely proves the man-made effect and that it has increased rapidly during the last sixteen years, right? Only, there’s one small sentence the Department didn’t include in their summary of the BoM’s report. It’s this, and it relates to the increase between 1993 and 2003:
“Studies have shown that comparably large rates of average sea level rise have been observed in previous decades.”
In other words, far from this being a unique phenomena, BoM has “observed” similar large increases in previous decades. Why would the Department not include this in its report?

And it doesn’t quite fit in with the Department’s artistic licence when they claim, “These rates of increase are an order of magnitude greater than the average rate of sea-level rise over the previous several thousand years.” That’s just not true as BoM says they’ve seen these increases observed in previous decades…

The whole ‘science’ or the interpretation of the science behind climate change is getting ropier and smellier the more we look.
Wong should now withdraw her report and apologise for such shoddy advocacy-by-scare, masquerading as science. Shame on her.
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