Friday, April 09, 2010

Headlines Friday 9th April 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
This cartoon depicts the repeal of the Stamp Act as a funeral, with Grenville carrying a child's coffin marked "born 1765, died 1766".
John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute KG, PC (25 May 1713 – 10 March 1792), styled Lord Mount Stuart before 1723, was a Scottish nobleman who served as Prime Minister of Great Britain (1762–1763) under George III, and was arguably the last important favourite in British politics. He was the first Prime Minister from Scotland following the Acts of Union in 1707.
=== Bible Quote ===
“For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”- Romans 5:10
=== Headlines ===
Netanyahu Bails on Obama
Israeli leader backs out of Obama's global nuclear summit, reportedly out of concern some countries would seek to turn summit into anti-Israel event

Diplomat Going to See Terrorist
Qatari diplomat who caused midair security scare was going to see jailed Al Qaeda operative

Poll: Obama Gets Bad Grades
President's legislative victory with new health care law did not help his job approval rating

Ship owners finally say sorry
COAL ship owners admit they were off-course on the Reef, and they may face criminal charges.

At last: iPhone 4.0 gets multi-tasking
NEW iPhone features include multi-tasking which devotees have been clamouring for.

'Survivor' staffer suspect in wife's death
THE former producer of Survivor is suspected of dumping his wife's body in a water treatment tank.

Meet the two million-year-old boy ancestor
FOUND in a "death shaft" with a sabre-toothed cat, this boy could unlock our primitive secrets.

Grudge match 'fight club' over dummy spit
TWO lads will fight it out in the ring because one apparently "cracked onto" the other's girlfriend.

Doctor's blood infects 12 patients
A DOCTOR is being investigated over the infection of patients with hepatitis C from his own blood.

Testy teachers failing children
MILITANT teachers' unions are set to ban next month's national tests, costing NSW taxpayers $6.6 million to hire at least 8300 independent supervisors.

Skaf gang rapist back behind bars
THE first of the notorious Skaf gang rapists freed on parole is back behind bars less than a year after his release. Mahmoud Sanoussi was one of 14 men who gang-raped a young woman 25 times in isolated locations across southwestern Sydney a decade ago.

Fatal blaze house had government insulation batts
A CENTRAL NSW house which went up in flames killing a man and his two-year-old grandson was fitted with insulation under the federal government's troubled scheme. The Peak Hill home caught fire about midday (AEST) on Thursday and was well alight when NSW Fire Brigades crews arrived minutes after neighbours raised the alarm. Firefighters found two bodies inside - believed to be that of a 50-year-old man and a two-year-old boy, police said.

Tasmania's Labor Premier David Bartlett denies backflip for power
LABOR leader David Bartlett has strenuously denied reneging on any promises as he agreed yesterday to remain Tasmania's Premier. At 5pm Mr Bartlett was asked by Governor Peter Underwood to form a new Labor government, with its strength and stability to be tested as soon as Parliament is recalled. - the move is counter to the new style of government election being run in Tasmania. Instead of the two party preferred, the new system was supposed to allow the people's will to be expressed. Instead a pragmatic stance of a vote for Greens is a vote for ALP has been achieved .. in a new expression of two party preferred. - ed.

Woman throttled by her own hijab in go-kart accident
A WOMAN died when the Islamic head dress she was wearing was caught in the axle of a go-kart she was driving yesterday. The 26-year-old Muslim had been enjoying a day out with family at the Port Stephens Go-Karts track when her hijab became caught up at high speed.

Government suspends processing of Sri Lankan, Afghan asylum claims
AUSTRALIA has suspended the processing of all immigration claims from Sri Lankan and Afghan asylum seekers. "The decision has been made in the light of changing circumstances in both Afghanistan and Sri Lanka," Immigration Minister Chris Evans said. - terrible decision, it would be better to repeal the failed policy of siren calls to boat people. -ed

Illegal downloaders face life net ban
Claims Google will be blocked, Wikileaks shut down and pirates banned for life under new UK law.

Schapelle Corby pleads for reprieve for her health
DRUG smuggler Schapelle Corby has lodged a plea for clemency from the Indonesian President because of her mental illness. The plea seeking to have Corby's 20-year jail sentence reduced, changed or quashed completely is contained in hundreds of pages of documents addressed to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono after exhausting all other appeal avenues, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Yemeni child bride dies of bleeding after intercourse
A 13-year-old Yemeni girl who was forced into marriage died five days after her wedding when she suffered a rupture in her sex organs and hemorrhaging, a local rights organisation said today. Ilham Mahdi al Assi died last Friday in a hospital in Yemen's Hajja province, the Shaqaeq Arab Forum for Human Rights said, quoting a medical report. She was married the previous Monday in a traditional arrangement known as a "swap marriage", in which the brother of the bride also married the sister of the groom, it said. "The child Ilham has died as a martyr due to the abuse of children's lives in Yemen," the non-governmental organisation said.

Swedish rail worker crashes train network with porn addiction
A SWEDISH rail worker was slammed by his bosses for crippling a train network by looking at porn. Investigators found that there were so many viruses infecting the rail network's computers in Gavle, 160km north of Stockholm, that they were incapable of running trains safely, The Sun reports today. His outraged bosses gave the signalman an official warning, saying that thousands of passengers and hundreds of cargo trains were put at risk by his porn addiction.
=== Journalists Corner ===
Guest: Ben Stein
Find out why he is slamming the president of AFL-CIO for political hypocrisy!
Nuclear Limitations
Will the president's plan for diplomacy put our own country at risk?
Time To Be Heard
Is education a right or a privilege? Glenn hears what some young conservatives have to say!
=== Comments ===
San Francisco Approves Meat-Free Mondays
This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 7, 2010. 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!

LAURA INGRAHAM, GUEST HOST: In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight: The food police are out in force in San Francisco. The board of supervisors, those madcap folks, are unanimously now approving a measure to make Mondays meat-free.

Joining us now from the City by the Bay, Hope Bohanec, who's the campaign director for the group In Defense of Animals. Hope, are you cheering this? Is this a great day for you?

Click here to watch the debate!

HOPE BOHANEC, CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR, IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS: Absolutely. We're very excited and very proud of the board of supervisors. We want to thank them for being forward-thinking and choosing to embrace and support a compassionate, environmental and healthy diet.

INGRAHAM: Now, let's talk about the point of all of this, because a lot of folks are watching across the United States, and they're kind of thinking, "Well, this is San Francisco. This is the same board of supervisors that actually proposed a measure that would have decriminalized prostitution, that told the Battleship Iowa it couldn't have a place in its waterfront museum, gave a hassle to the junior ROTC and military recruiters." So most people across the country are like, "This is typical San Francisco." What do you actually think is going to be achieved with meatless Monday?

BOHANEC: Well, you know, we really need to start looking to our diet for some of our environmental problems, our health problems. More and more people, there's an awareness around food issues and our food systems and just how bad it's gotten. And there's more awareness growing. People are wanting to eat more local, more organic, more plant-based. And if you look at vegetarian diets, they really are the green superstars.
Censorship hides behind the great Conroy firewall
Piers Akerman
BIZARRE but true, Australia and China are allied in their determination to censor internet content. In totalitarian China, the plan is known as Green Dam. In Australia it should be called “freedom-be-damned”. - I don’t choose to view porn and I am not worried about the filter in that regard. I object to what the filter will be used for and that is to suppress legitimate opposition to ALP government. Whistleblowers who highlight corruption can be silenced with no appeal. That is a direct consequence of the filter. What may also happen is that the filter may not be an effective filter against porn. - ed.
The bedrock of Western Civilization is the free exchange of ideas. Conroy & Rudd’s plan is totally at odds with this. We have actually fought wars against people who believed that a government has the right to censure and punish individuals for thinking differently. In effect Rudd is dialling back our freedoms to match those of communist China’s.

Right now we have a free internet and the world has not come to an end. We need to keep it that way. The cops routinely capture the vermin who post life destroying pictures on the net and our security services have been brilliant at detecting terrorist threats and eliminating them. Why do we need more? The answer is we don’t. Terrorism and porn are just pretexts. This is about control and nothing more. Knowing Rudd he will already have a huge bureaucracy in the works to oversee every webpage, every post and every download. This body will probably hand out fines for swearing on line.

The Pricks.

Where will it end? Will they ban Piersly’s blog because most posters disagree with Rudd? Will they ban religious websites? These are valid questions.

What they really want to do is to take the ‘anonymous factor’ out of the net. The anonymous factor works exactly like a secret ballet ....people express what they really feel when they know they wont be punished for it. AF brings an honesty to the net that Rudd and his thugs want to destroy.

They must be stopped.

Party on

Tim of NotOnMyWatchVille
Tim, I will be running for the NSW Legislative Council (the senate) within the year on the issue of Justice for Hamidur Rahman. If the filter goes through it may well be that I would never have gotten the story to break to this stage. Instead I would still be living in fear that a hit man would be targeting me because no one knows what I know about the issue. I will be running as an independent conservative. Although I would support Liberal Party policy, I will not run as a Liberal because I want to focus on the single issue which drives me.
I note that Conroy’s plan is three times more expensive than the US one .. and guarantees delivery of an obsolete technology. - ed

Tim Blair
“Civilians”, as they’re here described, tend not to wander around Baghdad equipped with AK-47s and RPGs:

Counter-argument from WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange is notably lame.
Tim Blair
A new policy on boaties:
Australia has suspended the processing of all immigration claims from Sri Lankan and Afghan asylum seekers.

“The decision has been made in the light of changing circumstances in both Afghanistan and Sri Lanka,” Immigration Minister Chris Evans said.
By which he means that both countries are now considered safe. So much for Rudd’s “push factors”.
The announcement came shortly after the Government revealed the interception of a boat, carrying 70 asylum seekers, near Christmas Island last night. The passengers were rescued from their floundering vessel after it issued a distress call, saying its engine had failed.
That was the 38th boat to arrive so far this year.

UPDATE. An excellent idea.
Tim Blair
Sex Pistols manager and punk entrepreneur Malcolm McLaren has died at 64.

UPDATE. In other 70s developments, Bruce Springsteen is sprung – but nobody seems to care. This may prove that golf is the new rock ‘n’ roll. (Via Instapundit.)
Tim Blair
Another ethical dilemma:
Did you know that a sustainably reared chicken, because it lives longer and eats more, has 20 per cent more impact on global warming than an intensively farmed battery chook?
UPDATE. Chinese chicken rage!
Rudd panics: now says boat people may be fleeing peace
Andrew Bolt
Another boat, and nearly more deaths, forces the Rudd Government to announce that these poor refugees are probably not fleeing danger, after all:
All new asylum seeker claims from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan are being suspended, as news emerges that 70 people were rescued from a sinking asylum boat off Christmas Island early this morning.

Immigration Minister Chris Evans says the Government has decided to implement the processing suspension due to “changing conditions” in both countries…

This means any new asylum seekers now arriving in Australian waters from those two countries will not have their refugee applications processed until the suspension is lifted.

The suspension comes as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reviews the international protection guidelines for both countries.
But, but, but… weren’t they fleeing ”genocide” Wasn’t this flood of boats caused by ”new conflicts” and overseas ”push factors”?

It seems to me from this that Immigration Minister Chris Evans is now admitting the Government lied all along in denying its policies had lured so many thousands here in boats:
The changes we’re announcing today send a strong message to people smugglers that they cannot guarantee a visa outcome for their clients.
So it really was the guaranteed visa outcome that people smugglers were advertising that drew so many boats here? Then why didn’t Rudd just say so a few dozen boats ago?

Liars and incompetents.

(Thanks to reader Pira.)
Apartheid justice flops, black gangs rise
Andrew Bolt
The new racist violence:
A WAVE of violent crimes against Adelaide’s most vulnerable targets is being driven by American street gang-inspired clans of largely, but not exclusively, Aboriginal offenders.

At least six well-organised mainly Aboriginal street-fighting gangs - including the previously unreported Black Scorpions, West Side Bloods, Crazy After Dark, Crazy Black Fellas and RBM (Real Black Nungas) - have fuelled the Gang of 49 phenomenon with their crimes.
(UPDATE: Several readers have suggested the video I put up earlier here may not have been meant so seriously. I’m not sure of that, but have taken it down until I find out more.)

The same kind of phenomenon is being (mutedly) reported in Darwin.

But we persist in thinking the real problem is white racism, and a white justice system we’re told is too black unfriendly. Yet just as predicted and now feared, our more sensitive new apartheid justice works even worse:
A groundbreaking trial of WA’s only formal Aboriginal court has failed to reduce re-offending, according to an independent review which reveals that offenders sentenced in the specialist court are more likely to commit further crimes than those dealt with in the mainstream system…

The long-awaited review of the Aboriginal court, which was set up under the former Labor government in November 2006, found that 88 per cent of juveniles dealt with by the specialist court in its first two-year trial of operation went on to re-offend, compared with a 67 per cent rate of recidivism by those sentenced in the Children’s Court.

Over the same two-year time frame, 79 per cent of adults dealt with in the Community Court re-offended, compared with 71 per cent in the Kalgoorlie Magistrate’s Court.
(Thanks to reader Steve.)
A culture of more crime
Andrew Bolt
Veteran crime and corruption reporter Chris Masters tries very hard to dismiss the high crime rate among Middle Eastern Australians as a just a passing wave - but can’t:
Sydney has Australia’s largest proportion of Middle Eastern-born residents, but in a city of more than four million people they still number only about 120,000. Undeniably the community is disproportionately represented in criminal activity.

You only need to go to the jails to see what NSW prison’s officers have come to call their “Gaza Strip”. Inmates of Middle Eastern background are crowding most areas of serious crime. According to Corrective Services Commissioner Ron Woodham, the numbers continue to grow, as do management difficulties....

The next example of disproportion is the number of police assigned to the specialist Middle Eastern Crime Squad. It is the largest in the NSW Police, with up to 120 personnel.

Most of Sydney’s Middle Eastern-born residents come from Lebanon, drawn from successive waves of migration - but, as is often pointed out, the trouble is less with these citizens as with their sons and grandsons.

Chief Superintendent Ken McKay, the straight-talking Director of State Crime Command, has made a lot of arrests and, he says, in three years not one of them was a foreign national.

An Arabic cultural expert who advises police and prefers not to be named links most of the crime to a third wave of migration between 1978 and 1982 - fallout from a vicious civil war. While the generalisation has its limits, many of these newcomers had not regarded Australia as a first choice, seeing the move as temporary. As a result there was less of an effort to assimilate and learn the language.
Indeed, the official policy switched to almost encouraging them not to, and adapting Australian institutions to accommodate those who wouldn’t.
While auto crime is a speciality, as with many ethnic crime groups there is energetic diversification. And as usual drugs are the main attraction… As [the head of the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad] and other officers see it, religious faith has no bearing other than to further reflect migration patterns.
Do they really know that, or assume it for fear of seeming bigoted? Islam, after all, is a faith that preaches rejection and subjugation of non-believers - and is thus likely, at least in theory, to inhibit assimilation and a sense of communal responsibility towards other Australians. So it’s no surprise to hear it’s the last refuge of the jailed scoundrel:
If religion does figure at all it seems to do so more after they are locked up and find what is sometimes called “prislam”.
Masters tries to reassure:
Ten years ago young Vietnamese Australian hoods were similarly ripping and tearing. We now hear little of them, even though the evidence suggests some of the quieter and more efficient have grown to become very big players.
The truth is that the Vietnamese-born (even without counting their born-here children) still have one of the highest imprisonment rates of any immigrant group here, double that of the Australian born. Indeed, young Vietnamese in Victoria were until recently 50 times more likely than other young Australians to be convicted for trafficking in heroin.

And Masters concedes:
I would like to say this particular crime wave will, like so many others, soon recede. But that is unlikely.
(Thanks to reader John.)
Fact-checking Burnside’s “genocide”
Andrew Bolt
Julian Burnside in 2008:
Prominent Victorian barrister Julian Burnside QC has asked this weekend’s 2020 summit to support a plan to make it illegal for politicians to lie to the public.
Julian Burnside in 2010:
Tamils from Sri Lanka are fleeing [to Australia on boats] because they face genocide in Sri Lanka… During the final push against the Tamils, the Sri Lankan government bombed hospitals, killing thousands of civilian men, women and children. Since the hostilities ended, more than 100,000 Tamils have been held in crowded camps with hopelessly inadequate facilities.
LA Times, February 2009:
An article in Section A on Feb. 4 about Sri Lankan government forces fighting with Tamil Tiger rebels reported that United Nations spokesman Gordon Weiss said a hospital in the war zone had been hit by cluster bombs, and the headline said, “U.N. cites Sri Lanka cluster bomb use.” The Times did not, however, publish later wire reports that quoted Weiss as acknowledging that it was artillery fire, not cluster bombs, that hit the hospital. Those later articles quoted Sri Lankan Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara as saying, “We don’t have the facility to fire cluster munitions. We don’t have these weapons.” Weiss said the U.N. accepted the government’s assurance that it didn’t have them.
United Nations News Service, February 2009:
The hospital was shelled numerous times on Sunday, resulting in the killing of 11 people altogether, including one nurse, Gordon Weiss of OCHA said on Monday.
Al Jazeera, February 2009:
“The frontline is very close to this hospital,” [UN spokesman Gordon] Weiss told Al Jazeera. “It is not confirmed as to who is behind the strike, but boths sides are using artillery, and it could have come from either side..."…

Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, a military spokesman, said that the army was not responsible for the attacks.
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, April 2010:
Government forces defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who had been fighting for an independent Tamil homeland, on 18 May 2009, ending a civil war that had flared on and off since the early 1980s and left hundreds of thousands of civilians displaced.

According to the UN, more than 280,000 were living in government camps. Of this number, over 104,000 have since returned to their places of origin, while another 82,000 are staying with host families.
Inter Press Service, April 2010:
The conflict had kept the north mostly out of bounds for the rest of Sri Lanka, and it was cut off from the rest of the country in the war’s last phase. It took seven months for the A9 highway, the only land link to Jaffna, to be opened to the public. Since January, the crowds have been unstoppable.

“On a weekend at least 200,000 will come here,” says Sasthravedi Sri Vimala Thero, the chief incumbent monk of the Nagadeepa Vihare, a Buddhist temple located on an island just off Jaffna… The monk feels that interaction between ordinary citizens may well prove to be the best path to healing the wounds of war and dispersing the distrust between the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamils in the country.

“The war kept these two groups apart. Now they can come together, meet each other, like ordinary people,” he told IPS.

Catholic bishop for Jaffna Thomas Soudranayagam agrees. “...This will definitely improve the relationship between the north (Tamils) and the south (Sinhalese),” he said…

While some Tamil political parties have reservations about the influx of visitors, there appeared to be no animosity between the mostly Sinhalese visitors and the citizens of the peninsula…

Compared to what they went through in the not-so distant past, no one in Jaffna is complaining. “It is much better than what it was earlier… Most of the signs of the war are being removed. Demilitarisation is slowly taking place,” Bishop Soudranayagam said.
The Australian, April 2010:
HUNDREDS of Tamil asylum-seekers could be sent home if new UN guidelines reflect Sri Lanka’s improved humanitarian situation.

Yesterday, Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Australia, Senaka Walgampaya, said Colombo expected the UN High Commissioner for Refugees guidelines, currently under review, will soften its assessment of the country…

The co-ordinator of the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre, David Manne, ... agreed it was likely the UNHCR would issue a more “nuanced” assessment of northern Sri Lanka. “Given recent indications by the UNHCR that would appear the likely trajectory.”
UNHCR senior policy officer Vicky Tennant, April 2010:
There are a lot of positive things happening: you can really see the economy coming alive again and there has been a lot of investment by the government in terms of trying to get services up and running, education, health and so on… I think the government has really been working very hard with the humanitarian agencies to try to put together a good package of support, but there is still a lot that needs to be done..

There are almost 100,000 people still in the new camps and they certainly have greater freedom of movement than in the past. There’s a pass system in place which means they can leave the camp for up to 10 days at a time, which is a big improvement. Hopefully, as more and more areas are cleared for return, the majority of them will also be able to go back home soon.
If Burnside were a politician under his own laws, he’d be jailed.


How does Burnside’s description of Sri Lanka and the “genocide” there square with this announcement today by the Rudd Government?
Why Nixon fled her post
Andrew Bolt
CHRISTINE Nixon was hired as our police chief not because she was a great leader.

She was hired first of all because of her politics - and with the added advantage of her gender - and on Black Saturday it showed. Showed disastrously.

As she was hired, so she failed, in an emblematic indictment of these Days of Seeming, not Doing.

To be brutally honest, she seems to have panicked. When this burning state needed saving through action, not group hugs, she realised she was useless. Unneeded.

And so she fled, first to her office, where she hid for 90 minutes doing unrelated paperwork, and then, minutes after being warned many people would die, to a restaurant.

“I had to eat!” she’s protested.

So as Kinglake burned, she went to dinner. And by the time she pushed away her plate, Marysville was in ashes, too, and most of Black Saturday’s 173 victims were dead.

A telling detail: in this hour or more she spent dining with friends, Nixon’s phone rang precisely once.

I suspect that after years of her leadership, her colleagues had come not to rely on her in a crisis.

You may have already heard some of the excuses made for Nixon, mostly by Age and ABC Leftists who see in her disgrace a blow to their wider agenda.
If I were of the Right, I’d say so
Andrew Bolt
IT’S a nasty way to start your new job, announcing at a media launch that your boss has actually hired the wrong man.

But what else could I do but correct the goose?

It was terrible enough to see that MTR, the new radio station that starts on Monday week, had printed a giant poster of me, hair wild, with the slogan: “Found to the far right of the dial.”

On 1377. Geddit? Far right?

But then MTR’s program director, Steve Price, told the media at the station launch on Wednesday the very same thing, as if he believed it.

MTR, he said, would be Right-wing.

“The most successful talk stations do occupy the Right-of-Centre opinion on politics in particular but life in general,” he said. “I don’t know that there’s a successful Left-wing radio.”

And he turned to me - “on my Right”, he smirked - to prove his point.

If you’ve been offered nice money by people who, after the ink has dried, say you’ll be a hit if you act like Y, it’s awkward to inform them that you’re in fact X. And that if they weren’t so blind, they’d have noticed it all along.

In fact, the oddest thing about Price’s claim is that he is not Right-wing himself.
Rudd raids the nation’s savings
Andrew Bolt
It’s frightening - and to think all that funding for the future has been raided to finance trash:
THE federal government’s nation-building health and education funds are being swiftly depleted, with only 40 per cent of the initial $11.5 billion in endowments retained after their first year of operation.

Calculations by The Australian show that the Rudd government’s Health and Hospitals Fund and Education Investment Fund will carry $4.53bn after meeting grant commitments already announced…

The EIF began with a transfer of $6.484bn from the now-defunct Higher Education Endowment Fund, a vehicle created by then treasurer Peter Costello as the centrepiece of his 2007 budget. “The capital will not be spent,” Mr Costello said in his final budget speech. “It will be invested....”

Last night, Mr Costello, who was appointed to the Future Fund board in December by the Rudd government, said Labor’s approach was deeply flawed.

“The HEEF was set up to be a fund in perpetuity to develop world-class Australian universities and the Labor Party has now raided the capital in a short-sighted attempt to spend money today at the expense of tomorrow,” he told The Australian.
Breaks your heart. The biggest spending spree in the nation’s history, and what’s left to show for it? At least Costello, who some feared might have been silenced by accepting Rudd’s job offer, is saying what needs saying.

(Thanks to reader GregJ.)


And here’s yet another example from the rort-ridden $16.2 billion school stimulus spendathon of how Rudd squandered those savings:

AN Adelaide Hills primary school is being forced to use part of its federal Building the Education Revolution money to pay for new bushfire fighting water tanks despite having already received a state government grant for water tanks that are currently being installed.
Two die in fire in Rudd-insulated house
Andrew Bolt
Too soon to say what caused this tragedy, but it may have profound political consequences:
A CENTRAL New South Wales house which went up in flames killing a man and his two-year-old grandson was fitted with insulation under the federal government’s troubled scheme…

Greg Combet, the minister assisting the Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Minister, later confirmed insulation had been installed at the Derribong Street property under the federal government’s collapsed Home Insulation Program… Mr Combet said it was not appropriate to speculate on the cause of Thursday’s fire, adding that the government was awaiting advice from the NSW Fire Brigades on the matter.
(Thanks to reader Sooz.)
Uh, ah, er, um
Andrew Bolt

Who was one your favourite White Sox players?
The painful, painful sound of a politician pretending to be the long-time sports fan he never was. And an insight into how inarticulate Obama really is, and how ready to filibuster with class war rhetoric.

(Via Instapundit.)
Royal Commission asks Nixon back for a little chat
Andrew Bolt
I expect the royal commission would feel it was misled - which makes it increasingly impossible for Christine Nixon to keep her job:
CHRISTINE Nixon is expected to be hauled back to the bushfires Royal Commission as early as next week following revelations she went out to dinner as Victoria burned on Black Saturday.

In her first appearance at the commission this week, Ms Nixon said she left the control centre at 6pm and went home.

She claimed she had a meal and monitored the radio, websites and took calls and text messages as the disaster unfolded.

But the Herald Sun revealed she went home and then dined at a hotel in North Melbourne…

A spokeswoman for Ms Nixon confirmed commission lawyers had asked about her availability to again take the stand at the commission.
Here is Nixon’s evidence under cross examination to the royal commission this week . Think it’s frank? Think the royal commission would have realised Nixon was actually at a restaurant with friends, away from the emails, television and the internet?:
Praising Tasmanian Corruption Over Federal ALP
Andrew Bolt
Tasmania’s governor yesterday showed why highly political governors and governors general - David de Kretser and Quentin Bryce in particular - have been fools to play politics.

Governor Peter Underwood yesterday stepped in to declare Labor leader David Bartlett Tasmania’s premier again.

The Liberals thought they had won the right to form government after last month’s election, having won the most votes of any party. But the Governor clearly - and rightly - figured that with Labor and Liberal both winning 10 seats, and the Greens another five, the voters preferred a Government of the Left.

I suspect Liberal voters will largely accept this decision, in part because Peter Underwood has not abused his position as have de Kretser and Bryce.

Unlike Victoria’s de Krester, he has not frantically advocated the Green side of the global warming debate. Nor has he done anything to compare with Bryce’s wild frolic of acting as a de facto foreign affairs minister for the Rudd Government in its bid for a UN Security Council seat, or cheering its global warming and parental leave positions.

How would voters have accepted de Krester intervening on the side of the party most aggressive in his global warming crusade? How would they have copped a Bryce who’d handed office to the party she so clearly favours?

It’s thanks to Underwood’s perceived impartiality, a product of his self-discipline and respect for his duty, that will help reconcile conservative voters to his decision. This can only help Tasmania’s democracy, and keep the voters’ faith in it,

But now consider a worse nightmare - of an elected governor or president, inevitably a politician, having to decide which party “won” such a disputed election.

Be grateful for what we have. - Sorry, but you are wrong in your assessment .. and this will get uglier. The new electoral system for tassie was to get away from two party preferred systems. This vastly inflated the importance of third parties, like the Greens, who are proxies for the ALP. Under the new Tassie system it should go to the Libs who got the most votes and they have a job to do negotiating with the other parties. They probably would have failed, but that is how the system works. Instead, the biased governor has plumped for the comfortable two party preferred result .. there is no way this can get better, but it may be covered up for a time. - ed.
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