Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Headlines Tuesday 23rd February 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
The Declaration of Independence was drafted by John Adams and Jefferson.
=== Bible Quote ===
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”- 1 John 4:18
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Australia has demanded an end to Japan's annual Antarctic whale hunt, but a new plan from the world's whaling body could allow a return to "disastrous" commercial hunting. - Rudd's political failure provides a worse outcome - ed.


Nation's largest group of pediatricians calls for sweeping changes in the way hot dogs and other foods popular with kids are designed and labeled to minimize choking risk.

House Investigators Say Toyota Misled Consumers
Lawmakers believe embattled automaker relied on flawed engineering report in statements to reassure the public

Health Compromise — or Camouflage?
Despite claims that Obama's health bill meets both parties halfway, GOP argues their input largely ignored

NYC Terror Suspect Pleads Guilty
Air shuttle driver accused of homemade-bomb plot against New York City cooperating with investigators

New Climate Agency Head Tried to Suppress Data, Critics Charge

Thomas Karl, the head of Obama's new Climate Change office has been criticized for trying to suppress contradictory scientific data on climate change.

Police Search for Publisher Behind Boozy Textbook Image of Jesus Christ

Christians in India's northeast are outraged after a picture showing Jesus Christ holding a beer can and a cigarette was discovered in primary school textbooks.

Researchers Using Unconscious Patients as Medical Guinea Pigs Without Consent
Researchers at the University of Washington are conducting studies on patients who aren’t well enough to give their consent – and federal guidelines are allowing it, the Seattle Times reported. The patients are Kings County, Washington residents who may be unconscious, severely injured or suffering cardiac arrest, according to the newspaper, and the researchers are scientists searching for treatments to help these patients in extreme situations. Federal guidelines say doctors can sidestep the ethics rules that call for informed consent. - I give my consent in any such circumstance. This type of research is important - ed.


Gunmen used silencers to murder a family of eight as a spate of deadly attacks erupt just before Iraq's general election

Shock after child snatched, killed
HUGE police hunt underway after a young girl was taken from her bed and found dead in a drain.

Screaming heard near death site
GIRL'S murderer will have "few places to hide" as sickening tributes are posted online.

Australia 'a specific target of terrorists'
TERRORISM, including home grown threats, has become a permanent risk, Kevin Rudd says.

Indian journos on luxury goodwill junkets
INDIAN journalists are being invited on $10,000 Down Under holidays to show we're not racists.

'Remorseful' rapist gets sentence cut
"BIKEWAY" rapist who viciously attacked 11 women has had years slashed from his sentence.

Kevin Rudd's image gets TV makeover
PRIME Minister more comfortable on Good News Week than in front of an audience of Aussie teens.

Mum rejects $100K offer for baby's death
MUM given Myers gift cards and told "not to tell the Crown anything" about the death of her baby.

'Lucky' hunter shot through arms by mate
MAN lucky to be alive after mate trips and shoots him through both arms with high-powered rifle.

Talk with elders gets attacker out of jail
A MAN who horrifically assaulted a teen girl has been freed from jail because he is an Aborigine.

Ten years on, we're still waiting

THIS shocking queue, unchanged after 10 long years, might look like a line of commuters waiting for a bus. In fact they are waiting for a train.

Melbourne streets not safe, Tony Abbott says
THE streets of Melbourne are not safe, says Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, and the money spent to bring 25 Indian journalists to Australia would be better spent on policing. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is spending $250,000 on flights and five-star accommodation for the journalists, in a bid to clear up a diplomatic row over a series of attacks on Indians. While in Australia, they will tour the MCG and see the Sydney and Melbourne concerts of Bollywood composer AR Rahman, The Herald Sun reports. But Mr Abbott says the money would be better spent preventing the bashings which have given Australia its "PR problem". "I think it would be much better spending the money on better policing of our streets because that's the basic problem," Mr Abbott told Fairfax Radio Network. "Our streets aren't safe, particularly the streets of Melbourne, which appear to have been pretty seriously under-policed. "If you didn't have these racially motivated bashings in unsafe streets we wouldn't have the PR problem, so let's go to the heart of the matter."

Mohd Shah Saemin - beaten to death after minor crash

HUMBLE Malaysian consular driver Mohd Shah Saemin's nightmare began with a minor car accident. Within moments he was beaten and stabbed to death. Road rage was just one motive being investigated by police, who yesterday interviewed witnesses to the 43-year-old's murder in Marion St, Leichhardt. A woman showed police, using a detective lying on the footpath as a model, how one of two attackers repeatedly bashed Mr Saemin around the head just metres from the front door of the boarding house where he lived.

Sydney the city of broken dreams as mortgage stress mounts
SYDNEY is still the toughest town in which to buy a house after a jump of more than 25 per cent in home loan repayments, the latest housing affordability survey found. The pressure came from higher prices, a rise in interest rates and the winding down of the Government's first homebuyers' grants. And it is unlikely to get easier as demand is tipped to overtake supply for the next four decades and interest rates rise over the rest of the year. The Housing Industry Association calculated NSW would have to build more than 40,000 houses a year if the state's population was to reach its forecast population level of 10.5 million by 2050. "When Kevin Rudd described the issue of housing affordability in 2007 as the 'ultimate barbecue stopper' Mr Rudd was clearly angling for political capital," he said. "When he got into Government, we have witnessed the number of homeless rise, private rental costs rise, interest rates go up and now housing affordability plummet."

Tragic accident: Police dogs die after left in car boot
A POLICE dog-handler left his two devoted German shepherds to bake to death in the back of his car when he became distracted by paperwork, a British court heard. The Sun reports Constable Mark Johnson, 39, was suffering from depression and obsessive compulsive disorder which led him to forget his dogs on June 30 last year, it was said. He returned to his car to find seven-year-old Jet and Jay-Jay, 18 months, lying dead in the trunk.

Driver drags cop 200m after traffic stop
A POLICE officer is dragged 200m up a hill after a motorist drove off with his arm in her window.

Jail for man who 'loved' 12-year-old girl
A TASMANIAN man who said he was in love with a 12-year-old girl has been sent to jail for sexually abusing the youngster. Matthew Powell, 32, of Burnie, presented as a separated father caring for his own two young children when he befriended the girl and her mother, the Tasmanian Supreme Court in Hobart was told. Powell and the girl had sex a number of times between March 2008 and January 2009, including a seven-day stay by her at his home after she had had a fight with her mother. The sex continued after the girl returned home and until her mother spoke to Powell, concerned about her daughter's behaviour. "You told her mother that you loved her daughter and lied to her telling her that nothing had happened," Justice Helen Wood said in her sentencing judgment today. Despite the mother emphasising the wrongfulness of any sexual relationship with her daughter, Powell continued having sex with the girl.
=== Journalists Corner ===

It's the film hailed at the last national tea party!
This explosive documentary exposes how 40 years of liberal policies have led to America's financial collapse.
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NATO Sec. Gen. Rasmussen
What's really going on behind enemy lines in Afghanistan? It's an exclusive interview.
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Not So Hot?
Is global warming a big snow job? Our experts square off in a heated debate!
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It's Alive! Or Is It?
What's the prognosis on ever passing a bipartisan health care plan?

=== Comments ===
Washington's Farewell Address

In 1796 our first president called on the nation to avoid partisan acrimony and to maintain the union to which he had devoted his life.
Editor's note: Today marks the birthday of George Washington, our first nation's president. Every year on February 22, the vice president selects one senator to read Washington's farewell address aloud on the floor of the Senate. Illinois Democrat Sen. Roland Burris was chosen to read the address today.

President George Washington’s Farewell Address was not really an address. Nor was it really a true farewell. The message was printed in a Philadelphia newspaper on September 19, 1796, more than five months before the nation’s first president turned over his office to its second, John Adams.

The chosen printer, David Claypoole, had been summoned to the president’s residence the previous Thursday. Claypoole set the document in type and sent it back to Washington for any last-minute changes. Then the printer prepared to publish the document on Monday afternoon. Earlier that day, the nation’s chief executive left Philadelphia for his home at Mount Vernon. He did not stay in the nation’s temporary capital to judge the impact of his words, which have remained a classic of the American political tradition.

The document, “in language that was plain and intelligible,” was intended clearly to indicate that Washington was leaving office and that another American must be elected to succeed him. The Farewell was entitled “Friends and Fellow Citizens,” and was addressed directly to the American people – not to members of Congress as most presidential documents were in those days. The paper was designed to be a definitive statement of Washington’s political beliefs and his considered advice for his fellow Americans after two terms in the presidency. (More at the link)
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ACRO BATTS
Tim Blair
Peter Garrett’s best line during yesterday’s Question Time: his vow, as I heard it, to meet “those goals of mismanagement”. Mission accomplished, minister. Meanwhile, another scheme is urged:
Actor Cate Blanchett has pleaded for the federal government to introduce a creative arts fund to further Australia’s performing arts industry.

Blanchett said a $30 million fund over three years would help the burgeoning performing arts sector “economically and spiritually”.
There’s a small problem here. Besides being the minister for house fires, the minister for wasted millions and the minister for dead insulation installers, Peter Garrett is also the minister for the arts. Is Blanchett quite prepared to place a program promoting Australia’s precious performing arts community in the hands of someone who can’t even manage basic household improvements?

The potential for dance- and mime-related carnage is almost too terrible to consider. Readers of strong mind are invited to submit headlines that might appear six months into Garrett’s mismanaged performing arts scheme.

UPDATE. Solidarity! The government is right behind its troubled environment minister.

UPDATE II. Way to go, Pete:
Like a row of dominoes, the once booming insulation industry was collapsing yesterday, with hundreds of jobs axed and thousands more expected to go amid warnings the sector could freeze for a year.

At the top of the insulation food chain, Australia’s biggest ceiling batt manufacturer warned that factories could close within weeks.
Six months from now: “The once-booming interpretive dance industry …”

UPDATE III. Blanchett explains her demand for a new luvvie levy:
Australia has been enriched, challenged and changed by taking a stronger and more complex place on the world stage, rather than just selling ourselves as a great beach resort populated by smiling outdoorsy larrikins …

I know this from having worked recently with Benedict Andrews.
That’s just terrific, Cate. Take our money. You deserve it.
We process experience and make experience available and understandable. We change people’s lives, at the risk of our own. We change countries, governments, history, gravity and after gravity, culture is the thing that holds humanity in place, in an otherwise constantly shifting and, let’s face it, tiny outcrop in the middle of an infinity of nowhere.
If artists are able to change history and alter gravity, how come they need our cash? Why can’t they just use their awesome powers to gravity up a bunch of it from historyland?
===
MAYOR UNAMUSED
Tim Blair
A bogan battle breaks out in Melton:
One of the goals for Melton Mayor Justin Mammarella this year is to turn around public perception of the town.

But if a newly discovered website is any indication, he still has a tough job on his hands.

A webpage poking fun at Melton was labelled an “absolute disgrace” by Cr Mammarella.

The Uncyclopedia entry describes Melton as a “festering pit of sewage home to Australia’s largest concentration of bogans and dont-wannabees”.

As to its future, the site states that: “Meltonians remain blissfully unaware of their status and reputation beyond the boundaries of their shire.

“A global laughing stock, the question needs to be posed: Can Melton continue to sustain itself, as more and more bogans give birth to baby bogans?”

Cr Mammarella said that, although the site was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, he was not laughing.

“I don’t think anyone out there in our community feels that way and I don’t believe there are many in the wider community that sees Melton that way,” he said.
Don’t bother asking. As a proud Bogan-Australian, of course I have relatives from Melton. It is not without its charms. In fact, according to recent visitor Bob, the town has lately adopted a revolutionary financial system:
Money in Melton is in such short supply that goods and services are now purchased with dirty Titleist and Sharks golf balls.
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HE FEARS THE NODES
Tim Blair
“It is clear,” declares Clive Hamilton, “that hard-line denialists congregate electronically at a number of internet nodes where they engage in mutual reinforcement of their opinions and stoke the rage that lies behind them.”

UPDATE. In other node news, Anthony Watts takes issue with a certain Jeffrey D. Sachs.

UPDATE II. Andrew Bolt on the ABC’s smear.
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SIGN OF THE TIMES
Tim Blair
Some light reading for the Prime Minister:
Police are baffled how they did it but the Prime Minister definitely has a problem in Rose Bay - with a large illuminated traffic sign sending the message: “Kevin Rudd sucks”.

Locals have been stopping their cars to take photographs - and the sign caused such a distraction that the police were called in at 3am today.
It was a Rudd alert.

UPDATE. Video.
===
SAVE THE EARTH, DON’T GIVE BIRTH
Tim Blair
Avoid planetary destruction by using Gaiaceptives:
An environmental group is distributing hundreds of thousands of free condoms with hopes that it will educate the public about the impact of human overpopulation on endangered species.

The condoms are enclosed in colorful packaging bearing images of endangered species like polar bears, jaguars and the Puerto Rico rock frog. The images are accompanied by slogans like “Wrap with care, save the polar bear,” and “Cover your tweedle, save the burying beetle.”
Tweedle? According to one definition: “To lure by or as by music: The Pied Piper tweedled the children into following him.” Well, at least they won’t be breeding. That PR amphibian offers better rhyming possibilities: “Put it in a sock, dogg! Save the Puerto Rico rock frog.”
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WE HAVE SMIRNOFF
Tim Blair
A massive Russian aircraft, probably an Antonov, lumbers skyward … or does it?

Be sure to turn up the volume.
===
CLIVE HAMILTON WOULD CALL IT HATE SPEECH
Tim Blair
James Delingpole celebrates comments:
Without wishing to flatter you too much, you blog-addicted, foaming-mouthed, swivel-eyed loons – I’ve found the comments sections on blogs to be bastions of wisdom, rough-hewn common sense, wit, and often amazingly well-informed insight. And I don’t just mean on my blogs. What I always find equally heartening is when you look up an article online by, say, Polly Toynbee or some crack-papering fraudster from the Met Office and find its inconsistencies and idiocies being torn to shreds by a readership far more intelligent and on the ball than almost anyone in the liberal commentariat.
Yes. What he said.
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NEWS BRIEFLETS
Tim Blair
• Susan Sarandon was recently vomited on by a transsexual. (Via Lee M.) (The item, that is.) (Not the vomit.)

• My latest car column, available only in the March print edition of Wheels, violently opposes turbo-charging.

• Previously in love with Mark Latham, actress Rachel Ward seems to share the former Labor leader’s traffic temper.

• Just a fine portrait of David Hidalgo, with fellow Los Lobos member Louie Perez. And excellent advice for travellers.

• One chauffeur was probably pushing it, but two?

• Mark Steyn has the latest health and safety news from Britain, where a man has now been “disqualified from a running race for running.”

• After revealing his infatuation with Joe Biden, a 48-year-old Canadian man has been placed in psychiatric care.

• A taser is deployed during the arrest of a young man and both his parents for marijuana offences. Police also Tasered the family dog, named Cannabis.

• Michael Idato receives no favours from the Top Gear crew: “I gave them one of the world’s most prestigious television awards and they called me fat. On a big video screen.” They’d have used a small one, Michael, but … you know.

• Cat is “better than chicken, rabbit or pigeon.” An Australian children’s author agrees.
===
THROW SOME POLEY BEARS IN IT
Tim Blair
Seas not rising, warmy credibility sinking:
Scientists have been forced to withdraw a study on projected sea level rise due to global warming after finding mistakes that undermined the findings.
It’s trifling little errors like these that lead to mood shifts among the broader public. According to Rajendra Pachauri, however, people are still in the IPCC’s warmenist thrall:
I don’t think the credibility of the IPCC can be dented. If the IPCC wasn’t there, why would anyone be worried about climate change?
UPDATE. The Guardian‘s Caroline Davies and Suzanne Goldenberg, last November:
The furore over the climate scientists’ emails has given an unexpected boost to global warming sceptics on both sides of the Atlantic, but none outside that small circle believe the affair will divert governments, businesses or communities from seeking a low-carbon future …

In the political world, the email affair has elicited no comment.
You’d wish it were so, Guardian chicks. But comment just keeps happening.
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Lockerbie bomber still won’t die
Andrew Bolt
Shocked and surprised, I am:

The man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing is living with his family in a luxury villa in Libya six months after he was released from jail on compassionate grounds because he had less than three months to live.
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Jailing terrorists is just picking on Muslims
Andrew Bolt
It’s a worry that five convicted terrorists have so many supporters and community “leaders” keen to see them as martyrs for their faith:
SYDNEY’S Muslim community leaders last night condemned authorities over the conviction of five men under terrorism laws, describing their sentencing as a “travesty of justice”.

Senior Muslim figures, including 10 imams and 20 community leaders, met privately at Lakemba Mosque before releasing a statement to The Australian late last night demanding police produce the evidence proving the criminal “intentions” of the men.

“Until we see the real evidence, we believe that the reason for the arrests and convictions is that these young men expressed or hold opinions that contradict Australia’s foreign policy towards majority Muslim countries,” the statement said....

Outside the mosque after the meeting, a group of young men pumped their fists in the air and accused ASIO of being “dogs"…

The meeting was attended by Taj Din al-Hilali, formerly Australia’s most senior cleric.
(Thanks to reader Tony.)
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Smeared by the ABC, using my own money
Andrew Bolt

The ABC’s home site seems to me to be not just stupid but defamatory in implying with this graphic that I organise the cyber-bullying of warmist scientists.

Click on the above link and you’ll find this paranoid allegation by Clive Hamilton, himself a notorious smearer and abuser who to this day insists on calling sceptics “deniers” deliberately to link them to Holocaust deniers:
The floods of offensive and threatening emails aimed at intimidating climate scientists have all the signs of an orchestrated campaign by sceptics groups. The links are well-hidden because mobilizing people to send abuse and threats is well outside the accepted bounds of democratic participation; indeed, some of it is illegal…

The posts on these sites often provoke an outpouring of the most outlandish conspiracy theories and vilification of individuals. There is no restraining influence and, in the middle of one of these frenzies, it would be a brave sceptic who called for caution and moderation in the ideas expressed or the language used.

In Australia, a handful of denialist websites stand out. They include the blog of Herald-Sun commentator Andrew Bolt…

Andrew Bolt’s blog deserves special mention both because it has become the most popular meeting place for deniers in Australia and because it is sponsored by a mainstream media outlet, Melbourne’s Herald-Sun, a Murdoch tabloid.

Hamilton’s proof of this malevolent and possible illegal conspiracy to abuse warmist scientists with “no restraining influence” (an accusation he both makes and formally denies for legal reasons in the same article)? He offers this link to a post in which I urge the very opposite of what he claims:
Some readers mistakenly think it’s smart to send nasty emails to Pitman’s email address. Not only that, they sent them to the wrong Andy Pitman, who rightly complains. Stop it.
Awkwardly for Hamilton and his theory of noble scientists being unfairly monstered, my comment appears at the end of my post on warmist Andy Pitman, criticising his absurd smearing of sceptics such as me as corrupt and unemployed conspiracists, lying for the dollars of Big Oil:
ANDY PITMAN: ... That the sceptics are so well funded, so well organised, have nothing else to do. They kind of don’t have day jobs. They can put all of their efforts into misinforming and miscommunicating climate science to the general public whereas the climate scientists have day jobs and this actually isn’t one of them.

All of the efforts you do in an IPCC report is done out of hours, voluntarily for no funding and no pay whereas the sceptics are being funded to put out full-scale misinformation campaigns and are doing a damn good job I think. They are doing a superb job at misinforming and miscommunicating the general public, state and federal governments.
My true crime, it seems, is to have exposed Pitman’s preposterous claim as an error-riddled smear. Much as is Hamilton’s latest effort, so gleefully and foolishly backed by the taxpayer-funded ABC.

(Thanks to reader Nonna.)

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Israel atrocities stories sing much louder on the ABC
Andrew Bolt
Reader Nathan:
For your information, Senator Eric Abetz has been doing great if barely acknowledged work in putting the ABC’s feet to the fire. The extract below is from the Senate Estimates hearing on 8/2/2010; the full transcript is located at http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/senate/commttee/S12743.pdf.

This exchange follows on from the previous Senate Estimates hearings on 19/10/2009 (http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/senate/commttee/S12489.pdf) and 25/5/2009 (http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/senate/commttee/S12031.pdf).

In brief:

1. The ABC widely reported the false UN claim that Israel shelled an UNWRA school at Jabalya - a claim that the UN retracted a month later (on 4/2/2009). By my count, the ABC mentioned it on at least 28 occasions, including on Radio National AM, PM and the 7.30 Report.

2. The ABC reported the UN’s retraction on just 2 occasions - 1 brief News Online report and 1 The World Today segment. Mark Scott’s excuse for the disparity in coverage was that the Victorian bushfires dominated the news at the time of the UN retraction. However, the Victorian bushfire commenced 3 days after the UN retraction; within 3 days of the UN’s making its false allegation, the ABC had reported it on 22 (out of the 28) occasions. Mark Scott’s Victorian bushfires excuse is false as well as being contemptible.

3. The ABC repeated this false allegation on Radio National AM on 6/5/2009, at a time when it knew or should have known that it was false (since the UN had retracted it 3 months prior). The ABC ‘corrected’ this broadcast by appending an Editor’s note - 16 days later! - to the transcript of the broadcast located on the ABC’s web site. Of course, few if any of the ABC’s listeners would have become aware that this ABC allegation of Israeli war crimes was false.
Indeed. From Hansard:
Mr Scott—Then we made an editor’s note that appeared on our online site that clarified that the shelling in all the facilities took place outside and not inside the school, and we published the summary of the upheld complaint against us. Senator, if you go back to the original story that was run around the world, as you are aware, when that became clear we broadcast that. We ran a story online, repeated it on one program and then amended our record accordingly.

Senator ABETZ—Would you accept that the story got out to a larger end audience than the retraction or clarification?

Mr Scott—I think that is likely, Senator, yes.
I’ve noticed on the dodgiest of evidence this same urgent rush to damn Israel when I appeared once on Q&A:

MEANWHILE, Melanie Phillips dissects the absurdly confected outrage over the killing in Dubai of a Hamas terrorist, allegedly by Israel.
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Kevin Rudd must not be mocked
Andrew Bolt
Video here of your overworked police, rushing to stop yet another crime.

(Thanks to reader Terry.)

UPDATE

POLICE are baffled how they did it but the Prime Minister definitely has a problem in Rose Bay - with a large illuminated traffic sign sending the message: “Kevin Rudd sucks"…

Locals have been stopping their cars to take photographs - and the sign caused such a distraction that the police were called in at 3am today.

Working hard to preserve the Prime Minister’s honour, the dedicated police officers took to the power box powering the sign with bolt cutters to turn off the lights.

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We need insulating from such scandalous waste
Andrew Bolt
The sheer scale of the waste, let alone the deaths and the electrified houses, demands a sacking as the Rudd Government’s insulation scandal grows:
And the Government admitted insulation installed in up to 255,000 homes did not comply with product and safety standards, which is a potential waste of up to $400 million of taxpayer funds.
And is it really credible that no one in the Government read the Minter Ellison study they commissioned which warned before the scheme started that it could waste millions and put lives at risk? After all, Minter Ellision staff even discussed the rollout with at least one minister:
Mr Rudd put Senator (Mark) Arbib, now Employment Participation Minister, in charge of co-ordinating the stimulus spending programs and he had weekly briefings on the now axed $2.5 billion home-insulation scheme.

His role was noted in the Minter Ellison report delivered to the Environment Department in April last year, but which Environment Minister Peter Garrett and Senator Arbib said they only read two weeks ago.

Minter Ellison referred to a “weekly meeting with Parliamentary Secretary (Senator Arbib) and advisers” with departmental officers for discussion of a number of issues.
UPDATE

Time has come for Garrett to drag out his old “sorry” suit now that more than mere beds are burning. Or is it still the fact that the “sorry” brigade are quicker to apologise for others than they are for themselves?

(Thanks to reader Nigel.)
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Now look at the lady Rudd snubbed
Andrew Bolt

Another reminder to be nice to the office boy:
JUST short of a year ago Prime Minister Kevin Rudd chose to snub the Chinese Ambassador to Britain, Fu Ying, by requesting not to sit next to her at a BBC talk show during a G20 meeting in London.

Rudd brushed aside this slight by explaining that he preferred to sit next to another interviewee, British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband.

Unfazed at suggestions that this might have been taken the wrong way by Fu, Rudd explained that it was natural that he “wouldn’t mind parking himself” next to his friend, Miliband.

Whether our Mandarin-speaking former diplomat Prime Minister gave this incident a second thought is not clear. But he should now because last month Fu was appointed deputy Chinese Foreign Minister, based in Beijing . (For what it is worth Miliband’s Labour government seems set for defeat at the next election.)
And remember: diplomacy is what Rudd does best.
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Brawl with democracies, go soft on autocracies
Andrew Bolt
Gerard Henderson:

How has it come to this? Australia has strained relationships with, in modern parlance, two of its “besties” in Asia, India and Japan. Both are democracies with independent judiciaries. Both are important trading partners. And both are friends which share common security interests.

The answer turns on Labor’s view that it has to make some concessions to the minority left faction within the ALP and to the Greens.
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The one-term president falls
Andrew Bolt

It just gets worse for Obama. So no wonder:
President Obama, who pledged to establish the most open and transparent administration in history, on Monday surpasses his predecessor’s record for avoiding a full-fledged question-and-answer session with White House reporters in a formal press conference.

President George W. Bush’s longest stretch between prime-time, nationally televised press conferences was 214 days, from April 4 to Nov. 4, 2004. Mr. Obama tops that record on Monday, going 215 days - stretching back to July 22...
And this rejig won’t help much:

President Barack Obama is putting forward a nearly $1 trillion, 10-year health care plan that would allow the government to deny or roll back egregious insurance premium increases that infuriated consumers.

Posted Monday morning on the White House Web site, the plan would provide coverage to more than 31 million Americans now uninsured without adding to the federal deficit.

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He was
Andrew Bolt

Sir Viv Richards:

I felt I was an artist.
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Let them eat carbon
Andrew Bolt
Just two months after 45,000 warming worriers flew to Copenhagen, we’re again told that cutting emissions is for little people:
For folks terrified of warmer weather, the UN climate commissars sure do have a strange affinity for the balmy climes of Bali.

Recall that in December, 2007, as the common folk shivered in the wintry vicinity of the UN’s well-appointed offices in New York, Bonn and Geneva, a horde of UN climateers decamped to the far side of the globe for a fortnight of conferencing by the Indonesian beaches of Bali’s ritzy Nusa Dua resort (and convention center). There, up close and personal, they braved the preview of a world beset by warm temperatures and ocean waters, as you can see in this virtual tour of the adjacent beach resort — complete with its freshwater pool, beachside cocoons, seafood buffets and winding paths beneath the palm trees.

Now they’re at it again. The UN Environment Program, which is based in Nairobi, is convening a set of meetings this week – not in Nairobi, or New York, but at the same Bali beach resort (and convention center) where they sacrificed all that time for the greater good in 2007. Never mind the UN’s continuing campaign — in the face of its crumbling “climate science” — to restrict and control carbon emissions. Yet again, we are asked to believe the UN deserves special exemptions from its own preachings… According to the Jakarta Post, some 1,500 people from 192 countries are expected to attend this shindig...
(Via Instapundit.)
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Of bolting horses and stable doors
Andrew Bolt
Problem:
THE threat of home-grown terrorism has intensified in the past six years, according to the long-awaited national security blueprint to be released on Tuesday.

The Counter-Terrorism White Paper finds there has been an increase in the threat from people “born or raised” in Australia who have been influenced by a violent jihadist message.
Solution?

The Rudd Government today will reveal new plans to stop terrorists coming into Australia with a $69 million scheme to force many visitors to give fingerprints and facial scans before getting a visa.
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Can’t blame Garrett’s department boss if she feels tired again
Andrew Bolt
The head of Peter Garrett’s department, who supervised the insulation debacle, defends her floundering boss with all the energy she can muster:
The departmental secretary, Robyn Kruk, defended her minister: ‘’There is only one way of ensuring a risk-free environment [and that is] not to go into ceilings.’
Kruk claims to have followed up warnings in a Minter Ellison report that said the scheme was beyond the energies of her department to manage:
Department secretary Robyn Kruk told the inquiry the report ‘’was embedded’’’ in advice given to the Minister.
All this energy in Kruk is a welcome return to form. From the Sydney Morning Herald of October 17, 2008:
THE STATE’S chief public servant, Robyn Kruk, has become the latest figure in government to leave office, after she told the Premier, Nathan Rees, in his office yesterday that she no longer had the appetite to continue....

“With regret I announce that this morning I spoke with Ms Robyn Kruk, director-general of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, who told me she did not feel she would be able to maintain the level of energy required to lead the NSW Public Service for the next two and a half years and beyond,” Mr Rees said in the statement.
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