Friday, July 16, 2010

Headlines Friday 16th July 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
Admiral Sir Dudley Rawson Stratford de Chair, KCB, KBE, MVO (30 August 1864 – 17 August 1958) was Governor of New South Wales from February 28, 1924 to April 9, 1930.
de Chair became governor of New South Wales in October 1923, arriving in Sydney with his wife on 28 February 1924. He quickly formed a close friendship with Nationalist premier Sir George Fuller. The May 1925 election brought to office a Labor government, determined, in the governor's view, on 'radical and far-reaching legislation, which had not been foreshadowed in their election speeches'. He decided 'to aim at a policy of reasonable moderation, but also of caution, before granting really extreme or dangerous demands'.
In September Jack T. Lang asked de Chair to appoint twenty-five new members to the Legislative Council. Initially agreeing only to fifteen, in December the governor capitulated, on condition that the appointments should not be used to abolish the council. Describing his first clash with a governor as 'a most courteous affair', Lang claimed he 'flatly refused to give the undertaking'. By insisting that their correspondence be published de Chair revealed his extensive resistance, thereby entering clearly into the political arena. To the governor's delight the abolition attempt failed. When Lang requested still more appointments, including women, de Chair refused: 'I told him what I thought of him, and the way in which he had deceived me'. Despite a special mission to England by the attorney-general, de Chair remained firm, believing that 'foreign elements were behind the movement to recall the Governor, and wreck the Constitution, and to establish a Communist Government'.
=== Bible Quote ===
“Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”- James 1:21
=== Headlines ===
BP Says Oil Has Stopped Leaking for First Time in 3 Months
BP says there is no oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico for the first time since the disaster began in April, touting the success of the new cap on its broken well.

Senate OKs Financial Regs Overhaul
Massive overhaul that imposes new regulations on Wall Street passes in 60-39 vote; bill now goes to President Obama

No Prayer Allowed Outside Supreme Court
Group of Christian students say they were ordered to stop praying outside Supreme Court building because a court police officer told them it was against the law

GOP Leaders Call for Probe of Minn. Vote
Minnesota GOP chairman wants an eleventh-hour investigation into allegations of illegal voting by felons in the state's contested 2008 Senate election that Al Fraken narrowly captured

Patients have told of surgery without anaesthetics, unsterilised needles and a fight to survive under a regime that spends less than $US1 on health per person a year.

Afghan allies dodgy, say Diggers
AUSTRALIAN troops’ belief that their Afghan counterparts can’t be trusted is a “serious concern”.

Rudd's one-man show haunts Gillard
KEVIN Rudd's return to world stage upsets Labor as PM dodges more details of his knifing.

John Ibrahim 'depressed' over limelight
KINGS Cross identity believes Shayda Bastani's arrest is part of a plan to undermine his confidence.

Parents warned as kids get "iDosing high"
CAN your kids really get high downloading "digital drugs"? Authorities warn of net craze.

Want to lose that flab? Then do it fast
SLOW and steady isn't the best way to lose those muffin tops, a controversial study reveals.

Parents' fury at $271K school toilet
A SCHOOL school of just 16 students had received a new toilet block half the size of that planned at a cost of $271,000.

Dean Shillingsworth's mum fights sentence
THE mother of toddler Dean Shillingsworth, who admitted stuffing her son's body in a suitcase and throwing it into a duck pond, is appealing against her 19-year sentence. Rachel Pfitzner was sentenced last December over the October 2007 murder, committed at Ambarvale in southwest Sydney. A NSW Supreme Court registrar yesterday listed Pfitzner's appeal hearing for December 3. Documents listed the appeal as being against the "severity of sentence". It is understood Pfitzner has applied to Legal Aid for representation.

'Abducted' scientist returns to Iran
AN Iranian nuclear scientist purportedly paid millions by the CIA for intelligence returns home as a blame game escalates.

'They'll never be friends again', says Blanche d'Alpuget as Hawke Keating row deepens
BOB Hawke moved to end the latest phase of his 25-year legacy war with Paul Keating by doing something that doesn't come naturally - zipping his lip. "I don't think it is at this stage in anyone's interests for me to comment," the former prime minister said. But his wife, Blanche d'Alpuget, whose new biography of Mr Hawke reignited the war with Mr Keating, knows that something has changed irreparably between the two men. "They could never be friends again . . . real friends," she said. The two had begun a tentative rapprochement after the 2007 election, with two private dinners hosted by Mr Hawke and d'Alpuget and an exchange of telephone calls to discuss policy. Both camps now agree that any form of friendship is unlikely. Mr Hawke wants to allow Labor to get on with the federal election. But his belated vow of silence will be tested once the campaign is under way.
=== Journalists Corner ===
Janet Napolitano Goes 'On the Record'
Open borders ... an open invitation to terrorists? While politicians battle over rights and new legislation, are citizens' lives at risk? Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has answers!
===
Pro-Business Democrats Raise Their Voices!
A call to extend all Bush tax cuts ... by a Democrat? Why Rep. Mike McMahon is breaking ranks and claiming it's critical to keep this plan in place.
===
Firing Back at the "Food Police"
McDonald's fires back at the food police for threatening to sue the Golden Arches over Happy Meals!
===
On Fox News Insider
Will BP's New Cap Plug the Leak? - By Jonathan Serrie
Obama: Terrorists Don't Value African Life
Pump Up Your Bust Size with ... Booze?

=== Comments ===
Gillard con is smoke and mirrors surpluses
Piers Akerman
ON Wednesday, Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan demonstrated his conjuring skills with a revised Budget forecast. - Gillard also promised last election that she would answer questions raised about those with concerns on Industrial Relations policy of the ALP. I raised some, placed them on you tube, and she never addressed them.
My chief concern was that the ALP model would, like the NSW model, mean that a worker could be shafted by their bosses without justice remedy if their bosses behaved corruptly. I gave as an example the NSW Dept of Ed which had apparently covered up the details of the death of schoolboy Hamidur Rahman so as to limit liability. The result being that the parents were partially blamed in error by the coroner. I had responsibly reported on the issue and was facing extraordinary attacks from employer over the issue. Under Workchoices I would have had an Ombudsman who could have fielded my issue, under NSW IR legislation I was defenseless unless I could portray myself as a victim. But I also had the problem with my employer behaving corruptly, and being a victim would invite a smear .. the upshot being Gillard found my question too tough, and did not answer it.
I noted in her speech yesterday to the press club, she lied about what her government had achieved, her hopes and aspirations of her behaviour in office and the record she had produced. I also note she was questioned hard on that failure by the audience, but that one promise was notable they exacted from her .. she will release the BER report if it is released, before the election .. I think that means an election will be soon .. or the report a lie. - ed.

===
Racism and the NAACP
BY BILL O'REILLY
This week in Kansas City, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People held its annual convention, and racism was a featured topic.
Click here to watch "Talking Points"!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN JEALOUS, NAACP PRESIDENT: It is time to warn the people that racism and hate is still alive in America! That we must wake up and get about our father's business and our mama's business, the business of tearing down the walls of racism, poverty, discrimination and bigotry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Well that's true. Racism and bigotry are alive in America, just as they exist in every nation on Earth. Every one.
But what Mr. Jealous will not say is that racism cuts both ways. We'll get to that in a moment.
But let's get back to the NAACP president, who goes on to attack the Tea Party.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEALOUS: And in the middle of this great American nightmare, here comes the genetic descendent of the White Citizens' Council, burst from its coffin, carrying signs with slogans like lynch Barack Hussein Obama and lynch Eric Holder.
Expel the bigots and racists in your ranks, or take full responsibility for all of their actions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now, we could not find those signs that Mr. Jealous referred to, and it is impossible for anybody to take responsibility for anything that their members do. Again, every nation, every organization, every concern in the world has some kind of bigotry in it. It's just a human condition.
That's not to say it's justified, and if overt racism is demonstrated, it has to be called out. But if Mr. Jealous thinks there's no racism in his own organization, he's insane.
Finally, Mr. Jealous went after Sarah Palin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEALOUS: Sarah Palin says let's party like it's 1776. My white daddy would say be careful what you wish for, because the 18th century, Sarah, wasn't good for nobody, even folks like you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. PALIN REPLIED ON FACEBOOK, SAYING: "The Tea Party movement is not racist or motivated by racism. It is motivated by love of country and all that is good and honest about our proud and diverse nation."
From the beginning of the Tea Party ascent, the far left has labeled it a racist organization. That's what these people do. If they don't like you, you're a bigot.
"Talking Points" is very disappointed that the NAACP is buying this nonsense, and it is perplexing because the organization does not condemn stuff like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAMIR SHABAZZ, NEW BLACK PANTHER: I hate white people. All of them. Every last iota of a cracker, I hate them. What the hell wrong with you, black man? You had a (INAUDIBLE) day with a white girl on your damn arm. If you want freedom, you're gonna have to kill some crackers. You're gonna have to kill some of their babies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
We didn't hear a word about the New Black Panther Party from the NAACP, even though they're involved in a huge controversy with the Justice Department.
So a case could be made that the NAACP is color-blind on racism. If blacks are the perpetrators, they ignore it. Or am I wrong?
===
SILENCE OBSERVED
Tim Blair
We should probably talk about Julia Gillard, but it may be more appropriate if we never speak publicly of her ever again:
“I’ve made it very, very clear that I will never be speaking publicly about my discussions with Kevin Rudd on that night,” she said yesterday. “I think that’s an appropriate mark of respect between colleagues.

“It’s not my intention to canvass any of the matters that were discussed in that room. We went into that discussion on the basis that it was a confidential discussion between colleagues and I intend to respect that confidence for the rest of my life.”
Shhh.

UPDATE. We might have an election date:
Julia Gillard is believed to have settled on a poll date – and speculation is mounting she will visit the Governor-General tomorrow to formally call an election.

Ms Gillard will reportedly call the election for August 28, triggering a six-week campaign, that has unofficially been underway since she deposed Kevin Rudd as prime minister on June 24.

===
AMANDA MALKOVICH
Tim Blair
A couple of years ago, Iowahawk took me to a little Chicago gathering he’d organised at a friendly local dive. An impressive Iowahawk audience attended, including academics, gun owners, film scholars, rodders, journalists, oldsters and the very young. Diverse but universally clever.

During the night, a slender blonde very quietly joined the group. Softly spoken, she nevertheless dominated several subsequent conversations – not easy in a crowd containing Annabel Crabb, among many others.

As people gradually realised that a long-term email pal was in our midst, even more attention was directed to her. This was deflected with shy grace.

Everybody eventually wandered off to our various homes and hotels, due to closing hour issues. Vows were made to remain in closer contact. Mandy’s last email arrived in March, and was (as always) beautifully crafted.

Amanda Malkovich died on Tuesday following a 25-year battle with cancer. Some people make a great impact on others in a very brief time. Her family, having the privilege of knowing her for far longer, is inconsolable.

God bless her.
===
August 28, says the ABC
Andrew Bolt
The ABC reports:
Prime Minister Julia Gillard is likely to call an election tomorrow, the ABC understands.

Labor sources have told the ABC Ms Gillard is expected to visit Governor General Quentin Bryce in Canberra tomorrow morning to set an August 28 election date.
(Thanks to reader Gillard Must Go.)
===
Just when Gillard hits coal and iron exports with a great big tax….
Andrew Bolt
John Garnaut, unlike the Gillard Government, wouldn’t bet the farm on China’s record prices for our minerals:
Australia’s export prices remain about as good as they have been in a century, but the peak is now behind us. What we have seen in the past few years is as good as it will get.

Last week alone iron ore spot prices fell 9.4 per cent and Brazil-China freight prices fell 20 per cent. China’s trade figures showed iron ore imports fell 14 per cent last month, measured year-on-year, after rising an average 8.4 per cent each month until May.

Given that China bought 70 per cent of the world’s iron ore exports last year, and Australia’s iron ore exports this year will be worth about $US50 billion, it is not hard to see that the huge Chinese tail wind for Australia’s national income is no longer blowing like it was.
The underlying reason for Australia’s once-in-a century resources boom was that China’s heavy industry sector has been growing much faster than its overall economy. The boom was inflated by distortions in the economy linked to China’s hybrid market-authoritarian form of government.

Now a series of command-economy edicts has flipped this pattern around. Steel production has been falling in absolute terms for two months and the rate of decline accelerated through June.
(Thanks to reader Professor Frank.)
===
“Racist” is now the scream of the gutless
Andrew Bolt
Have you noticed how shamefully quick some people are to scream racist, when what they really mean is that they are too lazy, cowardly or brainless to confront a genuine problem?
===
Who blabbed to Oakes, Kevin?
Andrew Bolt

So who leaked to Laurie Oakes the details of Julia Gillard’s confrontation with Kevin Rudd, so damaging to the new Prime Minister. Let’s consult the interview former Labor leader Mark Latham did with Lateline in 2005:
JONES: You actually set (Rudd) up, believing evidently he is leaking to Laurie Oakes.

Latham: Yeah.

And one of the useful things in the otherwise hopeless Lagan book is that Gartrell fingers Rudd as the leaker of that material. They don’t name him, but they say something like, “a senior shadow Labor minister interested in foreign affairs leaked the polling to Oakes”.

Jones: Did you organise this by yourself?

Latham: I told him a few things that weren’t true about our polling results, wondering if they’d bob up in Oakes’s column because Rudd had been feeding stuff to Oakes for some time, in my assessment. And lo and behold, shortly thereafter, the disinformation, as they call it in the intelligence network - Rudd’d know this, as a spooky sort of character - the disinformation bobs up, word for word, in Oakes’s article. Rudd’s the leaker.

So that proved that and if we’d won, if he’d kept his spot on the front bench, he wouldn’t have been minister for foreign affairs, he would’ve been much lower in the pecking order, because he is a leaking, treacherous piece of work.

Jones: You were actually going to put him in the ministry for the South Pacific.

Latham: Yeah.

If I had done, I would’ve explained to the caucus this leaking and treacherous role that he’d played, and I assume I would’ve been supported by the national secretary and I think the caucus would’ve thought on that basis Rudd didn’t deserve to be a cabinet minister in a Labor government - he could go to the outer ministry.
The ABC today reports:

Some Labor insiders believe Mr Rudd was the source of the apparent leak and one Labor figure told the ABC that Ms Gillard would be “stark raving mad” to honour her commitment to bring the former prime minister back on to the front bench after the federal election.
===
Women babbling badly
Andrew Bolt

WHAT a week for women behaving badly, and for men to carry the can. And other women to quietly suffer.

Example one is the former lover of actor Mel Gibson.

Gibson, it’s said, is now finished in Hollywood after Oksana Grigorieva, mother of his daughter, taped him ranting over their relationship and her flaunting of her siliconed body.

For instance: “I am going to come and burn the f------ house down.”

And: “You look like a f------ pig in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of n------, it will be your fault.”

Now we have celebrities demanding Gibson’s films be boycotted, but why is he the chief villain here? I don’t approve of his language, but approve even less of Grigorieva’s entrapment of him - and the exposure of what he had every right to expect was a private conversation.

Why do it? Who knows, but someone wanting to shake down a rich actor might have done much the same.

But be warned. What Gibson says in a domestic is of no consequence to us. But to reward the public release of his private conversations by, say, killing his career or forcing his surrender in custody or maintenance hearings, makes a lot of us more vulnerable.

Must every private conversation with a partner now be treated as potential evidence for a trial by judge or the media?

Example two is Blanche d’Alpuget, adulterous lover and now second wife of former prime minister Bob Hawke.
===
Gillard’s honeymoon is over
Andrew Bolt
EACH day it gets worse for Julia Gillard, who is suddenly in such strife that she cannot rush to a quick election after all.

The glow of being our first female Prime Minister has in just three weeks been replaced by the pallor of being a bungling, deceitful schemer.

Thursday was yet another disaster for Gillard, who learned that among her big problems is Kevin Rudd.

First, she woke to see that newspapers around the country were torn over which of two negative stories to run on their front pages.

Some, like ours, decided the biggest news was the accidental admission of Immigration Minister Chris Evans that one of his greatest failings was “losing control of the migration debate”, which was “killing the Government”.

Evans’ mistake didn’t just draw attention to the fact that by foolishly weakening our border protection laws, Labor caused the number of boats to soar from three a year to three a week, costing us $1 billion and filling our detention centres to bursting. (We’ve had another three boats since Sunday.)

But Evans also drew fresh attention to Gillard’s biggest embarrassment so far - to declare she’d stop the boats by building a new detention centre in East Timor, only to have the East Timor Parliament promptly say it wouldn’t have it. What utterly inept diplomacy.

Other newspapers, like The Age, chose to lead yesterday on another Gillard embarrassment - Labor’s lying about the real cost of its backdown on its “super profits” mining tax.
===
Does Gillard approve of torture?
Andrew Bolt
What kind of dishonest and vicious children are running Labor’s campaign?
The online election campaign has begun early, with web attack ads spreading on Facebook and YouTube and a new viral game that allows players to torture Tony Abbott.

With a federal election expected to be called any day now, Labor has shown that it’s not above getting down and dirty, with a new web flash game called ”Abbott Hospital Cuts” allowing players to pull organs out of Tony Abbott as he’s lying on an operating table.
(Thanks to reader CA.)
===
Indonesia won’t give asylum to Gillard’s idea, either
Andrew Bolt
Julia Gillard’s plan for a “regional proecessing centre” for boat people isn’t going very well, is it?

First East Timor’s Parliament says it doesn’t want it, and then Papua New Guinea says no, thanks, too. Now Indonesia warns that Gillard might just attract more of what she wants to stop:
AUSTRALIA has failed in its bid to win Indonesia’s outright support for an asylum-seeker processing centre in East Timor...

Indonesia’s Foreign Minister, Marty Natalegawa, warned yesterday that Julia Gillard’s proposal was little more than a “potential component in a regional framework” and said it was too early to consider where such a facility might be located
And:
The Indonesian immigration department expressed reservations about the East Timor option, arguing it could become a magnet for asylum seekers.

‘’I think it would be a pull factor for those who are still in their countries. It may attract more people to come to East Timor on their way to Australia,’’ said Maroloan Barimbing, the spokesman for the department.

‘’Since they don’t know how to get to East Timor, they may end up wandering around in Indonesia.’’
(Thanks to readers Spin Baby, Spin and Baden.)
===
How mad to even think we should be a new home for an ethnic army
Andrew Bolt
How dumb would we be to let Ausralia become a refuge for a defeated terrorist army, and how astonishingly irresponsible are some refugee advocates to knowingly promote it?
The question now vexing Australian authorities is whether Shayana and other former Tamil Tiger members, fighters and supporters should be accepted as refugees in need of protection, or rejected as potential terrorists and sympathisers.

It’s a pressing issue after the Gillard government last week lifted the freeze imposed in April on the processing of Sri Lankan asylum-seekers, and after claims this week by an Australian Sri Lankan security analyst, Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe, that ... two (Sru Lankan) government ministers told him during a recent visit that they believe 25 to 50 per cent of Tamils fleeing to Australia are former combatants, operatives, members or supporters of the Tigers.

“You’ve got people here who’ve essentially been radicalised and who’ve fought and [may have] committed terrorist acts, and come here without any sense of being rehabilitated,” he says…

Last October an official of the Australian Federation of Tamil Associations was reported as saying he is “certain” there are Tigers among the asylum-seekers arriving in Australia… . A Tamil politician was reported saying that “hard-core LTTE cadres had escaped the camps and fled the country”. Australia is the closest Western country to Sri Lanka, and among the few nations that has not outlawed the LTTE....

In May, The Jakarta Globe newspaper quoted an Indonesian community worker who had interviewed a group of Tamil asylum-seekers as saying, “They confessed that they are members of the Tamil Tiger guerilla fighters. They left their country to seek political asylum in Australia.”

The LTTE’s involvement in people-smuggling is well documented, including in the UNHCR guidelines on Sri Lankan asylum-seekers issued on July 5…

If there are former Tigers on the boats bound for Australia, the next question is whether that should disqualify them from being granted asylum. Clive Williams, head of terrorism studies at the Australian National University, argues it should not.

“It may well be that some of the people who come here were linked to the Tamil Tigers, but I think that’s a reason for taking them....”

The FBI describes the Tamil Tigers as “among the most dangerous and deadly extremists in the world”. It lists their achievements as including perfecting the use of suicide bombers, inventing the suicide belt, pioneering the use of women in suicide attacks, murdering about 4000 people in the past two years alone, and assassinating two world leaders - the only terrorist organisation to do so… In March three Tamil community leaders in Melbourne pleaded guilty to sending $1.03m to the LTTE, along with 500 electronic components that were capable of being made into bomb detonators.
(Thanks to reader Spin Baby, Spin.)
===
More data needed for reassurance
Andrew Bolt
Julia Gillad says she’s learned from her mistakes as Deputy Prime Minister in the Rudd Government:
I was vice-captain of the team and I had direct responsibility for some important portfolio areas… I would say to Australians, not everything’s gone right. Some things have gone off track. But I’ve learned some lessons as well and I’ll take those lessons with me as Prime Minister.
Reader Keith has a question:
Would you please list these mistakes, and specify exactly what you have learnt from each one.
UPDATE

For example, what was learned from the Building the Education Revoltuion, which continues to provide astonishing examples of waste:
THEY are the school toilets that cost so much critics claim they should be gold-plated. In the latest controversies to hit the Building the Education Revolution, parents from an Upper Hunter school want to lodge a complaint with Fair Trading, claiming the Keneally Government has bungled its project.

Cassilis Public School P&C committee said the 134-year-old school of just 16 students had received a new toilet block half the size of that planned at a cost of $271,000 - $160,000 over budget.
(Thanks to reader CA.)
===
Labor drags the political argument into court
Andrew Bolt
I despise the use of the courts to stifle debate as Singapore’s politicians do:
JOHN Brumby and Victorian Labor have been accused of using the courts to silence critics, as the phoney state election campaign turns nasty…

Liberal upper house leader David Davis had to issue an unreserved apology as part of a confidential settlement of a defamation action against him by former ALP state secretary Stephen Newnham.

Mr Davis acknowledged that a media release he issued last year, demanding that Mr Brumby sack the then party chief, may have been understood to assert that Mr Newnham had acted ‘’fraudulently and corruptly’’ in dealings with a councillor on the now-sacked Brimbank Council.

Mr Brumby yesterday seized on the Davis case - which is believed to have cost the Liberal MP and supporters in the party more than $100,000 in legal costs - as evidence that the opposition under Ted Baillieu’s leadership had a culture of lying about the government.
This is a very dangerous development. The use of the courts to punish bad words inevitably has a chilling effect on debate. And let’s speak hypothetically, and image a state with a powerful Attorney General who, say, has stacked the judiiciary with many activists and lawyers from the Left. Might you, as a conservative and citic of the Left or this Government, feel at a slight disadvantage, rightly or wrongly, in any conflict in court?
===
Today’s clippings make another terrible day of reading for Gillard
Andrew Bolt
Julia Gillard’s fledgling leadership is in deep trouble. Another day, and series of negative stories in the papers, making it almost impossible to call an election very soon:

Herald Sun:
JULIA Gillard has sidestepped suggestions that she reneged on a secret Kirribilli-style leadership pact with Kevin Rudd the night before toppling him.
The Australian:
LABOR figures are blaming Kevin Rudd for leaking claims that Julia Gillard welshed on a deal that would have allowed him to remain prime minister.
The Australian:
LABOR is set to spark a showdown with the Liberals after it was revealed only one debate was likely between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott.
The Australian:
JULIA Gillard has conceded the delivery of her school-building program was flawed but she has assured voters she has learned from her mistakes.
The Australian:
JULIA Gillard has tried to neutralise the toxic issue of unauthorised boat arrivals for Labor. And she has made the extraordinary claim that Tony Abbott’s policy was now close to hers and there was a growing consensus between the two sides of politics.
The Australian:
THE brutal, unprecedented manner of Kevin Rudd’s removal is continuing to hamper Julia Gillard’s leadership and Labor’s chances of re-election.
Sydney Morning Herald:
INDONESIA would not endorse the Gillard government’s East Timor asylum seeker solution yesterday, despite a personal briefing from the Foreign Affairs Minister, Stephen Smith, in Jakarta.
Sydney Morning Herald:
Julia Gillard won’t comment on claims she reneged on a deal not to challenge Kevin Rudd.
Sydney Morning Herald:
JULIA GILLARD wants Australians to see her as a calm, measured, consensual leader, not an easy image to portray when you’ve taken the top job by brutally knifing a serving prime minister on the eve of an election.
Daily Telegraph:
JULIA Gillard dumped a succession deal offered by Kevin Rudd on the night of their tense showdown.
The Age:
Julia Gillard appears unlikely to call an election this weekend after she was forced to sidestep a bombshell claim she pulled out of a deal with Kevin Rudd the night before she seized the leadership.
The Courier Mail:
JULIA Gillard has refused to confirm suggestions Kevin Rudd tried to cut a deal where he would resign before an October election if his position was still untenable.
The Courier Mail:
AS happened in 1991 with Hawke and Keating, the fallout from this latest claim of an ALP leadership deal will be messier than the claim itself.
The Age:
With Keating and Hawke back to the old business of publicly unloading their loathing upon each other, Julia Gillard must surely wish herself somewhere else.
Then there was this editorial in The Australian:
WAYNE Swan claims he can clear the budget deficit in three years, but the Treasurer only has months at best to get Labor’s economic credibility back into surplus before voters deliver their verdict. It is incredible to think that a government which emerged from the global financial crisis with the economy in robust condition has squandered the credit on which it should now be building its case for re-election. But the mangled introduction of the mining tax, wasteful stimulus spending on schools and roof insulation, and a failure to reform have left it with a credibility deficit on the economy.
Of course, there were some kind of positive stories today for Labor. The Age could be relied upon for at least this:
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has told anyone expecting a “spend-up” election campaign from Labor that they can forget it.
But Gillard’s best hope lay in this, in the Courier Mail:

A SECRET telephone message has revealed Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was overruled by Queensland party heavyweights when he fought to retain dumped MP Michael Johnson.
===
Climatewash
Andrew Bolt
Clive Crook may be a warmist, but is honest enough to describe whitewash when he sees it:
I am for a carbon tax. I also believe that the Climategate emails revealed, to an extent that surprised even me (and I am difficult to surprise), an ethos of suffocating groupthink and intellectual corruption…

I had hoped, not very confidently, that the various Climategate inquiries would be severe. This would have been a first step towards restoring confidence in the scientific consensus. But no, the reports make things worse. At best they are mealy-mouthed apologies; at worst they are patently incompetent and even wilfully wrong. The climate-science establishment, of which these inquiries have chosen to make themselves a part, seems entirely incapable of understanding, let alone repairing, the harm it has done to its own cause.

The Penn State inquiry exonerating Michael Mann—the paleoclimatologist who came up with “the hockey stick”—would be difficult to parody. Three of four allegations are dismissed out of hand at the outset: the inquiry announces that, for “lack of credible evidence”, it will not even investigate them.... Moving on, the report then says, in effect, that Mann is a distinguished scholar, a successful raiser of research funding, a man admired by his peers—so any allegation of academic impropriety must be false…

Further “vindication” of the Climategate emailers was to follow, of course, in Muir Russell’s equally probing investigation. To be fair, Russell manages to issue a criticism or two. He says the scientists were sometimes “misleading”—but without meaning to be (a plea which, in the case of the “trick to hide the decline”, is an insult to one’s intelligence). On the apparent conspiracy to subvert peer review, it found that the “allegations cannot be upheld”—but, as the impressively even-handed Fred Pearce of the Guardian notes, this was partly on the grounds that “the roles of CRU scientists and others could not be distinguished from those of colleagues. There was ‘team responsibility’.” Edward Acton, vice-chancellor of the university which houses CRU, calls this “exoneration”.
The Economist, which initially played down the scandal, is almost as astonished by the refusal of the Climategate inquiries to examine the science:
An earlier report on climategate from the House of Commons assumed that a subsequent probe by a panel under Lord Oxburgh, a former academic and chairman of Shell, would deal with the science. The Oxburgh report, though, sought to show only that the science was not fraudulent or systematically flawed, not that it was actually reliable. And nor did Sir Muir, with this third report, think judging the science was his job.
UPDATE

Financial Review journalist Mark Lawson has had enough of this madness. From the blurb for his new book, A Guide to Climate Change Lunacy:
Activists and even some scientists will tell you that the science behind the expected major warming of the globe is rock solid. In fact, the projections of temperature increases in coming decades are based on entirely unproven forecasting systems which depend on guesses about crucial aspects of the atmosphere behaviour and the all-important oceans. In addition, these forecasts use carbon dioxide emission scenarios that have been generated by economic calculations rather than from science, and parts of which are already hopelessly wrong less than a decade after they were made.

As Mark Lawson explains in this book, in layman’s language, this lunacy has been compounded by further forecasts based on these already deeply flawed projections and combined with active imaginations, to produce wild statements about what will happen to plant, animal, bird and marine life, as well as coral reefs, hurricanes, sea levels, agriculture and polar ice caps. The books shows that these projections are little more than fantasy.

On top of all this lunacy activists, aided and abetted by some scientists, have proposed a range of solutions to the supposed problem that are either never going to work, such as an international agreement to cut emissions, or are overly complicated and expensive for no proven return, such as carbon trading systems and wind energy. None of these proposals have been shown to be of any use in reducing carbon emissions, outside of theoretical studies. Where wind energy has been used in substantial amounts overseas the sole, known result has been very expensive electricity for no observed saving in emissions.
Order here.

(Via Tim Blair.)
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