Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Headlines Tuesday 13th July 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
New-look Labor is a free advert for the Greens
The mad pre-election scramble for support has begun and the latest wild grab for ammunition has taken the form of a controversial refugee policy. Gillard played up to her rapidly forming image as one of the few straight talking, honest pollies when she said she wanted a “frank, open discussion” about Australia’s borders. She then proceeded to make decisions with insufficient Cabinet consultation, and indeed neglected to inform the Prime Minister of the country on which she planned to dump the sea-bound asylum seekers. - somehow the journo sees this as an advert for greens. I think this is a call for decent conservative government, instead - ed.
=== Bible Quote ===
“Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”- Matthew 4:4
=== Headlines ===
Are you a dictator or democrat? Our interactive shows you. - it allegedly shows that Gillard is center right. We know Gillard is extreme left. - ed.

Model 'in murder conspiracy plot'
SHADYA Bastini accused of taking part in plan to avenge shooting of her fiance, Fadi Ibrahim.

Speed, stall, fail to indicate? No worries
LEARNER drivers can speed or steer with one hand numerous times and still pass their test.

Body of fugitive killer 'found' in the US
POLICE say the body of Melbourne mass murderer Elmer Crawford is lying in a Texas morgue.

NSW MP Joe Tripodi referred to ICAC over Patrick Low's appointment
FORMER ports minister Joe Tripodi instructed a senior public servant to set up a $200,000 a year job and recommended two Labor staffers for the role, one of whom was later awarded the position. The Opposition will refer the appointment of Patrick Low as general manager (policy) for NSW Maritime to ICAC in the wake of revelations Mr Tripodi set up the job when Ports Minister. The revelations come from former NSW Maritime chief executive Chris Oxenbould, a former rear admiral who became an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1991. According to Mr Oxenbould, shortly after Mr Tripodi became minister in 2006, he called Mr Oxenbould for a meeting and said he wanted to set up the position. Mr Oxenbould said Mr Tripodi suggested Mr Low, who was then working for then planning minister Frank Sartor. Mr Tripodi also suggested a staffer to former treasurer Michael Costa, Cassandra Wilkinson - wife of present Ports Minister Paul McLeay.

Facebook's 'real owner' files court claim
SMALL town man claims founder sold him 84 per cent of Facebook - and a US court is listening.

Money 'cause of Kyle and Tamara's split'
FURIOUS fights over money and individual pursuit of fame behind celebrity couple's shock break-up.

Homes to be demolished for transport plan
SHATTERED residents are left to guess if their homes will be seized under a $12 billion transport plan.

Aussie killed in NZ named
NEW Zealand police have named the Australian man killed on a slippery road as Barry Pearson, from NSW.

Plug It: BP Lowers New Cap on Busted Gulf Oil Well
BP confirms new cap has been placed onto the gushing oil well in the Gulf, raising hopes that leak can finally be contained.

Dems Lining Up Financial Bill Votes
Boosting its chances of passage, GOP Sens. Scott Brown and Olympia Snowe signal they will back financial overhaul bill

Tea Party Threatened With 'Racist' Tag
NAACP reportedly plans to take up a resolution to condemn the Tea Party movement for 'explicitly racist behavior' as activists deny such allegations

Europe to Debate Privacy vs. Pedophilia
Resolution from European body which would call on web search engines to save every keystroke for two years to help look for sexual predators is being criticized for not protecting peoples' privacy

Rich Child Rapist Free
ROMAN Polanski is a free man today after Swiss authorities rejected a request to extradite the film director to the United States to answer for a child sex case dating back to 1977. "The Franco-Polish film-maker will not be extradited to the United States and the measures of restriction on his liberty have been lifted," Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf told reporters at a news conference in Geneva. Polanski declared his gratitude in a statement released to Agence France-Presse by his lawyer Herve Temime, adding that he would make no personal public statement himself. "I simply want, from the bottom of my heart, to thank all those who supported me and tell them today of my great satisfaction. Massive thanks to everyone," the Polish-born French director said in the message. Temime refused to reveal the filmmaker's current location, hours after the 76-year-old quit the luxurious Alpine chalet where Swiss authorities had ordered him to remain under house arrest while they studied the US demand.
=== Journalists Corner ===
Gov. Rick Perry on 'Your World'
They're against her immigration law, so she won't work with her fellow governors? Now, Gov. Rick Perry on the political fallout of Jan Brewer's controversial decision!
NAACP Name Calling!
Why didn't the group back this black conservative? The Factor reports! Plus, Goldberg, Hume, Williams, and Ham are here!
No Jobs, No Recovery, No Votes
The suffering economy is sinking Obama support! So, could it drown the Dems come midterm elections? Dick Morris responds on 'Hannity'!
On Fox News Insider
Feeling the Effects of the Drilling Moratorium
New Sex Ed Plan Would Start in Kindergarten(!)
Can the GOP Regain Control? Robert Gibbs Says Maybe

=== Comments ===
An 800-Mile-Long, 4.5-Billion-Year-Old Asteroid ... Up Close
By Denise Chow
The first close-up photos of the battered asteroid Lutetia taken by a European spacecraft have amazed scientists with views of a possible otherworldly landslide and a deep depression gouged across the landscape that hints at the space rock's ancient, violent past.
The new photos of Lutetia, beamed back from the European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta space probe during a Saturday flyby, show what scientists said is a primitive asteroid survivor from the tumultuous birth of the solar system.

"I think this is a very old object," said Holger Sierks, principal investigator for Rosetta's main scientific imaging system, OSIRIS, in a statement on the night of the flyby. "Tonight we have seen a remnant of the solar system's creation."

Close views of Lutetia show that the space rock is covered in craters from many impacts during its 4.5 billion years of existence.

As Rosetta drew close, a giant bowl-shaped depression stretching across much of the body of Lutetia rotated into view. What appeared to be an asteroid landslide was also spotted in the spacecraft's photos. (more at the link)
New Polls on Illegal Immigration
Gallup says 26 percent of Americans strongly favor the Obama administration suing the state of Arizona over its tough new illegal alien law. Seven percent favor, but not strongly. However, 38 percent strongly oppose the federal lawsuit, and 12 percent simply oppose it. Seventeen percent have no opinion because they are zombies.
Click here to watch "Talking Points"!
Adding it up, 50 percent of the American public oppose the federal lawsuit. Just 33 percent support it.
Also, a new Rasmussen poll says 61 percent of Americans want the Arizona law in their state. Just 28 percent do not.
So it's clear the vast majority of Americans understand the feds have not controlled illegal immigration and that the states, the individual states, have a right to protect their own citizens, especially when the federal government will not.
"Talking Points" is not oversimplifying the matter. It is a protection issue. It has nothing to do with race. If millions of Polish people were pouring in here, I believe the stats would be the same.
We are living in a dangerous world. We can't have millions of people violating federal law and expect to have a responsible immigration policy. It's simply impossible.
As we reported Wednesday, there are now 1,100 illegal aliens suspected of violent felonies sitting in a Phoenix, Arizona, jail. Eleven hundred in one county. And you're telling me that Arizona doesn't have a right to have its police question suspected wrongdoers of their nationality? It's insane. Think about it.
Fair-minded Americans do not want to punish house painters and farm workers. They're here partially because our government tacitly encouraged them to come. These people do deserve a fair hearing in any immigration bill.
But President Obama is not doing the right thing here. He should be joining the state of Arizona to secure the border down there. Instead, he's spending millions of taxpayer dollars, our money, to weaken public safety.
Arizona authorities say they have received a half-million dollars so far in donations from Americans to fight the federal lawsuit. Close to 10,000 folks have sent money to the governor's office.
THIS IS SHAPING UP AS A BATTLE: a battle between the president and the folks. So far, Mr. Obama has not persuaded most of us that his immigration policies are effective, and I do not expect that to change.
Tim Blair
New South Wales introduces new radar-driven revenue technology. But in civilised Arizona:
Dozens of photo-enforcement cameras on freeways throughout the state are coming down this week.

A total of 76 cameras will cease operation on Thursday …

While the cameras have done a good job at snapping speeders, drivers have been ignoring the tickets.
The tactic, if tactic it was, worked. Under Arizona law, if process servers – overworked due to the sheer volume of radar fines – are unable to contact non-payers within three months, speeding tickets become invalid. Sadly, that system doesn’t exist here.
Tim Blair
Hamas and Hezbollah are “social movements that are progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global Left”, according to Californian leftist academic Judith Butler. That was a few years ago. Following criticism, Butler this month had another shot at it:
Unfortunately, that clip was cut short and did not include all of my response. What I actually said was that although groups like Hamas and Hezbollah should be described as left movements, that like all left movements, one has to choose which ones one supports and which ones one refuses. They are “left” in the sense that they oppose colonialism and imperialism, but their tactics are not ones that I would ever condone. I have never supported either group, and my very public affiliation with a politics of non-violence would make it impossible for me to support them. The editing of my response was obviously an effort to distort my view, and I am very sorry that the distortion has been able to circulate as it has. Thank you for giving me the chance to clarify what I actually said and what I have always thought.
In the further interests of clarity, here is what appears to be unedited video of Professor Butler’s original comments. Skip to the 15-minute mark.
Tim Blair
Mark Webber faces another barrier to victory thanks to his unhelpful team.
Tim Blair
Back in 2007, when he would have been better off looking for some faction-proof Kevlar body armour, Kevin Rudd went shopping for a new car.

It was actually a car for his wife, but you know how men are. We’re the car experts. Women just take care of little domestic matters, such as – in the case of Therese Rein – running a multi-million dollar international employment agency.

Anyway, Kev got to work checking out the automotive market. You can imagine how persnickety he would have been. Remember that we’re talking about someone here who, according to The Australian‘s Helen Trinca, personally took control of the rescue operation last August when a plane carrying nine Australians went missing in Papua New Guinea.

How did Rudd imagine he had the expertise to oversee such a complicated mission? Why, it’s obvious. He’d previously walked the Kokoda Track. So when it comes to cars, Rudd – who grew up in one, as legend has it – is obviously your go-to guy.

But there was a problem. The type of car Therese wanted simply wasn’t available.
Tim Blair
Previously cast aside by Sea Shepherd, wailing anti-whaler Peter Bethune has now split with his wife.

At least Bethune hasn’t lost his superb talent for jokes. Stop it, Pete! You’re krilling me!
Labor MP sprays the bosses who installed Gillard
Andrew Bolt
Chris Trevor, who hold’s Labor’s fourth most marginal seat in Queensland, says he will recontest Flynn, after all - despite the bastards in his party who knocked off Kevin Rudd. Some excerpts:
Can I begin by saying that I have never declared to any media outlet that I would not be recontesting the seat.

The media speculation has arisen as a result of me having declared that may well be the case in a private meeting in Canberra on the 23/06/2010 when I also indicated that I would be voting against my faction and voting for Kevin Rudd in the event of a leadership ballot…

But it would be wrong of me to deny that I haven’t seriously considered over the past few weeks quitting politics and public life for good.

Every man or woman has their tipping point. Kevin Rudd’s demise was mine…

There are other recent events associated with politics that have deeply distressed me…

It is no secret that I think the way various factional bosses treated former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was absolutely disgraceful. Kevin Rudd was voted in by the people and the factional bosses didn’t seem to like that.

I also think it’s pretty disgraceful the way they have tried to destroy his character and his achievements since they got rid of him. May I remind these people that we were all in this together …

I ask that the attacks on Kevin Rudd stop now… It is my belief that Kevin Rudd was a great Prime Minister who should in the future be treated properly and with respect – and a Gillard Government would be mad not to use Kevin properly given his vast knowledge of world affairs.
I suspect that similar sentiments may actually help to explain in part the decisions of Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner and Defence Minister John Faulkner to step down.
Gillard’s third big decision - she likes school uniforms
Andrew Bolt
Bit of an anti-climax in Canberra this morning, as reporters gathered for a press conference, thinking Julia Gillard might release her green policy.

Instead, she announces a tax refund of up to $780 for school uniforms, albeit not one to be paid for another two years and limited to parents on Family Tax Benefit A. She talks straight to where the focus groups suggest - to conservative Australians worried about the decline of values. She talks of believing in “discipline and rigor” in education and of the need for children to “present” well to the world. She endorses school uniforms.

Interest in her announcment can be measured by the fact that the second question from journalists was on election timing.
Coalition must win five more seats
Andrew Bolt
Goodness, but the Australian Electoral Commission’s redistribution of boundaries has helped Labor:
- On the old boundaries, if Labor lost 9 seats on a swing of 1.5%, Labor would lose its majority.

- On the new boundaries, Labor can now afford to loss 14 seats. but the swing changes only slightly to 1.7%.
(Thanks to reader Jim.)
What unprecedented warming?
Andrew Bolt
Geology journal discusses the recent scare claims about “unprecedented” warming on just one small part of an otherwise cooling continent:

Rapid warming and consequent ice-shelf collapse have focused attention on the glacial record of the Antarctic Peninsula.... Moreover, the data indicate that present reduced ice extent on the western Antarctic Peninsula is not unprecedented and is similar to that experienced during at least three periods in the last 5600 yr.
I don’t think promising pain is a way to win votes
Andrew Bolt
The Gillard Government is considering plans to hurt you:
In what is likely to be a vigorous debate, this afternoon cabinet will also consider a proposal to cut energy consumption by up to 3 per cent a year.

The target is strongly supported by some ministers searching for ways to rebuild Labor’s green credentials - battered by the deferral of the emissions trading scheme - before the election expected to be called for late next month.

But others argue that such a target could cause politically dangerous rises in electricity prices and another scare campaign by the Coalition.
Reader Spin Baby Spin:
I already had the “climate smart” guys out to change the lightbulbs and all our appliances are only a couple of years old. I have Rudd’s pink batts in the roof… what else must I needs do to honour the Greenies? We cook with gas and have gas hot water… Am I supposed to have candles at night now instead of electric light?
One of the biggest questions for Labor is whether this election is a referendum on its great big green tax, or whether we’ve get another election before it inflicts on us its useless emissions trading scheme:

A small group of ministers is pushing for the government to make a commitment to legislate emissions trading in the second term of a Labor government… Other ministers are worried that committing to the scheme would leave the government open to a renewed Coalition scare campaign.
Enough of this endless conversation
Andrew Bolt
The Gillard Government has clearly decided its new spin word is “conversation” - so soft and un-Rudd-like consultative. Foreign Minister Stephen Smith dutifully uses it 17 times in a single interview.

(Thanks to reader Ant.)
Gillard doesn’t scare them
Andrew Bolt
Don’t these people know that Julia Gillard has a plan to one day, years from now, send new boat people to a centre that East Timorese MPs say they won’t let her build?
Australian authorities have helped rescue a boat of asylum seekers off Australia’s northern coast.

The boat was detected by a Border Protection plane, 425 kilometres west of Darwin on Sunday night… It is believed 37 passengers and two crew members were on board.
Like how the navy “rescued” the asylum seekers, rather than “gave a lift to”.
How bad would a Labor PM have to be for Marr to think him gone?
Andrew Bolt
David Marr was much praised by his peers for finally noticing last month that Kevin Rudd was dysfunctional and friendless. But, curiously, Marr failed in his Quarterly Essay to draw some obvious conclusions:
David Marr gets it wrong in analysing Kevin Rudd’s achievements in Power Trip: The Political Journey of Kevin Rudd. Quarterly Essay (June 2010):
WHEN his approval rating began to dip sharply in the polls early this year, commentators wondered if [Kevin Rudd] might be the first prime minister since [James] Scullin back in the Depression to lose power after a single term. There was speculation that he was in a very delicate position: essentially friendless in the party and ripe for decapitation by Julia Gillard even before the looming elections. This is rubbish.
What made it worse, Marr saw the signals but did not understand what was under way. Power Trip:
THERE are figures in caucus who say this man has turned out far better than we feared. And there are those who reply: he is rackety as we feared [Mark] Latham would be. He is defended by the party, but more out of necessity, it seems, than conviction. He is the leader. Come what may, he must lead the party to the next election.
How Tanner and Faulkner failed
Andrew Bolt
Lindsay Tanner and John Faulkner are quitting the Gillard Ministry, with the applause of press gallery journalists ringing in their ears. But Henry Ergas notes that neither has delivered:
Tanner’s failures are the more striking. This is not so much a question of the blowout in public expenditure… But even accepting that public expenditure would rise sharply, the finance minister is, or should be, the guardian of the integrity of public spending, the relentless advocate of value for money, and the scourge of poorly conceived and ineptly executed programs.

Whether Tanner tried to carry out this role, history will tell. I believe he did. But what is clear is that no matter how sincere his efforts, they failed.... (I)t is difficult to find any period in Australian history when there have been more badly flawed spending programs: pink batts, green loans, computers in schools, the Building the Education Revolution program and the subsidies to the car industry are all cases in point, and others will surely come to light.

Moreover, the flaws were hardly difficult to spot, and were pointed out, both within the bureaucracy and by commentators, as soon as the programs were announced…

The failure to carry out any form of cost-benefit appraisal of the national broadband network was bad enough: what made it worse was the Finance Minister - who has the responsibility within our system of government for ensuring proper scrutiny of proposed expenditure - flaunting the absence of that appraisal as a virtue…

Ensuring transparency was at the heart of the goals Faulkner set at the outset of this government; but if anything, the past three years have seen less disclosure than those that preceded them. The refusal to release the modelling on which the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme was based; the refusal to release the details of the spending on the BER; the refusal to release the cost-benefit studies underpinning the infrastructure spending from the Building Australia fund; the refusal to release the costings for the NBN, the workings of the implementation study and the heads of agreement with Telstra; the refusal to release a like-for-like comparison between the initial super-profits tax and the newly announced minerals resource rent tax: the list goes on and on, and touches virtually every major initiative taken in recent years. To this must be added failure to reform campaign funding and, more egregiously, the government’s flouting of its own guidelines on taxpayer funding of political advertising.

This is not to disparage Faulkner’s efforts at Defence…

But ultimately, his cause was that of increased openness and accountability in government. Set against that goal, the situation has got worse rather than better.
The latest religious news
Andrew Bolt
Last three years:
A wave of deadly attacks carried out by Taliban and other Al-Qaeda-linked extremists has killed more than 3,500 people (in Pakistan) during the last three years.
Last week:
A SUICIDE bomber killed 17 people who had been lining up for wheelchairs in a busy market in Pakistan’s lawless tribal area today.
Last weekend:
Al-Qaeda’s north African branch issued an Internet message on Sunday threatening to kill a French hostage kidnapped in Niger unless Paris meets demands within 15 days… AQIM said it captured the man, who in an earlier audio recording identified himself as 78-year-old Michel Germaneau, in northern Niger on April 22, SITE said… The Islamists killed British tourist Edwin Dyer in June 2009, after holding him captive for six months, when London refused to yield to their demands.
This week:
Somali Islamists carried out two bomb attacks in Kampala, killing at least 64 people as they watched the World Cup final, Ugandan authorities said on Monday.

But what Muslims do to their own is worst:
In a different perspective, some 11,000,000 Muslims have been violently killed since 1948, of which 35,000, or 0.3 percent, died during the sixty years of fighting Israel, or just 1 out of every 315 Muslim fatalities. In contrast, over 90 percent of the 11 million who perished were killed by fellow Muslims.
(Thanks to reader Gandalf.)


And then there’s the threat of the biggest suicide bombing of all - a prospect that finaly has even Russia alarmed:
IRAN is close to having the potential to build a nuclear weapon, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in the clearest indication yet of Moscow’s alarm over Tehran’s atomic drive.

“Iran is nearing the possession of the potential which in principle could be used for the creation of a nuclear weapon,” Mr Medvedev said at a meeting with Russian diplomats quoted by Russian news agencies.

Russia, traditionally a diplomatic and economic ally of the Islamic Republic, adopted a milder line against Tehran than Western powers in the past but has noticeably hardened its position in recent months.
Former Iranian Revolutionary Guard Reza Kahlili warns:
Stop dreaming, please. You are not dealing with rational people. Every time you extend a hand, it is not seen as sincerity, but stupidity… This is a messianic regime. There should be no doubt – they are going to commit the most horrendous suicide bombing in human history. They will attack Israel, European capitals, and (the) Persian Gulf region at the same time.
(Thanks to readers AK and John.)
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