=== Todays Toon ===No time to think in the political news cycle
First it was Finance Minister, Lindsay Tanner and now Defence Minister, John Faulkner.
Rats leaving the ALP ship. - ed.
=== Bible Quote ===“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”- Ephesians 3:20-21
=== Headlines ===Black Panther Leader Defends Group in Voter Intimidation Uproar
Chairman of the New Black Panther Party defends his group in an interview with Fox News, amid uproar over a voter intimidation case dropped by the Obama administration.
Officer Kept Afghans From Going AWOL
Afghan officer who kept military trainees from fleeing a Texas Air Force base has been sent back to Afghanistan with no replacement expected for months
Professor Fired Over Catholic Beliefs
University of Illinois fires professor after a student accuses him of engaging in hate speech for agreeing with the church's teaching that homosexual sex is immoral
Memo Reveals Struggle to Secure Border
Memo from 2007 reveals that federal refuge officers have been spending more time dealing with security along the Mexican border than protecting wildlife
Scuttled again on boat people
PAPUA New Guinea joins East Timor in saying no to Prime Minister's asylum seeker solution. - maybe she will have to consider the whole pacific solution - ed
Fatter pay packets are on the cards
NEW financial year has brought some good news, with many workers enjoying a rise in salary.
Young give up on dream of suburbia
YOUNG buyers priced out of the property market turning to small inner-city apartments instead.
Size 8 model turfed for being 'too big'
PRODUCERS of Australia's Next Top Model slammed for excluding teenage model from catwalk.
Nanobots - now they can control your mind
US scientists use nanoparticles to remote control worms, then claim "whole animals" are next.
Thief arrested just after being set free
WOMAN with a history of stealing from the elderly picked up by police three hours after judge gave her a second chance.
Ambo cut hits rapid response
THEY are meant to save lives but ambo officials are accused of putting public at risk with cash-saving move.
NSW bikie gangs planning drug turf takeover in Western Australia
THREE NSW bikie gangs are tipped to move in on West Australian turf, lured by the high price of drugs on the state's streets. WA Police Assistant Commissioner Nick Anticich said yesterday that the Sydney-based crime gang Notorious and bikie gangs Lone Wolf and Rock Machine were eyeing off the state's drug market. Mr Anticich told an Australian Association of Crown Prosecutors conference the state's strong economy provided an attractive market for organised crime groups. "Their primary target is West Australians with a high level of disposable income who are likely to engage in experimentation and drug misuse," he said. "What we are seeing now is a criminal environment that is dynamic, resilient and better networked than ever before." Interest from the gangs was being fuelled by the fact the price of one ounce of methylamphetamine - or speed - in WA fetched almost double the price that it did in NSW, Mr Anticich said.
Move to ban burka in South Australian jails overruled
FEMALE prisoners who want to conceal their faces by wearing the burka will be allowed to do so by the South Australian government. The ruling came yesterday as State Corrections Minister Tom Koutsantonis joined Multicultural Affairs Minister Grace Portolesi in opposing legislation drafted by independent MP Bob Such to outlaw wearing of the Islamic head-to-toe covering in selected security-sensitive public buildings and government offices. Labor MPs also moved to defend Ms Portolesi after The Australian yesterday reported comments by Liberal senator Cory Bernardi that she was a "political correctness extremist" for her defence of the burka. Mr Koutsantonis said: "If a prisoner entered the system who wanted to wear a burka for religious or cultural reasons, the Department of Correctional Services would respect that decision.
=== Journalists Corner ===A True Saint
Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees talks recovery in the Gulf and what it takes to get through tough times.
Arizona Under Attack!
Newt Gingrich on the state's survival strategy amidst a border battle!
YOU DECIDE on Obama's Report Card.
It's a special LIVE Huckabee. How is the president doing on the nation's biggest issues? It's your chance to grade the government-YOU DECIDE on Obama's report card! The Governor takes your emails live on a very special Huckabee.
On Fox News InsiderObama's Middle Name Cause for Suspicion?
Megyn Kelly Gets Ready for Today's 'America Live' Exclusive
MUST-SEE: Shep Takes on Michael Lohan
• Part 1
• Part 2
=== Comments ===Defiant in the face of Labor’s attack
IN SAM Loxton’s long view, the current Labor Federal Government is the worst he has witnessed in his 89 years. - I am a cricket tragic and Sam was one of my heroes, as was Arthur Morris, who lived down the street from where I lived, growing up in Turramurra. Morris had also gone to my dad’s high school, Canterbury, along with Bobby Simpson and John Howard.
It is tragic the way the ALP have inherited a great economy and tried to trash it. They have done enormous damage, and so things we may have expected, infrastructure (Bradfield scheme?, roads, public transport, health reform et al) has to be shelved or put off. Necessary work for the poorest of peoples has to be delayed. All so Rudd had a headline, or so the ALP could pay their creditors.
Sam’s is a success story that Australians may yet have again. In running for Blaxland, I will face a one term opponent who is the ALP’s future, in Jason Clare. I don’t promise to win, but if I run a good clean campaign, I promise Jason will have had to stand up and make himself accountable .. at the moment it is as if he has been hiding. - ed
deejay repliedThanks deejay. I don’t think the economy is gone. I think it is damaged. Putting on my Education hat I can think of many tremendous opportunities opened up in Education despite the tremendous mess it is now in .. it was limping before too. Putting aside the hyperbole of the ALP, the states need an opportunity to tighten their academic standard in schooling. The computers are an expensive waste, but also there will be a need for a similar profile of product to effectively improve learning. The sheer weight that kids carry to school in their bags is appalling, and an indictment of current standards. I don’t think teachers complaints need to be met with censorship, but with appropriate answers improvements can be made. The school website can be made more informative for parents to improve school communication. Transparency can improve educational research too.
I don’t think they tried to trash the economy, I think they succeeded.
The very best of luck with your campaign and I do hope you are successful.
I don’t think the economy will reach the highs of the last government, but I am positive about expanding infrastructure while cutting waste. Maybe a Bradfield scheme could be instituted with foreign partnership? The problem with the ALP’s bad governance is it weakened Australian sovereignty. - ed.
President Obama Appoints Another Very Liberal Guy to an Important Job
BY BILL O'REILLY
Dr. Donald Berwick, a professor at the Harvard Medical School, has been appointed to be the director of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Usually the doctor would have to be vetted and approved by the Senate, but because Congress is on holiday, President Obama has simply appointed him without any vetting at all.
Click here to watch "Talking Points"!
Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is actually criticizing the president for the move. But Mr. Baucus had months to schedule hearings on Dr. Berwick and didn't, so the president decided to take unilateral action.
Now both Republican and Democrat presidents have done this in the past when they had controversial guys they thought might get beat up in the Senate. And there's no question Dr. Berwick is a controversial guy, a man who believes America should redistribute income to the poor by using the health care industry.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DONALD BERWICK, MEDICARE CHIEF: Sick people tend to be poorer and that poor people tend to be sicker. And that any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane must, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is by definition redistributional.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
And Dr. Berwick will have a lot to redistribute. Medicare and Medicaid have larger budgets than the Defense Department.
So what does this all mean to you? Well, a few things.
No. 1, it confirms that President Obama is a far-left guy. There's simply no doubt about it anymore. Americans elected him on the promise he would be moderate left, but he's not. The president believes the government has a moral obligation to take assets -- money -- from those who have and deliver it to those who do not have. That is a fundamental hard-left position. Period.
Also, the appointment of Dr. Berwick means that those dependent on the feds for health care will have their options limited. The system cannot survive unless payments to doctors and medical services are cut, and Berwick will do that. He has to.
The unintended consequences of Obamacare will be many. In fairness, Americans with lower incomes should do better because the feds will pay most of their bills. But the majority of Americans could very well do worse. Right now, it's impossible to know.
What we do know is that Dr. Donald Berwick is now a big kahuna without any, any public exposure.
FRIES WITH THAT
Matthew Engel covers a police manhunt in the English countryside:
“Be sure to tell everyone how beautiful it is,” begged Kay Evans, and I will. It is a lovely stone-built place, almost an hour from Newcastle, remote enough to have retained its shops and its spirit, and set in the most stunning scenery.It also features an alleged murderer, one Raoul Moat. The Olive Garden was nicer.
UPDATE. Gazza is involved.
Another day, another solution:
The Gillard government’s on-again, off-again East Timor solution for asylum seekers is on again after the Prime Minister claimed she never said it was off in the first place.How we long for the days of straight-talking, tell-it-like-it-is Kevin Rudd. The East Timorese are more direct:
East Timor’s parliament is planning to make its disapproval of a refugee processing centre on its soil known by sending a strongly-worded condemnation of the proposal to Prime Minister Julia Gillard.Papua New Guinea also rejects Gillard’s plan:
The moves comes as Ms Gillard yet again adjusted her position on the location of the centre, conceding yesterday that she had said East Timor was ‘’a possibility’’ for the site.
People smugglers will be held in NSW jails for the first time as Papua New Guinea joined East Timor yesterday to say no to Julia Gillard’s asylum seeker “solution”.As for those people-smugglers now smuggled in to local prisons, a state government source reports:
“We’ve been told there’s 120 people smugglers, so many that they [immigration] have run out of room to hold them,” he said. “They’re going to be spread through Queensland and NSW but we’re going to get the bulk of them, starting with 40.It’s a pretty funny government.
“It came as a bit of a surprise to everyone here. It’s a pretty funny way of doing business.”
Pakistan’s mayhem continues:
A pair of suicide bombers struck a government office on Friday – killing 62 people and wounding 111 in one of the deadliest attacks in Pakistan this year …Islamic maniacs have killed more than 3500 of their fellow faithful across Pakistan since mid-2007.
Near the damaged site, officials had been distributing wheelchairs to disabled people and equipment to poor farmers …
Following recent extreme clown activity in El Salvador, another member of the clown community is busted in Juarez:
A Mexican street clown – arrested in full face paint – was booked Wednesday on a sexual assault charge. Pedro Artega Velazquez, 53, was juggling on a Juarez street corner when collared by cops in connection with the alleged assault of his teenage stepdaughter.(Via Canada’s Matt D., who asks: “Is a Latin-American clown conspiracy afoot?” Yes. Yes, there is.)
BATTERY MOBILE CAVES
A record for Australian car sales:
New vehicle sales reached 108,722 units in June, up 5.7 per cent on a year ago, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) said today.Among the more popular vehicles: SUVs, sales of which increased by 30.9 per cent in the first six months of 2010. Also, Mercedes has moved more than 300 stompin’ C63 AMG models since the start of the year. But one car struggles for buyers:
The number of sales in June was the highest selling month ever, the FCAI said.
The Hybrid Camry, which began rolling off its Melbourne assembly lines six months ago, was expected to attract 10,000 buyers this year, but fewer than 3000 had been registered at the halfway mark, this week’s figures reveal.The Rudd government lobbed $35 million in subsidies at this low-selling eco-sedan. At 3,000 sales, taxpayers have thus far contributed more than $11,500 per purchase.
A string of record months for vehicle sales and an aggressive marketing campaign by Toyota failed to stimulate demand for the Hybrid Camry …
Private buyers, who were expected to account for 3000 sales a year, took just 657.
Certain Labor-friendly business identities once praised the government for being ahead of the curve. The message has since changed:
Labor’s closest business adviser, Heather Ridout, has warned Julia Gillard to slow down as the PM prepares to rush out a climate change policy …This’ll be news to Malcolm Turnbull. In other climate developments, it turns out that hiding the decline is misleading after all:
“It is totally the wrong atmosphere – we are getting way ahead of ourselves,” Ms Ridout said. “I think the confidence of business has been really shaken by the breakdown of the domestic consensus on this issue. Business doesn’t want the government to be in any hurry to come up with this in the lead-up to the election.”
Many in the mainstream media are attempting to portray The Independent Climate Change E-mails Review, just released in the UK, as exonerating the researchers. In fact the main conclusion, buried under pages of rhetoric, confirms that data was presented in a misleading way.Click for details.
Overheating Gillard makes even Ridout nervous
With Julia Gillard’s first two big decisions involving deceits, missing billions and half-backed plans coming unstuck within 48 hours, it’s no wonder even Labor’s closest business friends are in no hurry for her third big call:
LABOR’S closest business adviser, Heather Ridout, has warned Julia Gillard to slow down as the PM prepares to rush out a climate change policy.Terry McCrann explains the brazen deceit behind Gillard’s first big decision - to cut a deal on the proposed “super profits” tax on mining - and warns that any tax predicated on China’s boom continuing may leave us badly exposed.
As chief executive of the Australian Industry Group, Ms Ridout has offered consistently strong support to the Labor government and was a member of the Henry tax review panel.
She told The Weekend Australian yesterday that it would be “over-reaching” for the government to roll out a replacement for the emissions trading scheme ahead of the election and cautioned Ms Gillard to avoid embracing a carbon-tax quick fix, warning that business was not prepared nor ready.
“It is totally the wrong atmosphere—we are getting way ahead of ourselves,” Ms Ridout said. “I think the confidence of business has been really shaken by the breakdown of the domestic consensus on this issue. Business doesn’t want the government to be in any hurry to come up with this in the lead-up to the election.”
David Uren tips that Treasury secretary Ken Henry is about to get his comeuppance and not just for bungling the “super profits” tax.
Solve unemployment by paying the dole
From the woman third in line to the US presidency comes Nancy Pelosi’s guide to low unemployment:
Let me say that unemployment insurance… is one of the biggest stimuluses (sic) to our economy. Economists will tell you, this money is spent quickly. It injects demand into the economy, and it’s job creating. It creates jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name.It’s so simple! Bet you Sarah Palin would never have thought of it.
(Thanks to reader Roger.)
A 17th Digger lost
She may well be right, but it’s time to discuss a winning strategy - or to at least tell the public what it is:
Gillard voiced her commitment to the Afghan war Saturday after the country lost its 17th soldier in the conflict...
Yet another costly green plan hits the wall
As predicted, yet another Rudd Government “green” program just does your dough:
THE federal government’s billion-dollar green car scheme has stalled on the starting grid. The first subsidised project, Toyota’s locally built hybrid, is selling well below expectations despite a booming vehicle market.No wonder the Victorian Government thought it had better buy what private buyers won’t:
The Hybrid Camry, which began rolling off its Melbourne assembly lines six months ago, was expected to attract 10,000 buyers this year, but fewer than 3000 had been registered at the halfway mark, this week’s figures reveal.
A string of record months for vehicle sales and an aggressive marketing campaign by Toyota failed to stimulate demand for the Hybrid Camry, hailed as a new era in Australian manufacturing by Kevin Rudd when he launched it in December, just before he flew to Copenhagen for the ill-fated climate change summit, and the project was granted $35 million from the green car scheme…
A sales breakdown of customer types, obtained by The Weekend Australian, shows 571 of the 2960 sales are awaiting test drives in dealerships or being used by Toyota… By far the biggest buyers are governments, mostly state governments, which have bought 755. The Victorian government committed to purchasing 2000 before the price was announced.
As well as the $35m from Canberra, the Victorian government injected money into the project but has refused to reveal how much, with estimates ranging from $15m to $35m.Count up the Government’s green scams and failures:
Toyota forecast demand for 10,000 a year over the two-year production life, making the green subsidy on each model between $2500 and $3500, in addition to the general industry assistance.
The $2.5 billion free insulation fiasco - wildly rorted and responsible for nearly 200 housefires and four deaths(Thanks to reader N None.)
The solar hot water scheme - wildly rorted
Green loans debacle - scrapped after rorting and cost blow-out
The emissions trading scheme - shelved after concerns it will blow the Budget
The “green car” scheme - cars meeting buyer resistance, despite big subsidies
From the party that tried to sell you Mark Latham as a great leader and Kevin Rudd as a forensic technocrat:
PAUL Keating was an ailing vacillator, Graham Richardson a “gifted liar” and John Button was ineffectual, says a new book on Bob Hawke. Written by his wife, Blanche d’Alpuget, the book draws on the testimony of the former prime minister’s closest advisers and ministerial colleagues to paint a mostly favourable picture of his tenure from 1983 to 1991.(Thanks to reader CA.)
What’s Gillard’s Plan C?
Julia Gillard says she wants her new detention centre to be in one of the few neighbouring nations which have signed the UN refugee convention. She first wanted East Timor, but:
East Timorese MPs met yesterday to discuss the proposal. ‘’National parliament will make a resolution on this matter urgently,’’ said Rui Meneses, an MP from Mr Gusmao’s coalition.Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor then suggested Papua New Guinea, which hosted the Manus Island centre used by John Howard, but:
He said the statement would denounce the proposal and be sent to the Australian government, probably next week…
Mari Alkatiri, the former prime minister who is secretary-general of the opposition Fretilin movement, said there was ‘’zero’’ chance of the centre being built.
‘’I totally rejected it [when it was proposed by the former prime minister John Howard] and it will be totally rejected again,’’ he said.
PNG Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare’s spokeswoman Betha Somare said the PNG Government had closed down the centre and considered the matter ended. “Our official position has been the asylum seekers issue is an internal Australian problem,” Ms Somare said.The leaves only New Zealand (too rich to deter); Samoa (too far), Tuvalu (too small, and wasn’t it drowning?), the Philippines (too far) and the Solomon Islands (where we’ve had to send peacekeepers).
Inept doesn’t fully describe this.
Greg Sheridan says the refugee convention is outdated, wildly rorted and and encouraging huge population movements from the Third World.
(Thanks to reader CA.)
Gillard admits what she yesterday denied she said the day before
Julia Gillard changes her mind on changing her mind:
JULIA Gillard conceded today that she had nominated East Timor as a possible location for a proposed regional refugee processing centre.Let’s sum up: if East Timor rejects her plan, Giillard never had one; if it accepts, Gillard’s plan worked out just as she wanted.
In a series of interviews that will only add to confusion over how the tiny nation figured into her plans, Ms Gillard today stopped denying that she had said the facility could be built in East Timor.
“Earlier this week I made the case that regional processing needs to be part of our long-term solution to unauthorised arrivals. I said in my speech that one possibility was a centre in East Timor,” she said in a speech in Perth this morning…
But yesterday the Prime Minister denied she had identified a specific location for the processing centre in her speech on Tuesday to the Lowy Institute in which she first floated the concept.