=== Todays Toon ===Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, KG, PC (13 May 1730 – 1 July 1782), styled The Hon. Charles Watson-Wentworth before 1733, Viscount Higham between 1733 and 1746, Earl of Malton between 1746 and 1750 and The Earl Malton in 1750, was a British Whig statesman, most notable for his two terms as Prime Minister of Great Britain. He became the patron of many Whigs and served as a leading Whig grandee. He served in only two high offices during his lifetime (Prime Minister and Leader of the House of Lords), but was nonetheless very influential during his one and a half years of service. - wiki adores these whigs, even those in office less than a year. - ed.
=== Bible Quote ===Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.”- Romans 13:8
=== Headlines ===Restaurant owner calls for Portland, Maine, to follow growing trend of communities rejecting water-fluoridation, saying city is 'medicating everyone' with 'poison.' - hysterical statement which overstates danger while diminishing cost of avoidance. Places that don't treat their water are third world in their dental issues. - ed.
GOP Grills Obama Court Pick
Controversial nominee apologizes for sending Senate Judiciary Committee members incomplete portfolio about himself, says he'll do whatever he can to win back trust
Taxpayer Calculator — Votes Are In
FoxNews.com gave you a look at your share of the nation's tax burden by shrinking down the trillions we spend into numbers that make sense — here's what you had to say
Critics Say Palin Probe Just Politics
Calif. AG takes heat for investigating university over Palin speaking event that school says was privately funded
Doctors say they've never seen a baby so sick and so small surviving after baby Zahlee had heart failure due to the parvo virus when she was only 20 weeks old in the womb.
Goldman Sachs fraud charges
TOP Wall Street firm charged with fraud over betting on the collapse of the US housing market.
Australia's population 'to reach 42m'
AUSTRALIA'S population could be unsustainable if current trends continue, study says. - this assumes that the ALP remains in government and no investment is made in infrastructure. -ed.
Jeff Kennett calls for Christine Nixon to be sacked over Black Saturday
CHRISTINE Nixon is a blot on the landscape and must go, say Liberal Party powerbrokers. Former premier Jeff Kennett was shocked last night that the former Victoria police chief had to again clarify her whereabouts on Black Saturday. "She can thank her lucky stars this didn't happen under my watch as she would be straight out the door," he said. "She put herself first all day and then washed it down with a very good meal at the end. The community is becoming increasingly frustrated the Premier hasn't removed this blot from our landscape." Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu is steadfastly opposed to Ms Nixon continuing her role as chairwoman of the Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority.
Family budgets to feel cost of living pain
THE soaring price of bills and home loan repayments could cost families over $3000 extra a year.
'Use YouTube to educate violent youths'
YOUTUBE and Twitter could be used to educate youths involved in violent crimes, top judge says.
Families getting fat on cheap junk food
THE cost of healthy food is growing at a much faster rate than junk food, which could be contributing to the nation's obesity problems.
Lover stumbled on wedding card
ALONE in Des Campbell's new home, his long-time girlfriend Gorica Velicanski searched a desk for Liquid Paper and got the shock of her life.
Sex-act swap for diesel fuel
A MOTHER forced her daughter, 13, into a sexual act with a truck driver in exchange for diesel fuel, a court was told yesterday.
Naked, beheaded body a suspected human sacrifice
POLICE in eastern India are investigating a suspected case of human sacrifice after finding the naked, beheaded body of a man in a temple.
Premier spent '$31,000 on private jets'
NSW Premier Kristina Keneally spent more than $94,000 on trips to regional NSW, including $31,000 on private jets, during her first seven weeks of office, Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell says. A document obtained under Freedom of Information (FoI) laws shows the premier spent the money between December 8 and January 31 during trips to places such as Tamworth, Armidale and Cowra. The opposition says the visits were more about photo opportunities than creating real change.
Visitors groping live nude artists in New York Museum of Modern Art
VISITORS to the eyebrow-raising new exhibit at New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) got a little too grabby with the show's naked performers. Female performers in Marina Abramovic's "The Artist is Present" complained about groping, while other models said they were pushed, prodded and poked, the New York Post reported. Without giving specifics, MoMA said it experienced trouble with visitors stroking the live art. "We are well aware of the challenges posed by having nude performers in the galleries for this exhibition," the museum said. "Any visitor who improperly touches or disturbs any of the performers is escorted from the museum by MoMA security."
=== Journalists Corner ===Drugs, Guns and Violence!
U.S. border towns are under siege from Mexican gangs. Now, one Texas County Sheriff reveals his plan to fight back.
A National Sales Tax?
Is it really the key in saving America from financial ruin? Or, is it just another tax?
Well, Kiss My Grits
A western couple is sent to the slammer for performing PDA in an Arab nation! Find out why!
Rove Slams Obamacare
From emergency rooms, to testing, to treatments - are we already facing a crisis?
=== Comments ===Another Far-Left Attack on Fox News Falls Flat
By Bill O'Reilly
Once again, NBC News has highlighted dishonest propaganda from the far-left Media Matters outfit. Sadly, TIME magazine also participated in the sham.
Controversies about Sen. Tom Coburn's assertion that Fox News scared some Americans by saying they could go to prison if they don't buy health insurance under Obamacare. On Tuesday, here's what I said to the senator.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: We researched to find out if anybody on Fox News had ever said you're going to jail if you don't buy health insurance. Nobody's ever said it. So it seems to me that what you did was you used Fox News as a whipping boy when we didn't qualify there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now, Sen. Coburn admitted he may have made a mistake. But to be fair, the mistake is understandable, because last fall when jail time was on the table, Fox News reported it, as we should have. Listen to these sound bites.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think it's appropriate to have a threat of jail time for those who refuse to buy insurance?
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: You know, what I think is appropriate is that in the same way that everybody has to get auto insurance and if you don't, you are subject to some penalty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just trying to understand, if you don't buy health insurance, you go to jail? You didn't answer my question.
HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: Well, the point, there is, I think the legislation is very fair in this respect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now, as we all know, the prison option was taken off the table when the final Obamacare bill was being debated, and that's what we were talking to Sen. Coburn about: the final bill debate. Not all that stuff.
So what I said is absolutely true. Nobody at Fox News reported inaccurately about the Obamacare prison situation. Nobody.
Yet, Media Matters, as they always do, distorted the entire situation. Shamefully, NBC News and TIME magazine lapped up the garbage and put it right out there.
Now, we expect that from NBC, but TIME magazine? Come on. You guys have got to wise up.
The importance of this is that you, the everyday American, are now being lied to on a regular basis by people working for huge corporations and nothing is being done about it. A voter-driven republic cannot survive if lies supersede the truth.
The bottom line on this story is that Sen. Coburn, again, a good man, made an honest mistake. But that mistake was picked up by NBC News and used to hammer Fox News, which is kicking their butt all over the place in the cable news ratings. The good news is NBC News will soon be taken over by Comcast, an honest corporation, and perhaps changes will be made.
The American people deserve an honest government and an honest media. Do we not?
ONIONS AND TEARS
Interactive art in NYC:
Visitors to the eyebrow-raising new exhibit at New York’s Museum of Modern Art got a little too grabby with the show’s naked performers.Performer Amelia reports an onion incident:
Female performers in Marina Abramovic’s “The Artist is Present” complained about groping, while other models said they were pushed, prodded and poked, the New York Post reported …
An unspecified number of patrons were ejected for groping performers after the exhibit opened on March 14 … The exhibit features 38 performers in rotating shifts of eight facing each other at a doorway or lying under a skeleton or posing in other pieces, mostly in the nude.
She said the oddest thing she experienced since the retrospective of Abramovic’s work began was seeing a man drop a spring onion beside her as she lay under the skeleton.Onion-man was ejected. Life beneath the skeleton is clearly a challenge:
“He said he wanted to add a little bit of life” to the work, [Amelia] said.
Elke Luyten, a 35-year-old performer, called the show a welcome test of self-discipline, even if she occasionally cries while lying under the skeleton.(Via KP, who emails: “Oh please, let your commenters rip into this ...")
WORD WITHIN WORD DEPLOYED
Someone calling himself “Josh Lyman” – it’s his favourite West Wing character, apparently – turns up in comments to unleash a torrent of nostalgic 2003-era insanity:
• The only good US soldier is one that has been blown to pieces by a road-side bomb, just a pity there haven’t been more. You’re just a far-right Republican whack-job.Ah, the good old days.
• That was very intelligent you scary right wing bitch. Why don’t you try and achieve something in your life and then you can criticise elected leaders.
• So i guess in your right wing world only American lives matter. I guess we can forget about the 1 million plus Iraqis killed by the illegal invasion. People like you and your far-right coWARd friends make me sick. Why don’t you sign up then Timmy, or are you a coWARd too?
• You’re a coWARd Timmy. Quite simple really.
• I think we can safely say that Timmy Blair is a coWARd. You like to dish it out, but you won’t let anyone disagree. How convenient!
Global warming has never delayed a single flight. But horrible nature shuts down Europe for a whole week:
The jet stream will continue to slam the ash plume into Europe through Wednesday, according to AccuWeather.com meteorologists, but relief for the aviation crisis could come Thursday.Remain vigilant for anyone claiming that this is to do with climate change. Danny Glover linked the Haitian earthquake to climate change after only three days.
The jet stream winds, which extend from 10,000 feet up to 40,000 feet, show no signs of change through Wednesday. Any ash plume that is released from the Eyjafjall volcano in Iceland will continue to threaten northern Europe and the British Isles.
THE FLYING GAME
Paul Toohey plays Spot the Terrorist.
Leftist given enough rope
Yet another Leftist tries to fix a PR program - that the Tea Party movement in the US comprises far too many nice, ordinary people, like these:
But this Leftist’s new problem is that the tea party-party people are onto his effort to supply the vileness he couldn’t find:
An Oregon teacher who announced his intention to “dismantle and demolish the Tea Party” has been placed on administrative leave until his school district finishes its investigation into whether his political activity crossed the line.If the Tea Party people are as violent and mad as Laurie Oakes says they are, why would a Leftist need to resort to supplying such faked props?
The state’s Teacher Standards & Practices Commission is also conducting an investigation into Jason Levin, a media teacher at Conestoga Middle School in Beaverton…
Levin has said he would seek to embarrass Tea Partiers by attending their rallies dressed as Adolf Hitler, carrying signs bearing racist, sexist and anti-gay epithets and acting as offensively as possible -- anything short of throwing punches.
I mean, look at these fanatics. Can’t you see they’re ready to kill someone?
More racist tea partiers, ready to lynch or something:
No wonder some on the Left had to step in and supply the crazies.
No, Terre’Blanche didn’t rape them. Read that anywhere?
The lawyer has retracted the smear:
Sex allegations relating to the murder of Eugene Terre’Blanche have been dropped, but new claims of violent assaults against the man and youth alleged to have killed him were made when the pair appeared in court here for a second time yesterday.Will the newspapers correct the misinformation with the same enthusiasm with which they reported a claim that made the murder of the white racist seem all the more acceptable? So far no.
Puna Moroko, lawyer for Chris Mahlangu, 28, told journalists outside the Ventersdorp Magistrate’s Court that his client had initially spoken of being sodomised by the right-wing leader, but further questioning had revealed this could not be true.
(Thanks to reader Duncan.)
Another frostbitten alarmist realises the Arctic is still cold
Yet another alarmist is nearly killed by global warming hysteria:
Tom Smitheringale ... was on his way to the North Pole, alone, when he fell through an ice sheet. He was close to death when he was miraculously rescued by Canadian soldiers… He wrote on his website: ”Had a bad fall into the ice today and came very close to the grave.”He’s been in constant strife from the cold:
Last week he almost quit after excruciating frostbite in his fingers and thumbs forced him to call in an emergency rescue.Smitheringale had intended, in fact, to demonstrate we’re in the grip of global warming:
Part of the reason Tom’s One Man Epic is taking place now is because of the effect that global warming is having on the polar ice caps… Some scientists have even estimated that the polar ice cap will have entirely melted away by 2014!Not much sign of the Arctic melting away any time soon, actually:
In fact, it’s now clear that more people in the Arctic are threatened by their global warming hysteria than by global warming itself.
Last year it was Pen Hadow and his team who had to be rescued from their global warming stunt:
Project director and ice team leader Pen Hadow and his colleagues Martin Hartley and Ann Daniels are now down to half rations and fighting to survive in brutal sub-zero weather conditions.The year before, eco-adventurer Lewis Gordon Pugh was similarly thwarted:
August 30, 2008, from the BBC: Lewis Pugh plans to kayak 1200km (745 miles) to the North Pole to raise awareness of how global warming has melted the ice sheet . . . This year, for the first time, scientists predict that the North Pole could briefly be ice-free and that has inspired Mr Pugh . . .And the year before that, alarmists Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen paid the price for thinking the Arctic was warmer than it actually is:
September 6, 2008, from Reuters: Pugh’s kayak trip ended at 81 degrees north, about 1000km from the Pole. (A) barrier of sea ice . . . eventually blocked his route north . . .
February 26, 2007, from PRNewswire: On March 4, world-renowned polar explorers and educators Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen will embark on a historic 75-day expedition to the North Pole and beyond to raise awareness of global warming’s impact on the fragile Arctic.
March 12, 2007, from AP: Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen . . . called off what was intended to be a 530-mile trek across the Arctic Ocean after Arnesen suffered frostbite in three of her toes, and extreme cold temperatures drained the batteries in some of their electronic equipment . . . “They were experiencing temperatures that weren’t expected with global warming,” (spokesman Ann) Atwood said.
Covering up for Nixon
Age reporter Jo Chandler kept secret the fact that Christine Nixon was actually with her, talking about her biography, instead of running the emergency response to the Black Saturday fires.
Here she tries to explain the coverup - a betrayal, in my opinion, of her duty to Age readers:
AT A press conference yesterday Christine Nixon revealed the private business that occupied her early in the afternoon of Black Saturday, before the inferno had reached its peak...A meeting with me, a long-standing but curtailed arrangement to work on a book project, was part of that business…So Nixon was worried about the fires and distracted, and even concerned about a lack of information coming through. Yet still she sat with a journalist for 45 minutes to talk about her biography, instead. And that journalist never said a word, witness as she was to the most astonishing abrogation of leadership we’ve seen in Victoria in many, many years.
Ms Nixon ... was interested in writing a memoir reflecting on her life and her 36-year career in policing.
I was approached by a publisher to assist Ms Nixon with that project. After consulting my editors at The Age, I took a period of extended leave from December to begin the preliminary research…
Contractual constraints have prevented me discussing our meetings. Yesterday, shortly before her media conference, Ms Nixon released me from that constraint…
Ms Nixon’s husband, John Becquet, escorted me up to her office some time about 1.30pm [on Black Saturday]. Ms Nixon arrived later - she had been in the operations centre, she said, getting an update. Conditions were extreme and the atmosphere was anxious…
Fully expecting that the meeting would be cut short, we sat down at a table to begin… The sense was that there was not much information coming through.
We talked for about 45 minutes from memory, but Ms Nixon was distracted - we all were, watching out the large windows.
Two people weren’t doing their job, it seems to me.
More from Andrew Landeryou, who asks what else The Age is failing to tell.
Age journalists John Silvester and Andrew Rule write a mea culpa:
SPEAKING of Christine Nixon and meals, as everybody is, this column declares having lunched with her in 2004....Three years into the chief commissioner job, for her it was just another interview, handled adroitly by a woman who had mastered the art of seeming artless but never heartless.
For the reporter, it was part of the jigsaw puzzle of researching a profile. Afterwards, among 3000 other words, he wrote:
The most powerful woman in Australia … is a pleasant, middle-aged person who might pass for a hospital matron or the school teacher her father once wanted her to be. She is wholesome, unpretentious and friendly - the scone-making favourite aunt from central casting. She is also a tough cookie.Six years on, Nixon might still pass for the jolly aunt. But the other judgments look as wobbly as their subject did when she stepped from the witness box the other day…
Nixon is in charge of 12,800 police - most of them armed - and an annual budget of $1 billion. If an airliner plunges into the Rialto tower tomorrow, she will be the one calling the shots.
As for her ‘’calling the shots’’ in a national emergency - clearly, calling shots is not her thing. She delegated hands-on stuff to those who ran the force’s operations during her eight years in the job.
This is no sneak attack on a high-achieving woman but a fact: as commander of the good ship Victoria Police, she toured the bridge on the way to the captain’s table but didn’t take the wheel. She had helmsmen for that. It worked fine until it hit an iceberg and the blame game started.
But don’t mistake the feeding frenzy for a gender war. The lynch mob would have gathered around any police chief who had absented himself from the control room while Victoria burnt.
Fact is, a few cheeky nicknames aside, ‘’Nanna’’ Nixon - aka ‘’Mrs Doubtfire’’ - was not a victim of gender bias, more likely a beneficiary of it.
Victoria sets loose its discrimination witchhunters
Victoria’s equal opportunity police were just not getting enough complaints to work with. So this foolish Labor Government this week unleashed them to go invent some more, passing even more oppressive Equal Opportunity laws:
Deputy Premier and Attorney-General Rob Hulls welcomed the passage of the new reforms, saying they ensured Victorians benefited from equal opportunity laws fit for the 21st century…Let me show you what kind of divisive thing you may now get, using as an example a case from the commission’s own files:
He said the new laws would help stamp out entrenched and systemic discrimination against minority groups by giving the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission the ability to investigate persistent and systemic discrimination without first requiring a complaint to be made.
(The Equal Opportunity Commission) hired May Helou, head of the Islamic Council of Victoria’s women’s support group. Her job, the EOC said, was to ensure “Arabic and Muslim communities are aware of their rights under anti-discrimination laws” and give “support to people wishing to make a complaint”.The Labor and Green politicians who voted for this legislative bullying are grossly impertinent and irresponsible. The consequences, when they come, must not be dismissed as unforseen or even unintended. Everyone should know they’ve been predicted from the start.
The hounds had been set loose… In March 2002, Helou told Muslim converts at the ICV headquarters of a seminar on jihad to be run by Catch the Fire and asked them to go.
Said one later, she didn’t want the meeting to be held “without any Muslims present”. So when (pastors) Nalliah and Scot got up to speak at their seminar about jihad, they had in front of them 250 born-again Christians - and three people they did not know were Muslims.
And back at the EOC, Helou waited for the three to call with their complaint....
The pastors were at long last tried at VCAT before Justice Michael Higgins… and some curious things soon became clear.
First, even one of the converts had to admit that Scot, who’d been born in Pakistan and got degrees there in theology and applied mathematics, actually understood the Koran far better than did the people complaining he’d misquoted it.
Second, as I wrote at the time, many of the complaints accused Scot of no more than quoting the Koran accurately…
The verdict was also odd. The pastors were found guilty of vilifying Muslims even though the judge identified only one thing Scot had said that was factually wrong: he’d given the wrong birthrate for Muslims here. And, the judge, added, he’d failed to quote a verse that showed Allah was merciful.
Higgins said the real problem with the seminar was that it was not “balanced”...
(Thanks to reader Geoffrey and others.)
Paddling to a more civil land
Maybe consequences count:
But even by Texas standards, Temple is unusual… Since paddling was brought back to the city’s 14 schools by a unanimous board vote in May, behavior at Temple’s single high school has changed dramatically, Wright said, even though only one student in the school system has been paddled.(Thanks to reader Brendan. UPDATE: link fixed.)
Paying more for less in Rudd’s green future
You’ll pay for Kevin Rudd’s green madness, warns Terry McCrann:
YOUR electricity bills are going to at least double in the next 10 years and relentlessly rising power prices could easily triple them.
If, that is, and when, you actually get the electricity. Because just as certainly we are headed for a downunder world of power brownouts and blackouts, when the lights - and everything else: fridges, air conditioners, ovens - are quite literally turned off.
This will be the case in every state, with the single possible exception of Tasmania, thanks to the hydro power that the Greens hate almost as much as the mainland’s coal-fired generators.
There is one reason and one person to blame: the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd…
The CEO of Origin Energy, Grant King, explicitly predicted the price rises in an important speech to CEDA - the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia - in Sydney on TuesdayAnd I quote: “We think it is quite possible that, by 2020, the price of energy to consumers will be two to three times what it is today.”
He was slightly less explicit in blaming Rudd. He said the price rises would be driven “largely by the current policy environment, large amounts of renewables being forced into the system, uncosted charges for those renewables given current policy settings, and substantial increases in transmission and distribution costs”.
Who’s responsible for the “current policy environment”? Who’s forcing “large amounts of renewables into the system”? And who’s responsible for all the consequent cost increases for transmission and the like?
Two words: our Kevin.
Maybe she’s just got a lot more to excuse
It does indeed seem the case that conservatives are required to defer to the Left in TV debates:
Since Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott began their regular Friday morning sparring sessions on the Nine Network’s Today program earlier this year, Strewth has observed that show host Karl Stefanovic has favoured the Deputy PM over the Opposition Leader, if only because he enjoys a spot of flirting with the powerful red-head ("You look great”, “That’s a nice skirt").But don’t confuse volume of words for volume of information. For instance, here’s Abbott trying to get Gillard to admit she already knew the kind of thing the Auditor General will soon say about her rort-raddled school building program when she last week pre-emptively announced a $14 million task force to fix any problems:
But forensic research by Strewth’s statisticians has confirmed our suspicions that Abbott is struggling to get a word in edgeways. Yesterday, during their 10-minute on-air debate, Gillard spoke 1100 words while Abbott only got 599 words out. On March 19, when the bungled Building the Education Revolution scheme was the hot topic, Gillard gabbed on for 1084 words while Abbott could squeeze out only 566, though to be fair, Gillard had a fair bit of explaining to do. Indeed, in their nine on-air meetings so far this year, Abbott has managed to out-word Gillard on only one occasion. While the Gillard’s jabbering could be considered a bit rude by some, verbosity is a well regarded trait within the ALP; just ask Kevin Rudd and former leader Kim Beazley.
ABBOTT: Just on the school hall rip-off, have you received the Auditor-General’s draft report yet, Julia?But, of course, there’s no law at all to prevent her from saying she’s been given the draft report. (Video here.)
Gillard: Well, as you would know, Tony, under the Audit Act, the law of this country . . .
Abbott: I’m asking you a straight question. Have you received the draft report?
Gillard: Yes, and I’m explaining to you the laws of the nation, Tony, so maybe you want to look them up at some point. But under the Audit Act, the laws of the nation, every stage of an audit is confidential and I’m simply not legally able to answer that question.
Abbott: But have you received the draft report?
Gillard: As you well know as a minister . . .
Abbott: Well no, you can say whether you’ve received the draft report.
Gillard: No, Tony, that is not true, it’s all a confidential process.
Some readers below are assuming I am implying a Leftist bias in Karl Stefanovic.
I don’t. Indeed, were I to staff an Australian Fox News, he’d be one of the first I’d pick. At this stage I’m not sure if I’d have him as the token Leftist or conservative, though.
Rudd’s last big hope is now in strife, too
Kevin Rudd’s hospitals plan is in deep strife, opposed not just by the Premiers of Victoria, NSW and Western Australia, or by the architect of Medibank, a Reserve Bank board member and the head of two premiers’ departments:
The NSW Medical Staff Executive Council, which represents more than 11,000 doctors, called an urgent meeting last night to urge the Premier to delay her decision on the changes for at least six weeks.If Rudd loses even this battle…
They want more details on how NSW will be affected, and greater evidence they will be given enough money to resolve the NSW health system’s crippling debt problems…
‘’We need at least an extra 600 public hospital beds and $250 million a year to have any chance of reaching the four-hour target,’’ [council co-chairman John] Dwyer said.
“...the proposal … would provide NSW with only $50 million for this purpose.’’
He said an analysis of Treasury figures had shown there would be a 1 per cent increase in new money provided by the Commonwealth, bringing its input to 41 per cent rather than the promised 60 per cent. ‘’In any case, the cash flow would begin in 2013 and we need financial help now.’’
INCIDENTALLY, what’s interesting about the criticism from John Brumby, Roger Corbett and John Deeble in particular is how scathing it is of Rudd personally and his spin and blackmail.
Paul Kelly confirms the contempt and seems to wonder just how crazy Rudd must be:
What is most damaging about Brumby’s stance coming from the party’s Victorian stronghold is the premier’s lack of respect for Rudd’s policy, style or politics. Brumby doesn’t rate Rudd…As for Rudd’s threat to call a referendum if the Premiers block him:
Once again, Rudd’s judgment is on the line. He cannot afford another fiasco after the emissions trading scheme defeat.... For Rudd, this exercise is intensely personal yet also reveals his abrasive and controlling style…
Yet the premiers feel they are reduced to pawns to suit Rudd’s political convenience; timing, content and atmospherics merely reflect Rudd’s needs. Resentment towards him runs deep in Melbourne and Sydney… Sydney Labor ... distrusts him and dislikes him but, alert to her fragility, [Premier] Keneally avoids any confrontation with him.
Brumby dismisses the referendum threat with contempt.UPDATE 2
Yet the message Rudd gives in private as well as public is that the referendum is a serious fallback. Who is he fooling?
If it is serious, then Rudd would have to escalate the issue. Who ever heard of a referendum to carry a 60-40 per cent funding split plan for public hospitals.
It is a joke.
So much for the reports that it was actually John Brumby who was under pressure:
PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd’s health plan was at risk of collapse last night after a revolt by key premiers against his push for control of hospital funding around the nation.UPDATE 3
Mr Rudd suffered a further blow when New South Wales joined Victoria and Western Australia in refusing to cede 30 per cent of its GST funds to the Commonwealth to enable the Prime Minister to fund his election-year plan.
NSW also joined Victoria’s call for a joint federal-state pool, administered by each state, to fund hospitals, a proposition Mr Rudd has repeatedly rejected.
During a two-hour phone hook-up of premiers and chief ministers, the states and territories backed in principle a Victorian proposal that would ensure they continued to run their hospital systems.
But Rudd keeps playing this as one great media opportunity, rather than a serious negotiation with adults:
Mr Rudd, who visited three NSW hospitals yesterday...UPDATE 4
Simon Benson on the most offensive aspect of Rudd’s PR campaign:
Over the past month, he and his health minister Nicola Roxon have visited hospitals all across the country, with buckets full of non-existent cash, giving people hope that soon they will be the beneficiaries of much needed patients and clinical services.
They have announced cancer services, diabetes programs, radiotherapy units, aged care facilities and more emergency beds for hospitals. But there is a catch.
These services will only be delivered if the states sign up to his reforms.
If these services are so desperately needed, if they are worthy, then surely they should be delivered regardless of what the states do.
Is the PM seriously suggesting to people that they will only get these life saving services, if the state premiers dance to his tune?
Hu says China isn’t green?
Reader Big Ted admires China’s growing commitment to environmentalism:
BRIBE-TAKING among Rio Tinto’s Shanghai iron ore executives was more extensive than previously thought ... Huge sums of cash were stored in third-party bank accounts - with the bribe-takers given cash cards - or directly handed over in dark green plastic shopping bags, environmentally friendly shopping bags and cardboard boxes.A lesson to us all.
How long would Ellis last if he were a Liberal?
Bob Ellis, the taxpayer-financed Labor speechwriter, poses a rhetorical question:
Why not bomb the Vatican, and riddle the Pope with bullets as he staggers out of the flames?Ellis, though, will continue to suck the public teat and booze on with mates such as Premier Mike Rann (above). Labor will still hire him, as it’s hired him since he attacked US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for not performing oral sex:
She is a stranger to consistency, sincerity and (at a guess) oral sex...Meanwhile, some Young Liberal no one has heard of makes a very stupid “joke” on Twitter and is made to pay:
Queensland’s Liberal-National Party (LNP) has expelled a young member who called US president Barack Obama a “monkey” on Twitter.(Thanks to reader The Other JS.)
Too many, even if we were building homes enough
This is madness, especially given our politicians refuse to build the kind of infrastructure we’d need to house a Sydney population every eight years:
AUSTRALIA’s population will reach 42 million by 2050, six million more than the Federal Government’s target, if migration, fertility and life expectancy continue at today’s pace.Once again, Rudd is simply not in charge of something he’s been warned for two years is a problem running away from us. And what this will do to his promise to cut emissions, when he’s importing so many emitters…
Modelling by Australia’s Centre for Population and Urban Research warned of a doubling of the population in 40 years, which it also claimed would be unsustainable, and significantly outstrips Federal Government targets.
Melbourne and Sydney would evolve into mega high-rise metropolises on the scale of Hong Kong, with a drastic deterioration in quality of life for its inhabitants, the centre warned.
The research by Monash University’s Prof Bob Birrell, one of the country’s leading demographers, said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s target of 36 million people would be overshot based on the current net migration rate of 298,000 a year.
Britain, with three times our population, will take in two thirds the immigrants - and says even that spells trouble:
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) had estimated the net increase in population due to migration would be 145,000 a year. But it has revised that upwards by about a third to 190,000 migrants annually over the next 20 years…Consider: if we brought in immigrants at the same rate as Britain, per capita, we’d import not 300,000 a year but 66,000. And even that rate, for Britain’s main parties, is worryingly high, likely to stretch infrastructure and threaten “cohesive communities”.
Shadow immigration minister Damian Green told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “This involves a population of a city the size of Liverpool being added to our population every five years or so, and obviously our public services, our infrastructure, housing demand and so on cannot cope.”
The Conservatives wanted “an explicit annual limit” on the number of people allowed to enter the UK, he added…
Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said: “This report shows what could happen unless we take action now. The challenge is to ensure we can continue to reap the benefits of migration at the same time as building cohesive communities… Migration is bringing new wealth but also new worries to Britain...”
So how reckless are our own leaders? How reluctant to speak frankly?
(Thanks to reader Andrew.)
Rann gets a touch of the Borgias already
South Australian Mike Rann, reputedly on a promise to become Ambassador to Rome, decides to close up shop - and democracy - at home:
PLANS to return state Parliament for only 32 days this year are “plumbing new depths” of closed government, a leading academic says.(Thanks to reader CA.)
A final sitting schedule released yesterday shows Parliament is set to sit for the lowest number of days since since Labor came to power in 2002.
How Lateline rigged the warming debate
Nine interviews with the serial exaggerater and false prophet Tim Flannery helped to persuade Tony Jones that the sceptics were too unreliable to put to air:
Almost two years ago, ABC1 presenter Tony Jones told Crikey publisher Eric Beecher and a Melbourne audience that between 2001 and 2008 the members of the Lateline team made up their minds about the science of climate change. The sceptics, they’d decided, were wrong.Read it all.
Jones prefaced the admission by saying he was in favour of scepticism. But not, apparently, about climate change. On 6 April 2008, Jones said: ‘From around the year 2001 on Lateline, we began interviewing everybody we could about this subject; and we interviewed all the main scientific sceptics. And gradually, over a period of time, we resolved in our own minds that the sceptics had it wrong and the vast majority of scientists disagreed with their position, that there was a developing consensus and if we didn’t take it seriously we were in grave danger of moving to a position where [it] would simply be too late to do anything about it. And I’m still not sure right now whether we aren’t in that position as we speak.’
Jones’s claim that Lateline had interviewed all the main sceptical scientists was puzzling. Presumably, by the term ‘interview’ he was referring to those long, one-on-one conversations like the nine he has had with Gaia fan and true believer Tim Flannery.
But a dip into the Lateline transcript archive in search of one-on-one interviews with sceptical scientists conducted between 2001 and April 2008 returned just one — with Russian economic adviser Andrey Illarionov.
Sure, Lateline included a few sceptical climate scientists in some packaged reports. But in-depth, information-seeking chats of the Flannery kind have been scarce. Not so rare were interviews with climate change believers. A trawl through the archive netted more than 20 one-on-one interviews in the same period with experts on the true-believer side of the debate. It is a scandalous scorecard: believers 20+, heretics 1.