Monday, May 31, 2010

Headlines Monday 31st May 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, FRS, PC (11 March 1916 – 24 May 1995) was a British Labour politician. One of the most prominent British politicians of the latter half of the 20th century, he served two terms as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, firstly from 1964 to 1970, and again from 1974 to 1976. He emerged as Prime Minister after more general elections than any other 20th century premier, contesting five general elections and winning four of them (in 1964, 1966, February 1974 and October 1974). He is the most recent British Prime Minister to have served non-consecutive terms. - vastly over rated - ed.
=== Bible Quote ===
“In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?”- Psalm 56:4
=== Headlines ===
Mobile phone footage shows student's shocking injuries after she was attacked at school with figures showing violence among females is on the rise

Young boys' deaths suspicious
TWO boys aged seven and nine have been found dead in a bedroom at their rural home.

Dario Franchitti drove 199 nearly flawless laps, then got a huge break from a spectacular crash on the last lap to climb back on top to win the Indianapolis 500.

Gov't Can't Stop Oil Spill
Government is nearly helpless in stopping oil flowing in the Gulf of Mexico, leaving it up to BP administration says

Taliban Fight Comes Before Retaliation
Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mullen is more concerned with Pakistani cooperation than attacking over U.S. plot

In Iraq, Honoring Our Dead
As U.S. decreases military presence in Iraq, commanders must decide what to do with vast collection of memorials

Archaeologists discover 13th century BC 'lost tomb' of ancient Egyptian capital's mayor
Archaeologists have discovered the 3,300-year-old tomb of the ancient Egyptian capital's mayor, whose resting place had been lost under the desert sand since 19th century treasure hunters first carted off some of its decorative wall panels, officials announced Sunday. Ptahmes, the mayor of Memphis, also served as army chief, overseer of the treasury and royal scribe under Seti I and his son and successor, Ramses II, in the 13th century B.C.

Opera House at risk of 'financial tragedy'
THE iconic Opera House is in financial difficulty and faces closure, sources claim. - thank you, Rudd and ALP. - ed.

Adopted baby girl was 'wrongly taken'
BABY girl of Chinese immigrants taken by authorities before being adopted by Australian couple.

Australians fear war with China - survey
MANY Australians believe the nation's biggest trading partner will become a military threat.

Schapelle wants a baby behind bars
CONVICTED drug smuggler is "going to be a great mum", her mother, Rosleigh Rose, says.

Taxpayers foot bill for $115m birth bungles
MEDICAL negligence to babies and mothers has cost a government millions in compensation.

Two road deaths in horror Sunday
TWO people are dead and a woman is fighting for her life in hospital after three serious traffic crashes in the past 24 hours.

WA Libs target Labor MPs in anti-mine tax campaign
THE State Liberal Party will launch the second stage of its anti-mining tax ad campaign today, targeting federal Labor MPs in their own electorates.

Storm on its way to Sydney
A STORM which ravaged southern New South Wales yesterday with gale-force winds and torrential rain is moving towards Sydney and the Illawarra coast, forecasters say. - it got here at 7 am. It was severe. It even rained - ed.

Al-Jazeera staff quit in dress code row
FEMALE news presenters at Al-Jazeera have resigned over conflicts with management over dress code, it has emerged.

Rudd blasted over 'repeated broken promises'
OPPOSITION leader Tony Abbott has attempted to have Parliament debate a motion of no confidence in Kevin Rudd over his "repeated broken promises". The move follows the Government's decision to undertake a $38.5 million taxpayer-funded advertising campaign to spruik its proposed resource super profits tax. Mr Abbott told Parliament it was the latest in a string of broken promises from Mr Rudd, who during the 2007 election campaign labelled Government advertising "a cancer on democracy". "The prime minister no longer possesses the confidence of this house for repeatedly failing to keep his promises and honour his word," Mr Abbott told Parliament. "In particular, for seeking a national emergency exemption to run a taxpayer-funded political ad campaign."
=== Comments ===
Spending your cash to fight Rudd’s fight
Piers Akerman
PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd apparently believes the fall in his personal popularity amounts to a national emergency and warrants a special exemption from Labor’s own rules governing spending on government advertising.
- Rudd’s hubris and hypocrisy grates

Piers, is there a reason why you didn’t condemn political advertising by the Howard government as “grotesque”? They squandered even bigger amounts trying to sell the even more unpopular Work Choices.

Or, is the difference that Howard never promised not to waste public money on political advertising, so it was ok for him to do so? What utter bulls***! You’re treating your readers with contempt if that’s what you think.

Oh, but of course, that’s ok, because you’re a prejudiced, hypocritical liar, who has no interest in evidence, balance on intelligent argument, but only anti-Labor propaganda.

You’re laughable!

For the record, I deplore this latest decision by the Rudd government. Rudd’s hubris and hypocrisy grates. He’s at serious risk of dragging an otherwise very capable government down the drain with him.

See, Piers, unlike you I take a principled approach to commentary and I’m able to acknowledge when the party I support (Labor) does the wrong thing.

It’d be nice if you - and your lackey conservative readership - could do the same. But you’re all gutless cowards.

David of Dubbo
Piers replies
Oh, David, or whomsoever you choose to call yourself tonight, Howard didn’t set up a bureaucracy he then chose to thwart. Work Choices was better for small business that the current stuff-up, I don’t use your abusive terminology. You elected Rudd, you deal with him. You really are a sad. confused, little flower. Love the anger though, don’t stamp those tiny feet too much. Petal.
- David, I understand (but don’t accept) your condemnation of Mr Howard. I see that you aren’t sure if the abysmal tax on mining is a good thing. Can you name something worthwhile the Rudd government has done? Was there something good in giving away that hard earned money Australians had built into their economy? Was there something good in repealing the help given Aboriginal communities? Was there something good in dividing the nation over any of many issues? Was there something good in killing desperate boat people, and giving their money to people smugglers? Was there something worthwhile in isolating us from Asian nations like Indonesia or encouraging crimes committed by China? Was there something worthwhile in the meaningless referral of Japan to an international court when Japan had done no wrong? What about the backflip on taking Iran to an international court (hmm, maybe that was Obama?)
I just adore this article
Big government advocates ostensibly champion the rights of underdogs and believe in individualism, creativity and free expression. This perception has helped drive the popularity of Democrats, the party they favor, among creative people in the media and entertainment industries, as well as in the arts and on college campuses. Meanwhile, these same individuals routinely support candidates, policies and bureaucracies – that crush the individualism and free expression they purport to value.

Liberals consistently vote against individual choice in education (i.e. vouchers); health care (mandatory insurance with rules tying the hands of physicians); energy production (limited exploration); and even food. They support restrictions on commercial and political speech; as well as critical financial services. And they favor anti-trust regulations to rein in our most innovative and successful entrepreneurs. They are either unwilling or unable to grasp how these restraints limit our free choice as individuals and our creativity as a society.
- ed
David replied
@ DD Ball

What do you mean by “repealing the help given Aboriginal communities”?

I’m fascinated because the Rudd government has, in fact, continued the NT emergency response.

Indeed, it has introduced legislation that would extend welfare quarantining to non-Indigenous communities.

That’s hardly repealing help, eh?

Then again, I’ve noticed you conservative bloggers don’t let the facts get in the way of a good lie.

The moment you all stop being hypocrites (ie, using as much, if not more, spin than Rudd, etc) is the moment I’ll start listening to what you say.

Incidentally, I’m sickened that you and others like Tommo Griffo, presume to defend the Howard government’s political advertising. Making points about the Work Choices legislation having been passed already is mere nit-picking and avoids tackling the key issue head-on, namely, any use of public money for political advertising is wrong in principle.

The fact that Work Choices was already law doesn’t change anything. The Howard government’s Work Choices legislation went way beyond anything it had a mandate to do. Howard opportunistically took advantage of an unexpected windfall in the Senate to pass the Work Choices legislation; then when the Work Choices legislation became disastrously unpopular, Howard tried, unsuccessfully, to sell it to voters with a political propaganda campaign - all paid for with your money!

Even Piers’ had the honour to acknowledge that ANY use of public money for political advertising is wrong. Your failure to do the same shows that you’re all prejudiced and biased beyond belief.

Sickening hypocrisy and a complete lack of guts. At least I’m brave enough to admit when Rudd has stuffed up (and this time he has in a monumental way).

Liars and cheats, all of you! You deserve the government you’ve got (ie, if you don’t act with principle, how dare you expect your government to act with principle). For shame!
David, I know the law firm engaged with the wind back of resourcing to Aborigines. I know some of the lawyers working on that case (a sister is one). The needs of Aboriginal communities were never going to be met as with the work in the NT, but note that Rudd has quarantined the effort and, in line with ALP policy, Aboriginal communities in most need will have allocated funding siphoned by ALP friends. THAT is what I mean.
I didn’t address the issue of Workchoices, but thank you for involving me. My issue is with Gillard, who made the fatuous claim of her policy on Sunrise in the lead up to the election. Sunrise asked viewers to respond to it, and I did, on youtube. Sunrise wouldn’t air it and Gillard didn’t address it, and history shows her promise was empty. Workchoices offered me a framework in which I could have addressed government corruption on a wide range of issues, including government corruption and interfering with a whistleblower over the death of Hamidur Rahman and over the bungling of a pedophile investigation in Campbelltown involving a school teacher. I only mention this because you brought it up. Workchoices was good and the information campaign was necessary to explain it over the cashed up union scare campaign which apparently I helped pay for. However, I know about this mining tax and I know it is not a good thing. I also know Rudd needs the money to pay for his election campaign. I also know that the emergency funding is nothing more than an election campaign funding rort. - ed
David replied
@DD Ball

I can say without doubt that I know Indigenous affairs, including work done by law firms in the field, much better than you do.

I’m afraid you must be either confused or lying because no law firm I know has any role in “the wind back of resourcing to Aborigines”, unless you’re talking about a specific program or funding recipient, in which case this wouldn’t be sufficient to sustain your argument.

Don’t bring lies to this blog, please.
- David, I know how government works better than you do. Before the Rudd government moves they buy out law firms in order to get opinions on their approaches to legislation and decision making .. it is more advanced than the public surveys they also conduct. So that the minister, before they make a decision or announcement has their thinking vetted by trusted legal minds. You have my name and my details (available online) You can view the youtube postings, find my association with NSW parliament on Hansard, follow my listing on wikipedia, read my autobiography at I am speaking and writing simple truths. On the other hand, I only know your nom de plume. You should stop your outrageous lies and sniping. - ed.
Team Obama's Terror-ble Word Choice
By Michael Goodwin
John Brennan, President's Obama counterterrorism czar, displays a gift for saying incredibly goofy and dangerous things.

The other day, he said the U.S. doesn't call our enemies "jihadists or Islamists because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one's community."

He said the same thing last summer, and earlier this month said the U.S. wanted to engage "moderate elements" of Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed terror group.

The really scary thing is that Brennan has Obama's ear, especially now that Dennis Blair has been booted as national intelligence director.

Yikes. (more at the link)
Tim Blair
It’s day four of our national emergency. Bit of a let down, really. I don’t know about you, but compared to national emergencies in Thailand, Pakistan, Haiti and Greece, it isn’t turning out be much of an emergency at all.

Maybe that’s because our national emergency isn’t anything to do with armed insurgents, insane suicide bombers, killer earthquakes or a destroyed economy. It’s the most boring national emergency in history. Where are the death squads?

Every national emergency should have death squads. Or at least armed looters.

Well, we do have looters, after a fashion. In Australia, it’s a national emergency when Kevin Rudd wants more money to run Labor advertisements. So he’s laid claim to more than $38 million of your taxes – because of the “emergency”.
Tim Blair
From 1966, an ambitious attempt to correct the culture:

It doesn’t quite work, although there’s a killer line at 2:30. Other tunes by Janet Greene include Commie Lies, Fascist Threat, Termites and Comrade’s Lament.
Tim Blair
“Polar bears just aren’t doing the job anymore,” reports Anthony Watts, noting that the latest warmenist alert urges a move away from imperilled poleys:
Climate change is about more than just polar bears. That is the message from Dr Kate Manzo whose research into climate change communication has been published in Meteorological Applications. The research, which reviews the efforts of journalists, campaigners and politicians to engage the British public with climate change, explores how new ‘visual strategies’ can communicate climate change messages against a backdrop of increased climate scepticism.

“There have been various efforts to put a face on the climate change issue,” said Dr Manzo, from Newcastle University. “Communicators need to move away from the traditional images of polar bears or fear-laden imagery to find new, inspirational motifs to engage people with climate change. My research has uncovered a variety of possibilities – such as windmills as icons of renewable energy – as well as alternatives to documentary photography as the dominant form of climate change communication. Artists and cartoonists are among the producers of inspirational alternatives.”
Real animals didn’t work out. Let’s draw cartoons instead! Here’s an inspirational alternative from WUWT. While warmies are abandoning polar bears, everyone else seems to be abandoning warmening:
A survey in February by the BBC found that only 26 percent of Britons believed that “climate change is happening and is now established as largely manmade,” down from 41 percent in November 2009. A poll conducted for the German magazine Der Spiegel found that 42 percent of Germans feared global warming, down from 62 percent four years earlier.
And in Australia:
The importance of the issue has fallen to its lowest level yet in the survey.

Just 53 per cent of respondents rated climate change as very important, down from 75 per cent in the lead-up to the 2007 election.
Global warming was a great tactic for getting elected. As for staying elected, however …

NOTE: Anthony Watts, David Archibald and David Stockwell are touring Australia from 12 June to 1 July. Hit that link for further details.

(Via Boy on a bike)
Tim Blair
A simple solution to the burqa barrier:
One of Sunni Islam’s most prestigious institutions is to discipline a cleric after he issued a decree allowing women to breastfeed their male colleagues.

Dr Izzat Atiya of Egypt’s al-Azhar University said it offered a way around segregation of the sexes at work …

In his fatwa, Dr Atiya, the head of al-Azhar’s Department of Hadith, said … “A woman at work can take off the veil or reveal her hair in front of someone whom she breastfed.”
It’s just that easy! The fatwa has since been withdrawn, however. Consider the university weaned.

(Via MM)
Tim Blair
After only two hours, newbie Twitterer Iowahawk scooped up 291 followers. In half a day, the Hawk’s assembled a following of 468. He’s a jet-fuelled Jim Jones! Let’s just hope he doesn’t take this batch of followers down to Sutton Lake Marsh, where the … unpleasantness occurred, lo, those many years ago.

Other 24-carat, 140-character characters you might enjoy:

• S_dog. Leader of the Australian pack.

• Garth Godsman. News harvester. Sees all.

• The Wog Blogger. Also happens to be an excellent cook.

• Jim Treacher. Chick magnet. And SUV magnet.

• Robert Candelori. Runs Sydney’s finest Italian restaurant.

• Achewood. By that Achewood guy. Who does Achewood.

• Gareth Parker. Whip-smart blogging graduate.

• Vex News. First with the worst. Lives inside heads.
Tim Blair
Video shot at a school whose website claims: “We work hard to keep our school free from bullying and harassment.” Well, work harder:
Jade Whitford is on her knees, exhausted and injured after wrestling with a Year 9 student for just under 30 seconds.

As a teacher tries to put himself between the brawling girls, Jade’s attacker launches one final, gutless blow: a kick to her victim’s head.
It’s disgusting, and it’s increasing: female violence in NSW schools has increased by 70 per cent over the past five years. Incidentally, no charges have been laid over the assault.
Tim Blair
Fairfax’s Paul Daley on the continuing Ruddslide:
Four or five months ago nobody in Caucus – nobody – privately contemplated any Labor scenario involving anyone other than Rudd as leader. To question his judgment, his strategies and tactics was to commit a heresy that would invite a visit from Labor’s re-educators.

The mood has changed subtly in recent months. Backbenchers and frontbenchers are no longer nearly as deferential – even respectful – as they were. The words of one or two even betray downright contempt.
The Blairpoll is accurate even at a Parliamentary level.

UPDATE. When you’ve lost the gallery owners, you’ve lost Australia:
Eight days before it takes effect, the federal government’s art resale royalty scheme has been branded a “catastrophe”, with gallery owners angry and uncertain about how it will affect their business …

The royalty, part of Labor’s arts policy at the 2007 election, comes into effect on June 9.
Another victory for Peter Garrett. Those galleries will be lucky to avoid incineration.

UPDATE II. Glenn Milne:
The day after Rudd tells parliament Abbott’s claims the mining tax is affecting financial markets are garbage, his government uses the same rationale to justify rorting its own advertising standards.

But it gets worse. We now know that Swan first canvassed the idea of an advertising exemption based on market impacts at the time of the budget. So Rudd would have known about that justification since May 11. Then he told the parliament the opposite on Thursday.
Rudd is prone to the occasional switch. Meanwhile, having provoked Australia’s large mining companies into action, Rudd now faces further opposition:
The latest salvo came as smaller mining companies prepare to launch their own advertising campaigns, warning that countries such as Russia will benefit at Australia’s expense.

“Comrade Rudd, we thank you,” says one of the ads funded by the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies.
It might be time for Rudd to wheel out his friendly miners from 2007 – the burly chaps who were all worried about climate change:

UPDATE III. Rudd has declined an invitation to speak at the Minerals Council of Australia’s annual dinner this week. Instead, he’s celebrating the 100th anniversary of a Labor government that was thrown out after just one term.
Tim Blair
I was 18 before I discovered the joys of tobacco. Fast-learning Aldi Rizal had me beat by 16 years:

Readers are invited to confess their smoking debut in comments.
Tim Blair
Behold the sea-strolling pink handfish, about which little is known. Apart from it looking a bit like Graham Richardson.
Tim Blair
Greenpeace spokesman Ben Stewart:
Legitimacy has shifted to the side of the climate skeptics, and that is a big, big problem.
It sure is – for Greenpeace. This delightful trend prompts the New York Times to ask:
If the scientific consensus on climate change has not changed, why have so many people turned away from the idea that human activity is warming the planet?
Maybe it’s because those pushing the “scientific consensus” keep screaming about catastrophes that never actually happen, or that don’t seem even remotely plausible. Only the other day, the BBC told us that:
Climate change will trigger a dramatic and sudden decline in the number of polar bears … These changes will happen suddenly as bears pass a ‘tipping point’.
It’s more likely to happen with cows. Those closest to our poley pals say the beasts are doing fine:
The Nunavut government does not think the polar bear should be classified as a species of special concern under the federal Species at Risk Act, says territorial Environment Minister Daniel Shewchuk …

“We live in polar bear country,” Shewchuk told reporters in Iqaluit on Friday afternoon. “We understand the polar bears, and we do actually think our polar bear population is very very healthy, with the exception of a couple of populations that we are taking action on” …

Shewchuk said while the Nunavut government originally agreed with the special-concern listing, it changed its position after consulting with Inuit hunters and others on a recent community tour.

“Through direct consultation, they are unanimous in their belief that polar bears have not declined,” Shewchuk said.
(Via s_dog, Bill Pounder and Marc Sheppard, who also notes a shift at Newsweek)

UPDATE. Mark Steyn:
Tim Flannery, the Aussie global warm-monger who chaired the Copenhagen climate circus a few months back, announces with a straight face that “we’re trying to act as a species to regulate the atmosphere.” Never mind anything so footling as the incoming tides, but the very atmosphere! How do you do that?

Well, first, take one extremely large check. Next, add several extra zeroes to it. Then, toss it out the window.

Rudd sinks deeper
Andrew Bolt
Essential Research reports Labor only just ahead on two-party preferred: 51 to 49.

That’s after a terrible week for Tony Abbott (and not a good one for Julie Bishop, either).

The key to Labor’s fall seems a dramatic fall in support for Kevin Rudd personally, from a 71 per cent satisfaction rating in March last year to just 41 now. For the first time, Rudd’s disapproval rating is higher than his approval at 47 per cent.

Yes, Tony Abbott’s own approval ratings are so low (35 for to 50 against) that many claim he’s keeping Labor in the game, but this ignores two things.

First, without Abbott as leader, the Liberals wouldn’t be so close in the first place. There is now way that Turnbull or even Hockey could have come this close, when both backed Rudd’s emissions trading scheme for a start.
Second, Opposition leaders generally struggle to command respect anyway.

But, yes, Abbott seems to be alienating the formerly undecideds. He has work to do. But I sense it’s Rudd who is actally washed up.
Selling Australia as we love it
Andrew Bolt

Finally, a Tourism Australia ad which sells Australia, rather than the right-on chic of the advertising agency or the latest film of the director. I mean, remember Baz Lurhmann’s movie tie-in:

And can you still remember the horror of these ads:
You won’t remember most of the ads it shot in that $120 million “See Australia” campaign because half were so bad they were scrapped before they were even released.

One showed Aboriginal artist Barbara Weir, sitting in red dirt in faded clothes, quoting DH Lawrence in her local language and painting dots.

Another had poet Les Murray reciting lines from his work: “Shorts in that plain like are an angelic nudity. Spirituality with pockets!”

And a third had a Brett Whiteley seascape come to animated life, to the gasps of Michael Parkinson. They may have catered only to our pretentions, but the Australia Council hailed them as “sophisticated, subtle and sexy”.

Yes, as travel ads they worked. Trouble was, those who saw them wanted to travel fast to any place but where they were, or were watching.
The very best of that lot was, I’m afraid, this:

But this latest? It’s got the Opera House, the Bridge, the Reef, the Rock, the wildlife and the friendly locals - from the pub to the opera. All covered.
An ABC cleansing of conservatives
Andrew Bolt
Jon Faine has done a little of that “cleansing” of conservatives he once urged on the Herald Sun:

Between 2007 and 2009 Andrew McIntyre occupied the right wing chair in the 774 ABC Melbourne studio for Friday’s Weekly Wrap segment on Jon Faine’s morning radio show. Liberty Sanger, Labor lawyer and wife of ALP Senator David Feeney, represented the Left…

However, last December you could almost hear the pencils snap at the ABC when he strongly criticised Clive Hamilton during a segment on the Higgins byelection.

McIntyre’s Hamilton critique might have been the final straw. The ABC withdrew the welcome mat for 2010 and replaced McIntyre with the decidedly milder Nick Maher of Gavin Anderson.

Before his gig on the Weekly Wrap, McIntyre was a regular co-host on Faine’s Conversation Hour; and in that role also he was never backward in debunking leftist dogma. He returned to co-host one Conversation Hour this year, but hasn’t been heard on the station since.

How Labor’s green ban on dams will raise prices and kill gardens
Andrew Bolt
Kenneth Davidson estimates how much more Melburnians will pay for water, now that the Brumby Government is spending three times more for a desalination plant than it would for a dam that would give it three times the water:
Two years ago the retail price of water was 85¢ a kilolitre when the price reflected the cost of dam water of about 40¢ a kilolitre, so that the average household paid about $800 a year for its water. Now households pay about $1000, even though they are using less under restrictions.

(Water Minister) Tim Holding told Parliament on November 26 last year that the ‘’net present cost of water’’ over the 30-year life of the contract with (desal operator) AquaSure would be $1.37 a kilolitre, which means the price of water to households after the retail mark-up would be $2.20 a kilolitre in 2012 for an annual water bill of $2000.

So, on Holding’s own say-so, the price of water will double - meaning that most low-income families won’t be able to maintain a garden.

But Holding (and the Brumby government) hasn’t been telling the full story’…

The latest official estimated capital cost of the borrowings to finance the desal plant is $5.1 billion. This money has to be serviced and insured against default… But at what price? On the most conservative assumption, AquaSure will have to pay 10 per cent on its borrowings repayable over 30 years. This means the annual repayments on capital alone are $537 million a year, or $3.58 a kilolitre. In other words, the $1.37-a-kilolitre payment that Holding announced to Parliament doesn’t even cover the cost of capital.

But there’s more. The plant will cost just over $200 million a year to run, based on paying the premium for renewable energy as specified by the government - by coincidence, similar to the $1.37 claimed as the total cost by Holding…

A meaningful answer would have revealed the actual wholesale cost of water supplied with green energy would be $4.90 - almost four times higher than Holding told Parliament. This converts to a retail price of $7.90, meaning the average household water bill will be about $3000 after the desal water is mixed with the dam water.
The Government’s green ban on dams will make water a luxury for the poor and gardens unaffordable. It’s a wicked irony: that green policies will de-green our our suburbs, replacing lawns with concrete.

(Thanks to reader William.)
Guess when Rudd will be dumped. My tip: next month
Andrew Bolt
Today’s news for Kevin Rudd:
- controversy grows over his effective embezzlement of $38 million of taxpayers’ money for party advertising.

- the Liberals prepare to grill the Rudd Government in Parliament for having lied in excusing this embezzlement, claiming it had been deemed necessary to combat advertising that hadn’t even existed at the time the decision was made.

- Iranian refugees have their house burned by faulty insulation installed under Rudd’s disastrous free-insulation scheme.

- a former NSW Premier and Treasurer attack Rudd for having betrayed them, lied to them, squibbed a critical reform and squandered billions in public money. Said former Treasurer Michael Costa: “It goes to the issue of his character, and the election is more and more an issue, that will be the central issue of the election campaign. Is the prime minister believable? Is he credible? He’s broken a number of promises, including the one to Morris, but others that certainly have had major financial consequences. Character will be the issue… I speak to ... died-in-the-wool Labor people who have really turned off this bloke… I think this bloke has lost the public. “

- new mining company ads start attacking Rudd’s assault on the economy through his super profits tax.

- the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Medical Association warns that Rudd’s super clinics will be a Whitlam-style waste of money.
That’s just today’s news.

My tip is that Rudd is now finished and will be replaced. I’m guessing this could even occur within four weeks.

Your own guess? - ala Keating, The ALP will promise much this election in the hopes they will be reelected sooner. They have to lose this election if they are to achieve that end. Keating failed his objective when he got elected. - ed.
Rudd now on fire
Andrew Bolt
Yet another fire, with Kevin Rudd the one who’s burned:
A family of Iranian refugees was lucky to escape unscathed when a fire sparked by poorly installed insulation broke out in the roof of their home in Melbourne’s north at the weekend.

The blaze, in Lalor, was the second within 24 hours caused by insulation installed under the federal government’s botched home insulation scheme, as fire investigators say they fear another death from faulty roof insulation is inevitable as the colder months approach.
Yesterday on Insiders I noted that the Metropolitan Fire Brigade seemed to be going out of its way to report that it was Rudd’s free insulation that caused an earlier fire last week in the home of a Holocaust survivor. Neil Mitchell on 3AW today claims someone in Canberra has rung the MFB to tell them to stop it.
The racism of the patronising Left
Andrew Bolt

You know how all blacks are jive-talking gangsters at heart?

No, of course you don’t. Conservatives abhor such racist stereotyping. But a Leftist commentator like Bill Maher, on the other hand...:
I thought when we elected a black president, we were going to get a black president. You know, this [BP oil spill] is where I want a real black president. I want him in a meeting with the BP CEOs, you know, where he lifts up his shirt where you can see the gun in his pants. That’s—(in black man voice) ‘we’ve got a motherfu**ing problem here?’ Shoot somebody in the foot.
(Thanks to reader txjohn.)
How Iemma learned Rudd’s word was worthless
Andrew Bolt
Morris Iemma was one of the first to realise you could not trust a word Kevin Rudd said:
A FURTHER blow has been dealt to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s credibility, with revelations he broke a critical promise to help former NSW premier Morris Iemma privatise the state’s electricity industry in return for him delaying the project until after Mr Rudd was elected in November 2007…

In a secret meeting during the 2007 APEC summit, Mr Rudd pleaded with Mr Iemma to delay plans to privatise the power industry over fears a union backlash would torpedo his election campaign - a campaign fought largely on John Howard’s industrial reforms.

“If you help me, I’ll get elected and you will prosper. Work with me and, when the time comes, we can f. . . them [the unions] together,” Mr Rudd is revealed to have told Mr Iemma in a meeting attended by two other senior Labor staffers…

Less than a year later, having walked away from the commitment, Mr Rudd refused to step in to protect Labor MPs under threat from unions opposing privatisation when Mr Iemma called to have the favour returned.

“I’m asking you to support me on a matter of principle,” Mr Iemma asked the PM in a telephone conversation on August 27, 2008.

“It’s a state issue, I can’t get involved,” Mr Rudd replied.

A week later Mr Iemma was forced from office after his privatisation plans collapsed.
More from Simon Benson’s new book Betrayal:
“I want you to push the pause button on this,” Rudd told NSW Premier Morris Iemma.

“Things are looking good for us in the polls.” ...

Iemma was blunt, telling Rudd that any leverage the state government had to get the policy through was with him now. A delay could be politically and financially costly for his government…

“We can’t win this thing at conference,” said Iemma, referring to the NSW Labor State Conference due in June the following year…

Rudd was nevertheless insistent. He told Iemma that if he was elected in place of Howard, the unions would have to take on not just a state Labor leader, but a Labor prime minister as well…

“Our job in government is to do these things,” Rudd said to Iemma. “These are the types of reforms that have to be done… If you help me, I’ll get elected and you will prosper. Work with me and, when the time comes, we can f… them together.”

Iemma, reluctantly, said he would agree to hold off – so long as Rudd committed to the national executive vetoing any state conference defeat of Iemma’s policy.

“If they take you on at conference, if they try to take the government on through the Party, we will prevail,” said Rudd.

But when Iemma got around to telling his firebrand treasurer, Michael Costa, the architect of their $15 billion electricity privatisation plan, Costa exploded…

“Look, Rudd is a policy lightweight. You only have to listen to him a few minutes to work that out,” Costa argued. “He is only interested in himself. He doesn’t give a f… about electricity, or NSW Labor!
(Thanks to reader CA.)


Alan Jones interviews Morris Iemma and Michael Costa about their betrayal by Kevin Rudd. Costa is particularly scathing. Listen here.

The most devastating comments come from Costa:

It goes to the issue of his character, and the election is more and more an issue, that will be the central issue of the election campaign Is the Prime Minister believable? Is he credible? He’s broken a number of promises, including the one to Morris, but others that certainly have had major financial consequences. Character will be the issue…

I speak to ... died-in-the-wool Labor people who have really turned off this bloke… I think this bloke has lost the public. “

How have we come to raise such ferals?
Andrew Bolt
The brutality in the video is astonishing, and the statistics show us it’s increasing:
JADE Whitford is on her knees, exhausted and injured after wrestling with a Year 9 student for just under 30 seconds.

As a teacher tries to put himself between the brawling girls, Jade’s attacker launches one final, gutless blow: a kick to her victim’s head.

There’s a sickening crack and Jade’s head snaps back. She falls to the ground clutching her nose....

Last year, 154 violent incidents in schools involving girls aged 10 to 17 were reported to police, compared with just 89 five years ago. During the same period, the number of male attacks rose from 254 to 291.

Another incident:

POLICE have charged two girls over the assault of a teenage schoolmate at Ingleburn in Sydney’s south-west.

Just before 9pm on May 28, a large group of people gathered outside the Delauney Street home of the 15-year-old victim. Police allege the victim emerged from her house and became involved in a fight with a 13-year-old girl.

It’s further alleged the younger girl produced a broken bottle and slashed her rival’s left hip.

A third girl, aged 14, allegedly separated the pair and then assaulted the 15-year-old.

The older girl was taken to Campbelltown Hospital where she received up to 45 stitches to the wound.

Even an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico could hurt Rudd
Andrew Bolt
The huge leak isn’t killing just Barack Obama’s popularity as he flounders in handling his own Hurricane Katrina:
THE failure of BP’s latest strategy to plug the gigantic ocean oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has intensified pressure on Barack Obama, as environmental damage shows no sign of abating…

The President, who is spending the Memorial Day long weekend with his family in Chicago, issued a statement on the worsening spill just hours after BP confirmed it had given up its so-called “top kill” method of trying to block the leak 1500m below the surface.
My tip is that it’s also killing the chances of this actually happening:
Rudd, meanwhile, counts down until June, when Obama is supposed to be here...
A second cancellation, although again none of Rudd’s doing, will only add to the impression that Rudd can do nothing right.


Charles Krauthammer:
Here’s my question: Why are we drilling in 5,000 feet of water in the first place?

Many reasons, but this one goes unmentioned: Environmental chic has driven us out there. As production from the shallower Gulf of Mexico wells declines, we go deep (1,000 feet and more) and ultra deep (5,000 feet and more), in part because environmentalists have succeeded in rendering the Pacific and nearly all the Atlantic coast off-limits to oil production… And of course, in the safest of all places, on land, we’ve had a 30-year ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

So we go deep, ultra deep – to such a technological frontier that no precedent exists for the April 20 blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

Obama and Rudd are so very much alike in this respect - in believing the greatest part of their job lies in seeming, not achieving. Take Obama’s latest definition of his job:
My job right now is just to make sure that everybody in the Gulf understands this is what I wake up to in the morning and this is what I go to bed at night thinking about: the spill.
One press conference on a beach, showing Obama with brow furrowed, and job done.

(Thanks to reader bennoba.)
Turnbull campaigns hardest against Abbott, not Rudd
Andrew Bolt
Malcolm Turnbull once again reveals his colossal vanity - nixing his resignation from the Liberals only to make it clear that a party not led by him is not worthing voting for:
MALCOLM Turnbull has questioned whether Tony Abbott will deliver on his promise to turn refugee boats back to sea, saying people-smugglers could revert to sabotaging their vessels.

In his first major interview since announcing his intention to stay in politics, the deposed opposition leader attributed the Coalition’s success in the polls to the collapse in government confidence.
Turnbull doesn’t yet realise that showing no loyalty will make it impossible to demand any himself. And the Liberals, with the example of Kevin Rudd now firmly before them, should realise that a party led by a self-centred, ego-driven man with few core principles of his own is the highway to disaster.

(Thanks to reader PaulC.)
How Rudd is killing Labor
Andrew Bolt
Labor will lose seats in Western Australia at least:
‘Comrade’ Kevin Rudd is the star of a new ad campaign launched by West Australian-based mining interests opposing his government’s proposed mining super-profits tax.

The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies, which represents 220 junior miners and explorers, has come out with radio ads lampooning the government’s planned 40 per cent tax as a move that will benefit other countries.

In one ad, to be aired on Monday, a “Russian” mining representative thanks “Comrade Kevin” for the new tax, saying it will make his country rich - to the detriment of Australia.

In other ads, “Canadian”, “Brazilian” and “South African” miners also thank Mr Rudd for the new tax, saying they stand to benefit from increased mining exploration and foreign investment that would be redirected from Australia.

In all three ads, the protagonists wish Mr Rudd luck in the next federal election.
There are three issues for Labor about this tax that could kill them - and hurt the economy.

First, that Rudd thought it a good idea.

Second, that he unveiled it without consulting the miners or even many of his closest and wiser colleagues who could have warned him of any trouble.

Third, that he’s sold it so catastrophically badly, damning miners as liars and thieves, keeping aloof from negotiations and breaking a promise (again) by effectively embezzling public funds for an advertising campaign to argue Labor’s position.

That’s three reasons why Rudd must be replaced.


More proof of Rudd’s catastrophic handling of this debate - and his resort to yet more lies:
In a lengthy answer (in Parliament), Rudd comprehensively rejected Abbott’s assertion that the government’s tax had had any impact on capital markets…

“Let us go to the facts of this matter. Share prices around the world have fallen because of the crisis in Greece and the honourable Leader of the Opposition would know that. Secondly, within mining itself he is yet to adduce any data to support the proposition. So on proposition No 1 about the dollar, on proposition No 2 about the share price, on proposition No 3 about employment: wrong, wrong, wrong, against all the factual data.”

Unfortunately the following day another piece of “factual data” surfaced in the form of Special Minister of State Joe Ludwig’s statement that he was exempting the government from its own lily white guidelines on taxpayers’ advertising to allow a $38m assault on the mining industry.

Among the reasons specifically cited by Ludwig for the exemption was the following: “I have also accepted the Treasurer’s advice that, as the tax reforms involve changes to the value of some capital assets, they impact on financial markets.”

So, the day after Rudd tells parliament Abbott’s claims the mining tax is affecting financial markets are garbage, his government uses the same rationale to justify rorting its own advertising standards.

Meanwhile, more evidence emerges today of yet more programs that have been bungled by rush-rush-Rudd, whose astonishing inability to implement a single policy properly is beyond coincidence.

EIGHT days before it takes effect, the federal government’s art resale royalty scheme has been branded a “catastrophe”, with gallery owners angry and uncertain about how it will affect their business.One respected industry figure has told The Australian that a poorly conceived idea is being rushed into existence: “It’s a catastrophe. It’s a total scramble. It’s the resources tax and the pink batts visited small.”
The Australian Medical Association strongly advised the Government against its $275 million super clinic plan. (Tasmanian) state president Michael Aizen predicted the (planned $5.5 million) Clarence clinic would be forced to close within five to 10 years. He said the Whitlam government had set up community health centres offering every conceivable service under one roof, like the super clinics… History was “doomed to repeat itself”, he added.

Paul Daley:
But throughout Labor’s federal Caucus there is a growing fear that Rudd’s government could be a oncer. Panic hasn’t yet set in. But a couple more appalling Newspoll results for Labor could well trigger it.

One senior Labor MP described the mood eloquently: “We would be rooted if anybody else but Abbott was leading the Liberals right now because the punters just won’t trust him. Then again, we might be rooted anyway.”

The Australian in its editorial:
Hyperbole has been a feature of the Rudd government’s rhetoric on numerous occasions and, not for the first time, it has come back to haunt it. Two years ago, Mr Rudd branded artist Bill Henson’s controversial photographs of naked adolescents “absolutely revolting”. He warned of a binge-drinking “epidemic” among the young and, later, condemned people-smugglers as the “vilest form of life”, implying that their crimes are worse than serial child molestation or mass murder. The government repeatedly claimed last year that we were “amidst the most savage global recession since the Great Depression.” In his Monthly essay on the death of neo-liberalism, Mr Rudd announced that unchecked market forces had brought capitalism to the “precipice”, triggering “events of a truly seismic significance, events that mark a turning point between one epoch and the next”. And who could forget our “the greatest moral challenge”?…

Now the government is resorting to advertising to salvage public support for the measure, despite Mr Rudd’s 2007 promise that he would submit every campaign to the auditor-general. That promise, not written down but delivered to reporters with “my absolute 100 per cent guarantee that that will occur . . . and each one of you here can hold me accountable for that” was a good sound bite on the election trail.
(Thanks to reader CA.)
If Cat Stevens didn’t say it, why has he censored it?
Andrew Bolt
Last week Victorian DLP politician Peter Kavanagh earned a lot of ridicule, not least on ABC Melbourne 774, for his terribly unsophisticated attitude to Yusuf Islam, the Muslim singer once known as Cat Stevens:
Islam is touring Australia next month but DLP upper house member Peter Kavanagh says the singer should be denied a visa because he claims he once supported a “fatwa” against author Salman Rushdie.

Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issued the religious decree calling for Muslims to kill Rushdie for alleged blasphemy in his novel The Satanic Verses in 1989.

“Cat Stevens seemed to support those threats against Mr Rushdie, he now says he was joking,” Mr Kavanagh said.

“But I think, before he comes into Australia, he should be required to say that he does not support threats against people for the expression of their opinions...”
774 host Jon Faine thought the notion of Cat Stevens being attacked for hate-speech and supporting death threats so ludicrous that he brought on professional Muslim Waleed Aly to join in the mockery, which included the playing of Cat Stevens’ song Peace Train.

And, of course, repeated claims were made that anything Stevens had said about Rushdie was “out of context”.

Was it? The best way to judge what was said and its innocent context would be so see the video of Stevens making the alleged comments, but, oddly enough, Stevens has tried desperately to remove it fro the public gaze, as you can see here and here.

But I’ve found one bit of tape that Stevens hasn’t yet managed to censor, and I’d like Faine to reconsider the ridicule he heaped on Kavanagh and to wonder at the mentality of a man who can speak on television of wanting Salman Rushdie burned or otherwise killed:

Yusuf Islam "jokes" about Salman Rushdie?

Joan | MySpace Video

Actors read out the full transcript:

(Thanks to reader kae.)

Bill O'Reilly: "At Your Beck And Call" - 05/27/10

Bill O'Reilly: "At Your Beck And Call" Too Much Criticism Of Obama?

Keith Olbermann: "Worst Person In The World" - 05/28/10

With all the issues facing the US and the abysmal Democrat governance, this is what Keith finds to complain about? He finds an Oliver Stone anecdote about third party criticism of former President Bush? And what is that organ music? Give me a break.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Headlines Sunday 30th May 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
Sir Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, Baron Home of the Hirsel, KT, PC (2 July 1903 – 9 October 1995), 14th Earl of Home from 1951 to 1963, was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from October 1963 to October 1964 (as Sir Alec Douglas-Home). He is the last member of the House of Lords to be appointed Prime Minister and the only Prime Minister to renounce his peerage to leave the House of Lords and contest a by-election to enter the House of Commons. He is also the only Prime Minister to have played first class cricket and the first Prime Minister to have been born in the 20th century.
=== Bible Quote ===
“But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children- with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.”- Psalm 103:17-18
=== Headlines ===
Cigarette tax 'choking' corner shops as smokers cut back
KEVIN Rudd's tobacco tax is having a direct and debilitating impact on small retailers as smokers cut back on magazines, chocolate and soft drinks to buy cigarettes. Small businesses say they are paying the price for the Rudd Government's 25 per cent increase in tobacco excise, which added an average $2.20 to the price of a pack of 30 cigarettes from April 30. Grocers, newsagents, petrol stations and convenience stores are experiencing little to no drop in cigarette sales, but slumping sales of confectionery, magazines, bottled drinks, newspapers, snack foods and other discretionary purchases, as the impact of rising interest rates, fuel prices and tighter credit squeeze wallets.

President Obama's schedule 'doesn't allow for a meeting' with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer as she requests to speak with him as tensions mount over immigration law.

Few Answers on 'Top Kill'
BP gives few details on progress of latest effort to plug oil gusher in Gulf as nation waits for answers

'Rahmbo' Politics Back in Spotlight
WH Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who enlisted help to get Rep. Sestak to drop Senate bid, no stranger to controversy

Finding America's Valiant Veterans
This Memorial Day weekend take a look at the final resting places of American heroes since the nation's founding

Australia no place for bad guys as Catwoman, Superman and other comic stars break world record for the most people dressed in superhero costumes

Nursing homes a 'living hell'
UNDERCOVER investigation exposes shameful mistreatment of elderly in Australia.

Rudd unluckiest PM ever, says ALP hardman
VETERAN powerbroker Richardson says Prime Minister is no weakling and can pip Libs at the election. LABOR hardman Graham Richardson has re-entered public life as a political commentator, saying he wouldn't dream of entering politics today. Politics is "a horrible business", Mr Richardson said in his first major newspaper interview for several years, in which he offered conditional praise for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, tipped Labor to win the election and declared NSW "corruption-free". - Graham is in fantasy land. There is plenty of evidence the NSW Government is corrupt - ed.

Aussie arrested in $11.5m cocaine haul
DRUG ring busted as Australian Federal Police intercept 33kg of cocaine from hitting streets.

Football's female groupies 'on the prowl'
FOOTBALLERS and a woman who slept with 200 players lift the lid on female sport groupies.

Eurovision ruined me, says singer Gina G
NINETIES pop starlet reveals why she won't be watching the music contest that made her famous.

Snake with baby snap an 'absurd stunt'
CHILD welfare criticise Aussie couple for wrapping their baby girl in a snake for a family photo.

Rise in WA born drug babies
THE number of WA babies born with addictions to illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin is soaring, new figures reveal.

Norm Marlborough wants Brian Burke back in ALP
BRIAN Burke devotee Norm Marlborough wants the disgraced former premier back in the ALP - and says he will lead the charge to try to make that happen. Mr Marlborough, who was found guilty in 2009 of lying to the Corruption and Crime Commission over his dealings with Mr Burke, says his friend "put Labor on the map" and should now be allowed to rejoin the party. Mr Burke was forced to resign in 2006.

Outrageous BRW article savages WA Liberal MP
WA federal MP Barry Haase is threatening to take legal action after he was named by BRW magazine as the third-richest politician in the House of Representatives, disputing figures which put his fortune at almost $5 million.While most people would be aspire to be on the rich list, the Kalgoorlie MP insists he is a "working-class bloke" and claims the BRW listing could affect his chances of winning the newly created seat of Durack.

Perth doctor suspended after serious medical errors
A PERTH doctor has been suspended after a litany of medical errors, including failing to recognise a terminally ill patient needed treatment. Mohamed El Rakhawy continued to practise in WA for nearly six months after he told the state Medical Board he would stop pending an investigation into his skills. He tried also to register as a doctor in other Australian states without disclosing he was being investigated for incompetence. The Medical Board of WA told the State Administrative Tribunal that Dr El Rakhawy made a number of errors in early 2007 while working as a GP at a Midland medical centre and a Boddington clinic.

Puppet claim must stop - Keneally
NSW Premier Kristina Keneally has strenuously denied claims she was influenced by party powerbrokers to appoint Transport Minister John Robertson, saying the claim must "stop now". "That is just an utterly ridiculous claim that somehow I as premier am not making the decisions, and it needs to stop now," Ms Keneally told reporters in Sydney on Sunday. "I want to be clear about that. I will not truck this nonsense that somehow I am not making decisions in my government." The Sydney Morning Herald recently reported that Ms Keneally wanted to appoint Frank Sartor as transport minister was vetoed by right faction leaders. - Maybe if the puppet were to clear her strings and investigate the issue of Hamidur Rahman - ed
=== Comments ===
Spending your cash to fight Rudd’s fight
Piers Akerman
PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd apparently believes the fall in his personal popularity amounts to a national emergency and warrants a special exemption from Labor’s own rules governing spending on government advertising.

Or is Labor’s introduction of the disastrous super rip-off tax, which has seen the Australian dollar yo-yo across currency traders’ screens and put at risk Australia’s reputation as a fairly secure, risk-free investment haven, the national emergency? And what of the report in The Sydney Morning Herald that Mr Rudd had hoped to spark a confrontation with the mining industry and had planned to make a new us-against-them class-war the cornerstone of his re-election campaign?

Is it that Mr Rudd has engineered his own national emergency, devastating the value of millions of Australians’ personal superannuation holdings, threatening the jobs of hundreds of thousands more as mining and engineering firms mothball future projects and freeze expansion of current operations, solely as a political ploy?

Given the proven level of incompetence of Mr Rudd and his team, from his deputy Julia Gillard, through his goose of a Treasurer, Wayne Swan, his duplicitous Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner, Assistant Treasurer Chris Bowen, Small Business Minister Craig Emerson, Climate Minister Penny Wong, Environment Minister Peter Garrett (the list goes on), almost every decision taken by the Rudd Government could be described as a national emergency under Mr Rudd’s own loose definition.

Be in no doubt that Mr Rudd and Mr Swan knew their mining tax would be unpopular; the proof is that they have made false claims about it since announcing its introduction on May 2 with the release of the dismal Henry Review on taxation. It is a matter of record that they claimed this big new tax was recommended in a submission from the mining industry. That’s where truth first goes out the window (but not for the last time) in this sad saga of appalling mismanagement and grossly abused standards of governance.

The mining submission was intended for a genuine committee of review which it expected would be taken seriously by a reforming government. Instead, the submission was received by a heavily politicised and loaded committee, which put out an ideological and politically correct series of recommendations, of which the Government accepted something less than two per cent and then distorted almost beyond recognition those which it deigned to acknowledge.

The miners cannot be accused of hypocrisy in the matter, but the Rudd Government has nowhere to hide from that charge. In its customary contradictory fashion, the Rudd ministry, with the willing connivance of Treasury Secretary Ken Henry, claimed that its proposed tax was having no effect on the dollar or the value of Australian mining stocks.

As recently as Thursday he said he had “demolished again by the facts” claims by Opposition leader Tony Abbott that the super tax was hurting the Australian economy.

All the while, Mr Rudd knew that his government was preparing to spend nearly $40 million of taxpayers’ money on what is blatantly political advertising and he knew that he would have to break the guidelines his government introduced to fulfil a promise made during the 2007 election campaign.

During that campaign, Mr Rudd told the ABC he would ban all publicly funded advertising within three months of an election. This, he said, was “an absolute undertaking from us (the ALP). I believe this is a sick cancer within our system. It’s a cancer on democracy.”

He was later asked whether he would deliver on a promise to return decency and probity to public administration, and whether he would he resign if he didn’t deliver.

“You have my absolute, 100 per cent guarantee,” he replied. “And each of you here can hold me accountable for that.”

The actuality is this: within a week of the announcement of the huge 40 per cent tax on mining, Mr Rudd and Mr Swan started to look for ways to get around their own rules on advertising. The loophole was an exemption from a review of their planned advertising by their own appointed Independent Communications Committee granted by Senator Joe Ludwig on the basis of “a national emergency, extreme urgency or other compelling reasons”.

There is no national emergency requiring this suspension of good governance. There is no need for extreme urgency other than the falling popularity of the Rudd Government and there are no other compelling reasons beyond the Rudd’s Government desire for re-election.

This is another great big con by Kevin Rudd and he has again broken more of his own promises to foist it upon the Australian public.

Unhappy with his inability to spark a class war, Mr Rudd (who is now cancelling press conferences) is going to spend your money fighting the sector which, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, generated more value during the depths of the financial crisis than any other part of the economy, overtaking manufacturing for the first time.

This is grotesque.

Mr Rudd is spending Australians’ money fighting those who shielded their economy from the recession that hit other nations.

It demonstrates again why the man who has broken more promises than any other in the history of Australian politics deserves nothing but the contempt of the electorate.

His dishonesty, his disdain for openness, his disrespect for good governance, his condescension for ordinary Australians, are nakedly on display for all to see.

In Canberra, once-loyal Labor apparatchiks now openly laugh at Mr Rudd having achieved four-Bs: batts, boat people, building education rip-off and backflips.

From coast to coast, Labor focus groups are reporting an upwelling of deep personal disapproval for the once-popular PM, a visceral scorn that transcends any the trade union movement was able to muster for former PM John Howard.

In breaching his own probity guidelines and wasting more taxpayers’ money, Mr Rudd may finally have sealed his own fate.
The Cultural Contradiction of Liberalism
By Elizabeth Ames
This year’s first big summer movie, “Iron Man 2,” reprises the adventures of Tony Stark, the iron suit-wearing industrialist who fights off evil-doers. The media have had fun outing the fictional billionaire as a rarity in Hollywood movies – a capitalist hero. Actually, Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., is very much in the mold of the classic Hollywood protagonist – the bold individualist who bucks the system.

Hollywood, which makes movies and TV shows generally reflecting liberal values, loves larger-than-life rule breakers like Tony Stark. Nearly every blockbuster hero in recent memory – from Rambo and Dirty Harry to Batman and TV’s Jack Bauer– have been system-flouting nonconformists.

As the latest in this breed, Tony Stark exemplifies a central contradiction of liberalism: Mavericks like him are heroes to Big Government liberals – but only on the screen.

Like Tony Stark, Apple’s co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs is a technology genius who perseveres despite a life-threatening affliction. Jobs doesn’t fight bad guys while wearing an iron suit. But he has pioneered breakthrough products that have improved the lives of Americans and generated thousands, if not millions, of jobs.

In his black turtleneck and faded jeans, Jobs has been an icon of the technology counterculture – the industry’s David struggling against Goliath Microsoft. Now that he’s gotten within striking distance of winning, he has become a target for the usual left-wing accusations of greed. During a commencement speech at Hampton University in Virginia, President Obama briefly bashed Jobs’ latest creation, the iPad, as being part of a technology culture promoting “diversion” and “distraction,” not to mention dangerous ideas (translate: opposition). (more at the link)
Tim Blair
An oversized, flightless kookaburra is handed in to hospital:
A broken wing was thought to be why she couldn’t fly. But when no fracture was found, the real reason emerged.

“I’ve seen many kookaburras, but never before have I seen one so fat,” wildlife hospital nurse Gemma Watkinson said.
“It turned out that it was simply too obese to fly.”
This bird – hand-fed by friendly humans – is in the previously-unknown Sixth Mode of Kookaburra. She doesn’t like it much when people try to make her exercise, either. More pics here.

UPDATE. Janet Albrechtsen visits the Sydney Writers’ Festival:
One panel member on Saturday evening seriously suggested that obesity in America was the fault of George W. Bush …
Can’t blame tubby local birds on the 43rd President. Must be Rudd’s fault.
Tim Blair
Actor Dennis Hopper has died at 74:

Tim Blair
The Washington Post secures an interview with reclusive author Joe McGinniss:
According to Joe McGinniss, the offer to rent the house next to Sarah Palin’s came because the landlord trusted him to respect the former governor’s privacy.

“She was talking to this mutual friend of ours and said, ‘I’ve got to find someone we’re comfortable with. My biggest concern is the Palins’ privacy, especially the children,’ “ McGinniss said Friday evening from his Wasilla, Alaska, house, in one of his first interviews on the subject. “So this mutual friend said, ‘Well, you know, I think you’re in luck. Joe McGinniss is going to be coming back here, and you couldn’t find a better guy, just the right sort of person to move in and guarantee their privacy.’”
That’s not the story Joe’s son is putting around. In his version of how the senior McGinniss came to be living next door, it’s all about revenge. Back to the Post:
McGinniss had maintained a public silence through it all, but Friday, he agreed to talk to a handful of reporters by telephone. He said that he simply hadn’t anticipated Palin’s response.

“I would term this hysterical,” he said.
A better definition of hysteria might be found in leftish reaction to Palin. She’s the homunculus that lives inside liberal heads. How come McGinniss – in whose head the homunculus dwells – didn’t seek alternative accommodation in Wasilla?
A room at the Best Western, not far away, would have been prohibitively expensive.
Yet he’s prepared to pay more than $60,000 for a chance to dine with Palin. A nice room at the Best Western, by the way, costs around $4,970 per month – for a five-month total some $35,000 cheaper than Joe’s attempted dinner-stalk. Get your story straight, old man.
He’d hoped to keep things civil and introduce himself anew when he first came across Palin and her husband, Todd.

“I wanted to say, ‘I’m writing this book, but I hope we can just get along as good neighbors, and after that, you’ll never hear from me again,’” McGinniss said. “That’s basically what I told Todd on Monday when he came over. He didn’t really want to hear that.

“He took off on how my Portfolio piece was a bunch of lies, and a smear, and all this and all that, and he said, ‘You going to be putting the microphones in now, and the surveillance cameras?’ I said, ‘Listen, you don’t know how lucky you are that I’m renting this place because that’s exactly what’s not going to happen as long as I’m here. I won’t see you, you don’t see me, this will be fine.’

“He talked for a few more minutes beyond that, and he got, I’d say, increasingly hostile.”
Apparently he used the hostility of silence:
Mr. McGinniss said he told Mr. Palin that they could disagree cordially. Mr. Palin, he said, “got silent, folded his arms, and said, ‘We’ll just see.’ ”
More from the Post:
Palin intimated that McGinniss could watch the family when it went swimming, but he said that only the edge of their land near the lake was visible from his property. He said he was deeply offended by the implication, not thinly veiled in Palin’s note and subsequent interview with Beck, that he would be peering in on the children.

“These little kids, I couldn’t care less about them,” McGinniss said. “I have my own kids and grandkids to care about.”
Starting with Joe Jr., teller of rental revenge tales. For McGinniss, the learning continues:
“By being here, I have learned things, and I’ve gotten an insight into her character, into her ability to incite hatred, that before I only knew about in the abstract.”
I would term that hysterical.

UPDATE. Further on that rental revenge angle:
Politico notes that Palin herself confirmed the neighborly dispute on Fox News, saying that Todd had been trying to contact the owner all winter “for fear of something like this happening.”
Listen to Palin here. The relevant section kicks off at 2:50. There is no mention, let alone confirmation, of a “neighborly dispute”.

UPDATE II. A New York Times commenter claims:
McGinniss has no history of any kind of abuse of the subjects he researched for his books …
Really? Perhaps not:
Mr. McGinnis is best known as a writer of true-crime books. His book “Fatal Vision” reconstructed the 1979 trial of Jeffrey MacDonald, a Green Beret convicted of murdering his family. Mr. MacDonald later sued Mr. McGinniss, alleging the author had gained his confidence by misrepresenting himself and saying he thought Mr. MacDonald was innocent. The suit was settled, and became the subject of a book by Janet Malcolm that suggested Mr. McGinniss had misled Mr. MacDonald. Mr. McGinniss denies this.
Tim Blair
• Obama finds something tiny on the Louisiana coastline. Is it his approval ratings?

• Quelle horreur! They’ve been using French flags to mop up all that oil.

• No, wait – it’s just wigs from an unrelated clown spill.

• The disaster is so massive that people are wearing safety vests indoors.

• Luckily, serious Democrats are working hard to fix everything.

Meanwhile, Pelosi blames Bush:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) attributed any lack of oversight surrounding the massive oil spill off the Gulf Coast to the previous presidential administration during a press conference Thursday.

“Many of the people appointed in the Bush administration are still burrowed in the agencies that are supposed to oversee the [oil] industry,” Pelosi said when asked if Democrats could have prevented or mitigated the crisis by keeping a closer watch on the industry.
I guess this means that Obama is one of those burrowed-in Bush appointees:
Three months before the massive BP oil spill erupted in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration proposed downsizing the Coast Guard national coordination center for oil spill responses, prompting its senior officers to warn that the agency’s readiness for catastrophic events would be weakened.
Clegg’s man nicked
Andrew Bolt
British Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg last year posed as the leader of a moral movement to clean up politics:
Change is difficult when the two establishment parties have every reason to keep the system stitched up between them. As long as they believe that they’ll have a turn at the wheel, they have no interest in opening up our politics to real change, real democracy.

But we’ve got to do something different. And that should begin with urgent reform to the lamentable system of MPs’ pay and expenses. But then it must go much further. We must reform politics itself.
But no sooner does Clegg become deputy prime minister in a new coalition government with the Conservatives, than one of his own is caught out rorting his exes:

BRITAIN’S new coalition government suffered a blow on Saturday when a high-profile finance minister, David Laws, resigned following revelations over his expenses claims.

Laws stepped down as Chief Treasury Secretary after the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported he had channelled more than ?40,000 ($68,300) of taxpayers’ money in rent to his long-term male partner…

The millionaire former banker, a member of the Liberal Democrat junior coalition partners, said he had not disclosed the financial arrangement because of “my desire to keep my sexuality secret”.

Government lied to excuse its broken promise
Andrew Bolt
The Rudd Government lies to justify breaking a promise to ban taxpayer-funded political advertising:
The Rudd Government is being accused of orchestrating a propaganda campaign after it bent its advertising rules to spend almost $40million of taxpayers’ money promoting its proposed mining tax…

The Rudd Government recently changed guidelines to ensure campaign funds were individually vetted by an independent panel of public servants but a government can skip this measure by claiming a national emergency, extreme urgency or other compelling reasons.

Special Minister of State Joe Ludwig granted the exemption for the new government ads after being told by Treasurer Wayne Swan about an ‘’active campaign’’ against the proposed resources super profits tax.
Note well that excuse - that the Government needed to rush out this taxpayer-funded propaganda to counter the mining industry’s advertising campaign against its super tax:
Ludwig: ‘‘I note and accept the Treasurer’s advice that there is an active campaign of misinformation about the proposed changes and that Australians are concerned about how these changes will affect them. I further note and accept the Treasurer’s advice that, as tax reform involves changes to the value of some capital assets, they impact on financial markets.

‘‘Given that co-ordinated misinformation about the changes is currently being promulgated in paid advertising, I accept the need for extremely urgent action to ensure the Australian community receive accurate advice about the nature and effect of the changes.’’
But an insider and blog reader nails the lie:

The pitching agencies were originally briefed a little over three weeks ago. It would have taken at least a week of decision making before the agencies were briefed.

So how many ads did the mining council have running a month ago? None that I can recall. So while Swan and Rudd claim their campaign is a response to the “national emergency” caused by the “disinformation” in the mining council ads, they had given the go-ahead to the campaign before a single mining council ad had run.

Abbott’s policies worked before, and Rudd’s do not
Andrew Bolt
Kevin Rudd claims Tony Abbott’s new boat people policy wouldn’t work.

But the Parliamentary Library has reviewed past data and given a tick to the temporary protection visas and off-shore processing of boat people now promised by Abbott:
Under the TPV regime introduced in October 1999, unauthorised arrivals found to be refugees and accepted into Australia are granted a three year TPV with the option of applying for further protection at the end of the three years. In September 2001, further changes to the legislation were introduced affecting TPV holders eligibility to obtain permanent resident status in the future....

TPVs, mandatory detention and offshore processing are part of a border protection strategy aimed at impressing on people that if they come to Australia in an unauthorised manner they will not get the same benefits available to those who arrive in an authorised manner. This strategy would appear to be working there have been very few boat arrivals since September 2001.
Well. it worked until two years ago, when Rudd abolished TPVs, and announced other changes to relax our boat people laws. My red dot on this Immigration Department graph shows when Rudd’s last big ”reforms” were announced:
I’m not sure the data makes Rudd an expert on effective boat people policies, actually.

(Thanks to reader Alan RM Jones.)
Fisking Henry
Andrew Bolt
Professor Sinclair Davidson fact-checks Treasury secretary Ken Henry’s latest attack on the miners - specifically his claim that the mining sector dragged down the economy during the financial crisis. Davidson’s conclusion, after presenting the data:
Maybe Ken Henry mispoke… It may well be the case that Henry is in possession of information that is not in the public domain. Perhaps Treasury will make that data available.
I really don’t think Henry is doing himself many favours lately.
Hi, Jonathan
Andrew Bolt

Jonathan is eight months old and deaf. Today his cochlear implant is turned on.
“Consensus” crumbles. But why did these scientists not say so earlier?
Andrew Bolt
Very, very belatedly we see scientific bodies now endorsing what sceptical non-scientists have tried to warn of for years.

In Australia:
Australia’s former chief scientist, Professor Robin Batterham, is embroiled in a bitter dispute over climate change within one of the nation’s elite science academies.

As president of the peer-elected Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Professor Batterham faces demands by members to drop plans for the academy to issue a policy statement supporting climate sceptics… A two-page draft, posted on a password-protected section of the academy’s website, said the academy ‘’does not believe the science is settled’’ regarding climate change.
In Britain:
The most prestigious group of scientists in the country was forced to act after fellows complained that doubts over man made global warming were not being communicated to the public…

Lord Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society, admitted that the case for man-made global warming has been exaggerated in the past.

He emphasised that the basic science remains sound but agreed to issue guidance so that it better reflects the uncertainties.

“Climate change is a hugely important issue but the public debate has all too often been clouded by exaggeration and misleading information,” he said…

The Royal Society will look again at the public communications on climate change after 43 fellows complained that so far the message has not reflected the uncertainty in the debate.
(Thanks to reader elsie.)


The (Royal Society) appears to have conceded that it needs to correct previous statements. It said: “Any public perception that science is somehow fully settled is wholly incorrect — there is always room for new observations, theories, measurements.” This contradicts a comment by the society’s previous president, Lord May, who was once quoted as saying: “The debate on climate change is over.” ...
Sir Alan Rudge, a society Fellow and former member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Committee, is one of the leaders of the rebellion who gathered signatures on a petition sent to Lord Rees, the society president.

He told The Times that the society had adopted an “unnecessarily alarmist position” on climate change.

By their friends you shall know them
Andrew Bolt
Michelle Grattan is cross the Liberal Party is losing two people she dignifies with the terms “brave” and “moderate” - as opposed to, one presumes, all the cowardly extremists and opportunists. And what’s pleased her most about these two is their backing for disastrous policies:
(Petro) Georgiou, who was an adviser to Fraser in government, is the philosophical voice of the moderates. He was a key player in Fraser’s commitment to multiculturalism and setting up SBS…

As a senator, (Judith) Troeth’s vote has counted.... After Malcolm Turnbull was ousted from the leadership last year, she and Queensland senator Sue Boyce crossed the floor to support the government’s emissions trading legislation.

Troeth and Georgiou were among the four – the others were Judi Moylan and Russell Broadbent – who were upset by Abbott’s Pacific Solution move, especially as he didn’t take it to the party room…

The generational change that is gradually under way in the Liberal party is not producing new strong moderate voices. It is throwing up some outspoken conservatives – and many who are simply pragmatists, sniffing the wind, catching whatever is the current wave.

Some of the high-profile people among the moderate minority are presently gagged because of position, ambition or both.

Shadow attorney-general George Brandis gave an important speech, We believe: the Liberal party and the liberal cause, in the last days of Turnbull, a moderate. “Over the past 20 years or so, there has been an attempt to dilute the Liberal party’s commitment to liberalism,” Brandis said. “One of the keys to grasping the Menzian conception of liberalism is that he did not view the Liberal Party as a conservative party.” Now Brandis is vigorously defending Abbott’s conservative brand of liberalism, as is another high-profile moderate, Christopher Pyne. They have been “incorporated”, just as Robert Hill and Amanda Vanstone were more or less muted by holding senior positions in the Howard government.

It may be galling to hear the “incorporated” moderates saying what they (presumably) don’t believe. But it’s no good assaulting the TV set: we know how the system works, the importance of unity and the strength of political aspiration. In politics, even the best of men and women would usually sell their grandmother for the chance of office. As Troeth says, in nice understatement, “once you’re on the ladder it becomes harder to be outspoken”.
When Grattan’s highest admiration is reserved for just that handful Liberals who attack their own party, I think we know where she stands. It’s also telling that she apparently considers “outspoken” to be a praise-word reserved for Liberals who defy Liberals, rather than Liberals who defy the collective mindset of the Canberra press gallery.

And why is this analytical template almost never applied to Labor? Where is Grattan’s fuming against the “incorporated” Labor frontbenchers who would “sell their grandmother for the chance of office” and are “saying what they (presumably) don’t believe” about global warming, Rudd’s mad super tax, or the damage Rudd has done to our bonds with Israel?

Why doesn’t the silence of Martin Ferguson, Steve Controy, Gary Gray, Craig Emerson and the rest have Grattan “assaulting the TV set”?


Speaking of politicians gagged by their ambitions, or gagged simply by an inability to form an opinion, let’s turn to Victoria:
THIRTEEN Labor MPs with the most marginal seats in the state have given voters the silent treatment six months out from the state election.

The “Silent 13” includes four Brumby Government ministers and all have refused to answer four key public policy questions.

The Sunday Herald Sun asked the MPs in electorates at most risk of being lost to the Coalition for their views on the troubled myki “smartcard”, crime sentencing, the merits of an Independent Commission Against Corruption and whether Christine Nixon should stay or go as head of the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority.
But not one agreed to answer the questions.

(Thanks to reader CA.)
Keneally faces a hiding in Penrith
Andrew Bolt
Hmm. Maybe Kristina Keneally isn’t quite the great white hope for Labor I thought:
LABOR will be clobbered by voters at the Penrith byelection, with secret ALP polling obtained by The Sun-Herald indicating Premier Kristina Keneally will preside over the greatest-ever swing against a NSW government.

In an ominous sign for the scandal-plagued state government before an election in March, internal party polling predicts a massive two-party preferred swing of 27 percentage points against the government in Penrith on June 19…

On a two-party preferred basis, Labor is on track to claim just 32 per cent of the vote, with 68 per cent for the Liberals representing a stunning turnaround from the 2007 election when disgraced former MP Karyn Paluzzano won for Labor with 59 per cent of the vote…

The polling, conducted by UMR Research early last week, came just days after Transport and Roads Minister David Campbell quit after he was caught leaving a sex club in Sydney’s eastern suburbs…

But the bulk of the damage to brand Labor in Penrith appears to have been done by Ms Paluzzano, who quit this month after she was exposed by the Independent Commission Against Corruption as a liar and a parliamentary expenses fiddler.
Mind you, “internal party polling” that’s deliberately released by the party involved always makes me suspicious.

(Thanks to reader CA.)
If Rudd knows best how to stop the boats, why this latest?
Andrew Bolt
I’m not sure that Kevin Rudd is in any position to criticise Tony Abbott’s boat people policy as ineffectual:
ANOTHER boat carrying 53 suspected asylum seekers and two crew has arrived at Christmas Island.
(Thanks to reader slowlearner.)
The rise of the sceptics, fall of the CSIRO
Andrew Bolt
A brave scientist, albeit a warmist, battles group-think:
Australia’s former chief scientist, Professor Robin Batterham, is embroiled in a bitter dispute over climate change within one of the nation’s elite science academies.

As president of the peer-elected Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Professor Batterham faces demands by members to drop plans for the academy to issue a policy statement supporting climate sceptics… A two-page draft, posted on a password-protected section of the academy’s website, said the academy ‘’does not believe the science is settled’’ regarding climate change.

It said many scientists believed ‘’climate changes are nothing unusual, based on past geological records’’…

n a recent lecture to the University of Western Australia as academy president, Professor Batterham warned of the dangers of a political over-reaction to climate change.

He said there was ‘’still much of the science that is uncertain’’ and used data in an academy-badged slide presentation that claimed investment to create green jobs in Spain had resulted in the destruction of nearly 110,500 jobs, or 2.2 jobs for every ‘’green job’’ created.

According to a report of the lecture published in a mining newsletter, Professor Batterham said despite scientific uncertainty, ‘’ we need to drastically reduce CO2 or face runaway temperature rise’’.
Meanwhile, a private citizen forces the CSIRO to (very quietly) fix up a very suspicious mistake. Tery McCrann describes the CSIRO’s latest shame:
In March, (the CSIRO) joined with the Bureau of Meteorology to produce a “snapshot of the state of the climate to update Australians about how their climate has changed and what it means”. Although the pamphlet had a neutral title, “State of the Climate”, it was clearly designed to bring the great weight of the apparent credibility of these two organisations to bear against, and hopefully crush, those pesky climate change sceptics.

But as one of the peskier of them, Tom Quirk—our version of Canada’s even peskier Stephen McIntyre—discovered, there was a very curious omission in one of the CSIRO graphs. It showed the rise and rise of concentrations in the atmosphere of carbon dioxide and its fellow greenhouse gas methane. It was an almost perfect replica of the infamous (Michael) Mann Hockey Stick. After being virtually stable for 900 years, concentrations of both CO2 and methane went almost vertical through the 20th century. But as the eagle-eyed Quirk noticed and wrote about on Quadrant Online, methane was plotted only up to 1990, while the plots for CO2 continued to 2000.Why so, when the CSIRO measures methane concentrations and has data up to last year?

Did the answer lie in the inconvenient truth that methane concentrations have plateaued since the mid-1990s? Yet here is the CSIRO, the organisation dedicated to scientific truth, pretending—even stating—that they’re still going up, Climategate style… The first version of the so-called carbon pollution reduction scheme included farming to address the methane question. But as Quirk has shown in a peer-reviewed paper, atmospheric methane is driven by a combination of volcanos, El Ninos and pipeline (mostly dodgy old Soviet) leakage.

A second curious, and even dodgier, thing happened after Quirk’s Quadrant report. CSIRO “updated” its main graph to include the more recent methane data. No admission was made and the graph’s scale made it all but invisible and did not show the plateauing. Further, the CSIRO published a more detailed second graph showing what has happened in the past 30 years, as opposed to the first graph’s 1000 years. But only for CO2, despite the fact that it had exactly the same data for methane.

In short, the CSIRO is a fully signed-up member of the climate change club. It wanted to project the horror story of continually rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. So it simply disappeared inconvenient evidence to the contrary, in the process announcing it cannot be trusted ever again to deliver objective scientific evidence.
(Thanks to reader StraightShooter.)