Saturday, July 03, 2010

Headlines Saturday 3rd July 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
One week in and Gillard’s looking giddy
In May, Kevin Rudd announced the super-profits mining tax – which, after the shelving of the ETS and back flip on climate change – seemed to put the final nail in Rudd’s political coffin. PM Julia Gillard inherited this fiasco; but with a quick side step and gestures of reconciliation and camaraderie, she’s managed to get both government and miners beating their drums to a far less war-like rhythm. - the gestures are merely those, and nothing substantive. Gillard has kept her death grip on this dumb tax, and seems to desperately hope she can slime her political enemies by making it appear that the industry approves this new tax. She is incompetent, and not in charge of her situation. - ed.
=== Bible Quote ===
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? "I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”- Jeremiah 17:9-10
=== Headlines ===
Suspected Russian Spy Bombshell's Ex Not Surprised
Ex-husband of suspected Russian spy, Anna Chapman, says she became 'very secretive' and started going to meetings with Russian friends near the end of their marriage.

Parkland on Border Now a No-Man's Land
Number of illegals crossing through federal wildlife refuge in Ariz. is down — but only because the gov't has given up on keeping a sliver of it open

School District Sued For Banning Bibles
Florida religious group is filing suit against school district for refusing to let them distribute free Bibles to students during off-school hours on Religious Freedom Day

Steele: Afghan War of 'Obama's Choosing'
One prominent Republican is calling for the RNC chairman to step down after saying that the mission in Afghanistan is 'probably a lost cause'

Two schoolboys arrested after police uncover online crime forum, where the details of more than 65,000 hacked bank accounts from around the word were allegedly sold

Miners not willing to pursue smaller tax, now for the boats
JULIA Gillard says her next priority as Prime Minister is tackling voters' asylum seeker fears.

Apple 'stunned' to find flaw in all iPhones
EVERY device uses completely wrong formula to show how many bars of signal strength it's getting.

Accused spies' kids face identity crisis
THE children of the accused Russian spies in the US face personal crisis as case deepens.

Boy, 6, run over by fire safety vehicle
A BOY is in intensive care after he was run over by a fire vehicle before a fireworks night.

The winner of MasterChef - no one we like
THIS year's top ten is filled with arrogant contestants who are whining their way to success.

Paris Hilton in World Cup pot arrest
A SOUTH African judge has dropped drugs charges against American party girl Paris Hilton, after she was arrested for possession of marijuana at the soccer World Cup.

'We can't forget and we'll never forgive'
TEN years on the Skaf gang rape victims are stronger but they still want their attackers to rot in jail.

Aussie bombing victim's pain
THE broken bones have healed and the scars are slowly fading for London bombing survivor Louise Barry.

Another painful snub of Sydney tranport, M5 set to be delayed
NOT one Sydney transport project has been listed as a priority for the Federal Government's latest infrastructure funding targets, a setback likely to further delay the M5 duplication project. Blasting the NSW Government's failure to properly plan billion-dollar road and transport projects, Infrastructure Australia has instead selected a $4.9 billion Melbourne metro train project, an Adelaide freight rail line and a Federal Highway road upgrade in the ACT as priorities. The only other project listed in Infrastructure Australia's "ready to proceed" category released yesterday ahead of funding allocation is the NSW Government's ongoing upgrade of the Pacific Highway. Sydney, however, has completely missed out. The report is the second major Infrastructure Australia snub to the State Government in recent years. The Rees government failed to win funding for transport projects after former prime minister Kevin Rudd criticised the quality of NSW's submission for the Building Australia Fund.

Accused war Charles Zentai criminal avoids extradition
AN 88-year-old Perth man wanted in Hungary for the alleged murder and torture of a Jewish teenager during World War II has successfully appealed his extradition. Charles Zentai is suspected of being one of three Nazi-backed Hungarian soldiers who murdered Jewish teenager Peter Balazs in Budapest in November 1944. Hungary issued an arrest warrant for Zentai, who lives in the southern Perth suburb of Willetton, in 2005.

Queensland minister Robert Schwarten goes 'ballistic' in restaurant
EMBATTLED Queensland minister Robert Schwarten has been accused of going "ballistic" at constituents at a restaurant in Rockhampton. Diners claim that the Minister for Public Works and Information and Communication Technology was involved in a dispute at Cassidy's Seafood and Steakhouse diner on Wednesday night. Mr Schwarten's department has been under fire for its role in the Queensland Health payroll debacle and it is alleged that he "went off his brain" at a group of men who were making snide comments to him. "What sort of shocked everybody was that it went from being probably just a little bit of fun, he just went ballistic," said a witness to the fight. "He was swearing and shouting at the top of his voice and then he offered to fight everybody outside. I was shocked at this behaviour - it went to something really ugly."
=== Journalists Corner ===
Fox News Special:
'What's Great About America'
It is the story of who we are and of what we believe, of the freedoms that bring us together as one nation. It is the story of ordinary people who have created an extraordinary place - America. Join John Stossel for this special.
Founders' Friday: Women of the Revolution
Independence Day is this weekend and what better way to celebrate our nation's birthday than to remember the women who played a critical role in the founding of our country.
The Governor's Rockin' Out
He's bringing YOU some of the biggest bands in the biz! Catch all the special performances from YOUR favorite artists. You can't miss it.
On Fox News Insider
Fewer Fireworks Because of Economy
Celebrating America!
President Obama Speaks on June Employment Numbers

=== Comments ===
Jefferson May Have Drafted the Declaration of Independence But He Wasn't Happy Being Edited
By Lewis Lehrman
Thomas Jefferson was a writer, not a speechmaker. Even his most memorable public address – his first presidential inaugural in 1801 – was delivered in barely audible tones. In June 1776, the Second Continental Congress assigned a five-member committee to prepare the Declaration of Independence. John Adams of Massachusetts decided that Jefferson of Virginia should compose the draft document.

Jefferson’s heart was elsewhere. He yearned to be in Richmond working on a new constitution for Virginia. Still, he secluded himself in his two-room apartment in Philadelphia to write the first draft of the Declaration.

His committee colleagues – particularly Adams and Benjamin Franklin – made some changes before they presented the document to the full Congress.

On July 1, debate on independence began under the leadership of the indomitable Adams, who had been the restless engine of independence – relentlessly driving the debate forward in the spring and early summer of 1776.

Five decades later, Jefferson would give Adams credit for his leadership: “This, however, I will say for Mr. Adams, that he supported the Declaration with zeal and ability, fighting fearlessly for every word of it.” (more at the link)
Karl Rove: Obama 'Not Serious' About Immigration Reform
Watch "THE O'REILLY FACTOR" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!
LAURA INGRAHAM, GUEST HOST: And now on to the top story tonight: reaction [to Obama's immigration speech]. Joining us now from beautiful Austin, Texas, is Karl Rove, a Fox News contributor and, of course, the author of the fabulous book "Courage and Consequence."
Karl, you can take a swat at what I said if I'm being unfair or being unreasonable with President Obama's speech today. I don't know if you saw it, but what's your take?
Click here to watch the segment!
KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I saw it, and I have a slightly different view of it. I think you're right that he tries to take these crises, some cases manufactured, to divert people's attention from bigger issues. But this speech at the heart of it was not a speech about policy. This showed the president is not serious at all about comprehensive immigration reform. It shows he's serious about politics and about the preservation of his political hide.
Remember, this is a president who did nothing to lay the foundation last year or this year for it. In the State of the Union address, out of 8,000 words, in nearly 8,000 words in his State of the Union address, he used 38 of them to describe what needed to be done on comprehensive immigration reform.
I mean, remember back earlier this year, he literally said he was being whipsawed by one Democrat who said -- Luis Gutierrez -- who said I'm not going to vote for this, for your health care reform unless you are in favor of comprehensive immigration reform. He says I'm in favor of it. And less than three weeks later, he comes out and says you know what, I'm not; I don't think there is an appetite to take it up. He's doing this for politics. He wants to get Latino votes this fall. And more importantly, he wants to get Latino votes for himself two years from now, but he could care less about the policies.
ROVE: Care less.
INGRAHAM: Yes, well, yes, setting aside the timing issue of all of this, and I would agree with you, this is an attempt to ram it through before November, maybe in a lame duck session, but do you agree with the substance of what he's saying? You and I have gone around on this for years about immigration reform. Obviously, I'm more hard-line. You're more, you know, have a pathway to legalization.
INGRAHAM: Do you agree with the president's premise?
ROVE: Well, I do agree with one point that he made today, which is that operation -- I put it slightly differently than he did. I think operational control of the border will depend upon getting a guest worker program, so that rather than having some guy who wants to come up here and pick fruit in Washington state, for example. I talked to a grower in Washington state. He pays $24 an hour. He needs 2,200 people to bring in his crop, and he can hire 550 Americans. So you know, what I want is a guest worker program, where people can come in and do jobs like that that we can't get Americans to do, and then go home. And, you know, we're not going to get operational control of the border until we get the guy who's sitting there saying, I want to go pick onions in Uvalde, Texas, for six weeks.
ROVE: I'm going to stand in line and I'm going to get that job. And until we do that, we're not going to have the degree of control we want to have on our border. But, here's my point though about this speech. You don't take a big complex issue like this and then just throw it out there with no preparation, particularly if you've got a record like President Obama's.
Let me remind you of some of the votes this guy cast when we were discussing it several years ago. He voted against an amendment by Tom Coburn to require the enforcement of existing security and immigration laws before anybody could be granted citizenship. He voted to kill the guest worker program, to sunset it after five years. He voted against an amendment that said before you can -- one of the enforcement triggers before you can begin the guest worker program, or begin to do something about the problem of the people here illegally, you've got to require that the biometric border check-in system that's been required since 1996 is actually up and operating. I mean, he has a whole series of these votes he cast.
INGRAHAM: Oh, he's not serious about it. I mean, it's clear.
ROVE: He's not serious. Look, he's even voting against amendments that Ted Kennedy agreed to because, you know, from Jon Kyl or other proponents of border security in order to win passage of the bill. You know, Obama voted against those. So, no, he is not serious about this issue. His is political. If there was a way for him to get these people legalized overnight so they could vote, he'd be for it.
ROVE: And if he could get this thing to use as a political issue for the next three months to beat up on Republicans, he'd do it, which he's doing. But about fashioning a comprehensive policy with all the details and all of the equities and all the contenders that want to come to some resolution of this, forget it. He's not serious about it.
INGRAHAM: But he says it's only going to cost, what, I guess today, $600 million. That's all it's going to cost. So I love that.
Remember America, Freedom and Liberty Are Not Created By Man But By God
By Rev. Bill Shuler
The theologian, Carl F. H. Henry, pronounced a prophetic call a generation ago when he said, “The Barbarians are coming.” He spoke not of foreign armies invading our land but of generations rising up who would have little regard for God.

As America celebrates 232 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence, we must remember that there is a clear distinction between the signing of a document and the fulfillment of the ideals set forth in that noble decree.

Those who drafted and signed the Declaration in 1776 sought to make it abundantly clear that our rights come not from man or from any document. Americans have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness because, “They are endowed by their creator.”

Freedom and liberty are not the creation of man but of God. The role of God in American history is noted on the Liberty Bell itself with the Bible inscription “Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” (Leviticus 25:10)

Today we have weighed historical veracity and political correctness on the balance scales and have found the former wanting.
References to God that are found in the public domain are fodder for legal battles.

Even the soil of cemeteries is not off limits to those who would seek to redefine freedom as being freedom from God.

The Declaration of Independence commemorates the signing of intent not the culmination of independence. George Washington knew this full well when he wrote a letter to his wife on July 3, 1776. It reads in part, “In a few days, you will see a Declaration setting forth the causes which have impelled us to this mighty revolution and the reasons which will justify it in the sight of God. I am fully aware of the toil and blood and treasure what it will cost to maintain this declaration and support and defend these states; yes, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory.”

Today’s true patriots will not allow revisionist historians to rewrite God’s place in America’s story. To take a stand is the least we can do if we are to be vigilant to maintain the declaration written 232 years ago. It is our sacred trust.

Rev. Bill Shuler is pastor at Capital Life Church in Arlington, Virginia. For more visit
Tim Blair
It doesn’t want to go, and then it doesn’t want to stop. New Zealand’s Rod Millen tries to tame 1000 temperamental Toyota horses on the narrow course at Goodwood:

Tim Blair
An American leftist applauds Australia:
A shot of Chinaco for Julia Gillard and a shot for the people of Australia for electing her.

You guys traded in your nutbag Bush bastard for a scientist?

Damn, I’m jealous.
Triple fail.

UPDATE. Phillip Adams quits the Labor party
Removing a PM from office is a job that properly belongs to the electorate. It’s what elections are for. Now the faceless men are back in the saddle and I’ve had enough … The assassination of Rudd makes a final decision all too easy. After 50 years of membership, through thick and thin – mainly thin – I’m resigning …

I don’t know Julia Gillard, but accept that she was coerced (or seduced) into her challenge. Yet I was uneasy with her cleverly calibrated victory speech. First of all, some victory. Second, she justified the coup by talking of a government losing its way. But it was HER way!
Phillip did seem a little depressed (11:05) on the night Gillard’s coup was launched.
Tim Blair
Sapporo City in the mid-60s, shot by reader Andrew R.:
“It was the coldest that I have ever been,” reports Andrew, whose Japanese journey was warmed by the sight of a snow-bound Nissan Cedric in its native habitat. And then this appeared:
An EH Holden. Old Holdens turn up everywhere.
Africa is easily fixed
Andrew Bolt
It seems I’ve never properly understood the bloodshed in African nations such as Rwanda, which struck me on my visit as one of the most beautiful and lush nations on earth:

STOPPING wars in Africa requires planting more trees, says the Nobel Peace Prize-winner Wangari Maathai.
Meet Gillard's Sex Partner
Andrew Bolt
The colorful past of Tim Mathieson, a most charming man, will have Labor nervous whether more may yet come to light about the Prime Minister’s partner. This, for instance, does not inspire tremendous faith:

But after a car crash and drink-driving charge, around 2001, he returned to Victoria broke and alone. He picked up casual work at a Fitzroy salon where he met a red-haired politician…

Meanwhile - around 2005 - he started another salon in Shepparton with his father and brother’s backing. It meant working with his sister-in-law, Tanya.

At the time, he was going out with Jayne Law, a well-liked partner in a local law firm. If there is a reason a lot of locals frown about Mathieson, it was the way he ended both the relationship and business.

No one else knows exactly how the popular lawyer learnt she had been replaced, but the demise of City Central Hairdressing is local legend.

On a Monday morning in March 2007, staff opened the salon to find the till empty except for a note addressed to his sister-in-law and co-proprietor, Tanya. The two had not got along. The note meant it would stay that way.

Mathieson would later confirm that his father had put $30,000 into the business and that his brother had borrowed another $50,000 to set it up. Jon took over his half of the business but without Tim Scissorhands’ silky skills it soon died.

And let’s see no more of ALP King-maker Bruce Hawker, either
Andrew Bolt
I’ve explained before why it’s deceptive for Sky News and Channel 10’s Meet the (pro-Labor) Press to use paid Labor mouthpiece Bruce Hawker as some kind of political analyst, pitting him against conservatives whose opinions are formed by reason rather than a contractual obligation to spin.

But nothing illustrates my objection better than does Hawker’s abrupt switcheroo over just three weeks, as chronicled by Gerard Henderson:

Here’s Hawker on June 6, telling Meet The Press why Prime Minister Rudd is magnificent:
Kevin Rudd led the party to a historic victory. For the last two of the last three years, he has been riding high in the polls. There has been a jolt but he is the intellectual powerhouse of that party. He is the person who will lead the Government in this election campaign and well beyond and I think he is a very effective campaigner.
Here’s Hawker on June 27, telling Meet The Press why the now sacked Rudd was no good:
… the polls seem to indicate that there has been a real bounce for Labor as a result of the change of leadership [to Julia Gillard]. I think what we have seen is a significant circuit breaker. Obviously … Rudd was struggling on a range of fronts and now we’re seeing the new prime minister, I think, setting out some markers with the community, which I think are going to be very interesting going forward. Obviously today, the statement about population and sustainability is a very big one for the Australian population and the Prime Minister is saying, “I’m here to listen to you.”
“Obviously” Rudd was “struggling on a range of fronts”, but did Hawker ever say so while he was being paid to sell him?
Another Rudd loses his job
Andrew Bolt

Anthony Ackroyd mourns the end of his meal ticket - but should have seen it coming:

My parody was meant to be the sort of affectionate roasting you would direct at a friend. Yet as I do more gigs it becomes clear the disparate views my audiences hold about Rudd are being projected onto my performances. When journalist Andrew Bolt puts one of my Rudd viral videos on his website it triggers a firestorm of reader postings ablaze with anti-Rudd invective. “Bravo Anthony Ackroyd,” begins one comment, whose author commends me on an incisive expose´ of that dissembling creature “Rudd the Dudd”.

“I’ve become the darling of the right wing,” I quip to my wife. I am genuinely amused but I also can’t shake the strange feeling that I have somehow betrayed my alter ego by giving his enemies ammunition.

Not that Rudd’s enemies need more motivation. On one occasion I am booked to follow Alexander Downer as surprise speaker at a conference dinner. Whatever his scheduled topic his focus soon becomes the many ways in which Rudd is “not a nice person”.

Downer explains at great length how he savours the schadenfreude he feels seeing Rudd slip down the polls because the man is just not … well … nice. A woman at my table whispers to me, “It’s true. I saw Rudd humiliate one of his staff in public, really awful stuff.” I fight to maintain the faith. Downer’s perspective is hardly going to be objective, I tell myself.

I feel my opportunity to confirm the truth about the real Kevin arrives when I am booked to do Rudd at the Ipswich mayor’s ball. My transport is Australia’s most famous “mobile office” driven by the very man who donated it to his friend and neighbour.

John Grant’s account of the OzCar affair is fascinating and when he finishes I seize the moment. “So what’s the Kevin Rudd you know like?” I’m hoping to hear an immediate “He’s actually a lovely bloke” but for the first time in our conversation there is silence. The pause is so long I begin to think Grant is not going to answer. He chooses his words carefully: “Kevin? Well, he’s a formidable character. I mean, he’s got a big job to do.”

Conned by Gillard: her cave in saved the miners billions more
Andrew Bolt
I find it unbelieveable that such a cave-in should cost the Gillard Government “just” $1.5 billion in the first two years:
THE nation’s biggest miners have negotiated an almost halving of the headline rate of Kevin Rudd’s failed resource super-profits tax. The tax has been pushed from 40 per cent to an effective 22.5 per cent rate, along with a host of other concessions…

While the government announced the headline rate it had negotiated with the miners was 30 per cent, it would, in fact, be lower than this because of a so-called “extraction allowance” on one-quarter of the MRRT taxable profit....

As expected, it ruled out minerals such as gold, copper and nickel, which require processing, while the rate at which the tax kicked in jumped from about 6 per cent to 13 per cent.

Importantly for BHP and Rio, it also allowed miners to choose book value or market value as the starting base for the MRRT, neutralising their concerns about retrospectivity.
And the West Australian thinks it know how the trick was done - by fixing and hiding a Treasury bungle that would have had the original “super profits” tax taking between $6 billion and $11 billion a year more than the Government had claimed:
The West Australian can reveal that former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s original plan would have ripped $15 billion to $20 billion a year from the mining sector, almost double what had been forecast when the original tax was unveiled.The true impact of the resources tax only came to light when Ms Gillard sat down with BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata executives this week and the companies opened their books to Government scrutiny.

Treasury’s miscalculation allowed Ms Gillard to give the miners generous concessions while losing just $1.5 billion of the $12 billion originally estimated to be earned in the tax’s first two years.
Terry McCrann tends to agree, in explaining why the big three miners agreed to a deal which the Government claims will cut only $1.5 billion from the $12 billion they were expecting over the forward estimates:
So, in short, where’s the money now coming from? The reasonable presumption is that a lot less will now be coming from BHP and Rio Tinto and Xstrata. Even though the tax now applies almost exclusively to them. Or at least to iron ore and coal producers, of which they are the dominant players.

Well, part of the answer is the dropping of the resources exploration rebate. But a much bigger part of the answer is that the “parameters” in and around the tax and the industry have changed.

Simply, that although BHP and Rio will pay more tax, they would have paid much, much more under the now abandoned version than those published revenue numbers implied.
Which may explain the calculations that lead Matthew Stevens to declare:
MRRT will collect about 20 per cent of the revenues that would have been vacuumed up by the Treasurer’s initial super-tax plan. And it will only hit the boom-time commodities that were the parents of the tax: iron ore and coal. Everything else has been removed from calculations.
Stevens on the humiliation of Treasurer Wayne Swan:
Other miners recall a meeting between Swan and BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers and other industry CEOs barely 10 days before. “The government had called us into meetings,” says a source at the meeting. “The chief executives were invited to meet with Ferguson and Swan. And Marius Kloppers took the lead. He was telling Swan the threshold issue here was retrospectivity. He was taking the Treasury through the issues. And when he finished, Swan looked up stony-faced and said something like, ‘Well, then we have a real issue then’.

“At that point, Marius indicated the companies might be wasting their time and were prepared to leave the meeting. Ferguson then led Swan out of the meeting. When they returned, Ferguson ran the rest of the meeting.”

One senior mining executive said: “My experience was that he was certainly digging in on his position and clearly felt very strongly about it,” he said. “But the strength with which he held his position was different this week."…

Sources said Swan was “delighted” with the outcome, but talk around the industry is that he remains an angry man. According to several players, Swan’s office did a ring-around yesterday to discuss the “negative view of his involvement in this process”.
John Durie lists some of the losers in this “triumph”:
As much as the government and the big miners say the little guys support the changes, the junior miners lose out because they don’t get royalty refunds, they don’t get exploration rebates and they pay higher company tax. Small business loses $450 million in promised deductions and corporate Australia gets only a one per cent cut in tax sometime in the future.
And how complex is this new tax “reform”?
We took a call yesterday from Macarthur Coal stalwart and former Queensland Labor government treasurer Keith De Lacy…

So what will Macarthur’s final rate (under this deal) be? ”I have no idea at this stage,” De Lacy admitted.
Does this Government - and Treasurer Swan in particular - have the faintest idea what it’s doing with our economy?

(Thanks to reader Norma.)
Labor shakes off Adams at last
Andrew Bolt
Somehow I think Labor will survive, or even thrive, but Phillip Adams has quit Labor:
Removing a PM from office is a job that properly belongs to the electorate. It’s what elections are for. Now the faceless men are back in the saddle and I’ve had enough … The assassination of Rudd makes a final decision all too easy. After 50 years of membership, through thick and thin – mainly thin – I’m resigning …

I don’t know Julia Gillard, but accept that she was coerced (or seduced) into her challenge. Yet I was uneasy with her cleverly calibrated victory speech. First of all, some victory. Second, she justified the coup by talking of a government losing its way. But it was HER way!
It’s telling that the ABC was so comfortable with one of its high-profile presenters being such a loyal servant of a political party. Which will Adams now use the ABC’s airwaves to promote: the Greens or something even closer to his original far, far Left inclinations?
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