=== Todays Toon ===Lieutenant-General Sir Herbert Charles Chermside GCMG, CB (31 July 1850 – 24 September 1929) was a British soldier who served as Governor of Queensland in Australia from 1902 to 1904.
=== Bible Quote ===“I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "that I am God.”- Isaiah 43:11-12
=== Headlines ===Dems Try to Pin GOP Over Private-Sector Health Care for Vets
Democrats are raising the issue of veterans' health care in political races across the country, including Chris Coons' Senate race in Delaware against Republican Christine O'Donnell, with GOP painted as disloyal to veterans for suggesting private-sector options.
Dow Tops 11,000, First Time Since May
Bulls propel stocks higher, as September's gloomy jobs report could force the Fed to make its easy-money policies even easier
Obama Quickly Fills National Security Post
President names Tom Donilon to replace Gen. James Jones as national security adviser as Jones heads for the door
Could Qaddafi Kill Your Website?
Apparently the ruler of Libya also rules over the Internet, if your domain ends in .ly — as one Calif. woman found out the hard way after daring to show bare arms on her website
Recording Captures Brown Camp Calling Whitman a 'Whore'
Jerry Brown's campaign apologized Thursday for a private conversation captured on audiotape that has the California Democratic gubernatorial candidate agreeing to an aide's description of Republican rival Meg Whitman as a "whore." The exchange, inadvertently recorded by a voicemail, discussed Whitman cutting a deal to protect law enforcement pensions as the candidates competed for endorsements from police.
Breaking NewsExpert dismisses 10/10/10 virus fear
COMPUTER security firm Sophos has shot down rumours that a "10/10/10" virus will strike computers at 10am tomorrow, October 10, 2010.
City's new transport timetables criticised
THE NSW Government's new transport timetable does not meet the needs of long-suffering commuters, the State Opposition says.
78-year-old 'tried to entice girls into car'
A 78-YEAR-OLD man has been charged with allegedly trying to entice three young girls into his car in Sydney's west.
Two students shot at US school - report
TWO students were shot at a southern California elementary school today, Fox News Channel reported.
Former MP charged in Thailand
A FORMER Queensland politician, Robert Lindsay Poole, has been arrested in northern Thailand and faces charges of cheating and fraud in relation to an energy company set up in Thailand.
NSW/ACTOur mortgage pain worse than NYC
A SURVEY of global cities put Sydney at the top when it came to the percentage of income spent on mortgages. How are you doing?
D'Amore too busy to read guideline
ANGELA D'Amore claimed her electorate work was so busy, checking entitlements before she signed them wasn't a priority.
Angry Rix storms out of inquest
FREDERICK Rix stormed out of an inquest before a Coroner could say there was insufficient evidence to charge him with murder.
Perverted predator will die in jail
FOR the innocent victims of paedophile David Shane Whitby, the nightmares will never fade. He will be jailed for at least 26 years.
Minister switches off from our pain
WHILE surging power prices force many to rely on blankets, life's fine for the State Energy Minister.
Making a mockery of the law
JOHN Wilson swears he doesn't mean to annoy every judge. But you sure wouldn't know it.
Saint inspired youngest nun
MORE than 140 years after Mary MacKillop donned a habit, Anne-Marie Gallagher looked on the web.
Ten-finger salute to a jackpot
KATHERINE Platts' husband always said her "special" Keno numbers would never come up. But guess what. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 did.
Paedophile 'worse' than Dolly Dunn
A CAREER paedophile who committed the most "perverted and disgusting" crimes in the nation's history has been jailed for 32 years.
QueenslandTurbot St reopened after crash
POLICE have advised motorists that Turbot Street has been reopened. Earlier this morning it was closed between William and George streets, due to a single vehicle rollover.
Cowboys quizzed in NRL bet probe
THE Cowboys have been engulfed in rugby league's betting scandal, with an investigation probing the club's role in suspicious matches.
Court told of Sica tumour ploy
THE man accused of murdering his former girlfriend and her two siblings told her he had a brain tumour, a court was told yesterday.
Children still left at bus stops
ALMOST one complaint is made every weekday about a child being left behind by a bus in Brisbane.
Kill accused gets weekend pass
A MAN who confessed to his role in the slaying of an elderly Caboolture greyhound trainer three years ago has been given bail for the weekend.
'Burn them all with napalm'
A ROGUE ex-cop who bashed three handcuffed tourists told fellow police he was so jaded with the public he wanted to "burn them all with napalm".
Car park towing tension builds
AN arrest warrant has been issued for a tow company worker and a police officer has been disciplined after an alleged assault on a businessman in a Browns Plains carpark.
Rudd deals with hurt of rejection
Deposed prime minister Kevin Rudd opens up to The Courier-Mail in an exclusive interview.
Flood fear hampers dam storage
THE Government won't use the emergency capacity of Wivenhoe Dam for long-term storage until more is known about the effect on flood risk.
Cops 'no' for non-speeding reward
THE Police Minister has poured cold water on a proposal to discount car registration fees for drivers who do not speed - though it's not his decision.
VictoriaBreakthrough boosts IVF hopes
THE chances of having a baby through IVF may improve thanks to a Melbourne breakthrough.
Baillieu cagey on alliance with Greens
SHOULD the Green Party hold the balance of power in the state, a wave of anti-farming and anti-rural moves could ensue.
Sadist mutilates dressage champion
A SICKENING knife attack on a former champion show horse has broken her owner's heart.
Shane Warne becomes King of Tweet
HE may no longer weave his magic on the cricket pitch, but spin legend Shane Warne now bowls 'em over with his tweets.
Farmers pay high price to save Murray
VICTORIAN irrigators will bear the brunt of a new plan to revive the Murray-Darling Basin.
McGuire, Mitchell make up
WITH a shake of the hand, Melbourne's latest radio war came to a peaceful end in Chinatown.
Suburban sellers feeling the pinch
MELBOURNE'S mild downturn in auction clearance rates is masking a dramatic slump in some suburbs.
Race meet and Show headed for chaos
THE Victoria Racing Club and the Royal Agricultural Society are heading for a showdown.
Odds stacked in Amy's favour
TEN months ago Amy Annett had never even heard of sports stacking. Now the 12-year-old is an Australian champion.
New hospital to serve 27,000 kids
A NEW $250 million children's hospital at the Monash Medical Centre will be built no matter who wins on November 27.
Northern TerritoryNothing new
South AustraliaHeritage Matters: Caica sets dangerous precedent
NEXT Thursday against widespread opposition, the Union Hall demolition will pass through the State Government's final planning hurdle and into dust.
Maccas keeps Barossa on menu
FAST-FOOD giant McDonald's is refusing to admit defeat after its plans to open a fast-food restaurant in the Barossa Valley were rejected.
SA media identity loses his battle
ADELAIDE film, media and arts figure John Chataway has died after a brief illness. He was 56.
Cappo was aware of sale plan
THE man in charge of the review of The Parks Community Centre, Monsignor David Cappo, knew about the sale well before it was revealed in the State Budget.
Pick a healthy baby
SCIENTISTS have developed a way to pick the healthiest IVF embryo - and potentially identify the baby's gender.
Crime wave swamps city
A WAVE of violent crime, including two murders, police and gang shootings, home invasions and wild brawls, has swept Adelaide.
Wheels of justice turning too slowly
THE state must boost funding of the ailing legal system or court delays will be further blown out by a growing backlog of cases, the state's top legal sources claim.
Health service strike risk
LYELL McEwin Hospital doctors and SA Ambulance Service officers yesterday took industrial action and are warning of further joint stoppages
This is just the easy bit
NOW, the hard work - especially the political heavy lifting - to save the Murray-Darling Basin really begins.
Quake shocks Mid North
A SMALL earthquake centred 75km south east of Port Pirie was felt through the centre of the state last night.
Western AustraliaPolice recruit shoots himself in the leg
ACCIDENT at Joondalup firing academy leaves recruit, 32, in Fremantle Hospital in a stable condition.
Hospital support workers offered $27 rise
AFTER weeks of pay negotiations, hospital support workers have been offered an extra $27 a week by the Health Department.
Teen 'whale rider' escapes fine
A TEENAGER who was photographed climbing on to a southern right whale 20m off Albany's Middleton Beach has been let off with an official warning.
It's official, it's Patersons Stadium
IT'S bye-bye to Subiaco Oval as the worst kept secret in football was revealed to a packed media contingent today - and not everyone is happy.
CCC boss Roberts-Smith retires
THE Commissioner of the Corruption and Crime Commission, Len Roberts-Smith QC, announced today that he will be retiring on January 31 next year.
West Aussies victim to Microsoft scam
SEVERAL West Aussies are out of pocket by hundreds of dollars after they were targeted by over-the-phone scammers posing as Microsoft computer technicians.
Police attacked after drunken wake
TWO police officers were injured after a drunken wake got out of control at the Ocean Beach Hotel in North Cottesloe late last night.
Fire hits two homes, closes major road
A FIRE which badly damaged two houses in Thornlie early today closed busy Spencer Road, causing major traffic disruption.
Fears for WA man held in Egypt
FEARS are held for the safety of a Western Australian muslim man who is reportedly being held by the Egyptian Government.
Police deny knowledge of child's pimp
TASMANIAN police have rejected a government report that says the force failed to act on the relationship between a 12-year-old prostitute and her pimp.
Tougher mine laws for Tasmania
MORE than four years after the death of Larry Knight in the Beaconsfield gold mine, the Tasmanian government will introduce mine safety laws to parliament.
Accused recalls partner's final hours
A WOMAN accused of murdering her medical specialist partner has recounted to a Hobart court events on the day she last saw him alive.
=== Journalists Corner ===Rep. Eric Cantor and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Capitol Hill clash! The GOP is on the offensive to retake control - So, what's the Dems' strategy to defend their turf? Rep. Eric Cantor and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz face-off! Don't miss this exclusive.
Lou Dobbs is Entering the 'No Spin Zone'
Did Dobbs hire illegals? Lou responds! Plus, Geraldo examines where the promised money to Haiti has gone.
Food Stamps Offer the Best Bang for It's Buck?
The White House wants more stimulus - but is all the spending really working to create jobs? And, Nancy Pelosi says food stamps and unemployment benefits give the economy the best bang for the buck ... really? Plus, a new tax plan that will really drive up your costs!
On Fox News Insider:Covering the Falcon Lake Investigation
Former Labor Secretary: We Must Restore Trust in Private Sector
Bill O'Reilly Reflects on 14 Years at Fox News Channel
=== Comments ===Fox News Is 14 Years Old
BY BILL O'REILLY
Fox News is 14 years old today. That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." In the beginning, there was "The O'Reilly Report." It was on at 6:00 p.m. And remember, Catherine Crier was on at 8:00. Chances are you couldn't see us in 1996 because we had very few cable clearances back then. Now, we dominate television news in America, according to a new Politico/George Washington University poll and of course, the Nielsen ratings.
The reason that happened was that FNC filled a void. Up until 1996, most of the TV news was very liberal. Few conservative voices were heard. Fox News changed all that, giving access to the right, center, and the left. And you, the American people, responded.
Looking back on the first edition of what is now "The O'Reilly Factor," I'm kind of embarrassed. Listen to this exchange with the late Edwin Newman over the debate between President Clinton and Bob Dole.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: I don't know what dole -- He is much stiffer ...
EDWIN NEWMAN, TV JOURNALIST: Yes.
O'REILLY: ... than the president.
NEWMAN: Yes, he is.
O'REILLY: And he doesn't have liquid eyes.
NEWMAN: Yes. But, of course, one reason he is much stiffer than the president because he has the use of only one arm.
O'REILLY: That's a good point.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
How stupid was that? Quiet Crowley!
MONICA CROWLEY, PH.D., FOX NEWS ANALYST: Sorry, O'Reilly.
O'REILLY: Ayayay! But even on our first program, there were demonstrations of the now well-defined "No Spin Zone."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARRY MCCAFFREY, U.S. FOUR STAR GENERAL (RET.): Drug abuse in America is down by 50 percent in the last 15 years. There is good news there.
O'REILLY: I disagree with you. I disagree. You can throw all the stats you want out, but I will throw some back at you.
O'REILLY: According to insurance agencies, 72 percent of all street crime is caused by drug addicts, right now, as we are speaking here in New York City. People are breaking into cars. People are mugging people. People are breaking into houses to get drugs, to get money to buy drugs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now, General McCaffrey was unhappy with that interview. I guess he was a pioneer in that regard. A fascinating part of the Fox News story is the hatred it has engendered on the left. Our cable news competition has been destroyed. Ratings for liberal TV news are dismal.
After 14 years on the air, there is no doubt who has clout in America. But with that success comes a greater responsibility. We got to be vigilant in every second because if we're not, we make any mistakes, it becomes a page one story.
After 14 years, it is still you, the viewer, who makes the call on Fox News. We thank you all very much, and we hope you continue with us as we enter year 15. By the way, the hair back then, that was a toupee.
Big Blow to Government Terror Trial Demonstrates Why Military Tribunals Are so Integral to Fighting Terrorists
By Annemarie McAvoy
The government received a crushing blow today in its efforts to try suspected terrorists in federal civilian courts. The star witness in the first case of a Guantanamo Bay detainee to be tried in a U.S. civilian court was barred from testifying, because the government found the witness by allegedly torturing the defendant. Now the government could lose their case against this defendant, a man accused of being a terrorist involved in embassy bombings that killed over 200 people, and he may eventually be set free.
The trial against Ahmed Ghailani was to begin this week in federal district court in the Southern District of New York. Ghailani is charged with conspiring in the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people. This was an Al Qaeda attack. The witness, Hussein Abebe, a Tanzanian miner, was to testify that he sold five crates of dynamite to Ghailani.
This witness was not an inconsequential witness by far and the government could now lose the case. Prosecutors even went so far as to say that Abebe is a “giant witness for the government.” Michael Farbiarz, a prosecutor on the case, said last week in court that without being able to use this witness to explain that he sold TNT to the defendant, “the government has no way of putting such evidence in front of the jury at all.” It was also pointed out by the prosecutor that this witness’ testimony would be used by the government to defend against any claims that the defendant did not realize he was part of a bombing plot. The prosecutor also explained that Abebe is the only person who could give a first- hand account of Ghailani’s role in the attacks.
The judge, as distasteful as the ruling is, did the right thing. Law has to be applied uniformly, and cannot be applied differently to one type of defendant than to another, unless that is specifically provided for, which is not the case here. Since the prosecutors learned of the star witness in this case through coercive tactics used by the CIA while the defendant was in their custody, and the government cannot show they would have learned of Abebe without such coercion, they cannot call him as a witness. Any “fruit of the poisonous tree” cannot be used by the government, and this witness’ existence was apparently learned only by use of coercive tactics.
In federal civilian court, the government is not able to prove the coercive tactics may not have reached the level of torture. Even if the defendant was not tortured they cannot bring out the information to show that, since it would involve laying out CIA interrogation methods to the enemy. In this case the prosecutors chose not to put forth any evidence relating to the interrogation. This may be because the coercive tactics used went too far, but it could also be because they did not want to reveal CIA methods.
This case illustrates the problem with having terrorists tried in civilian courts. Ghailani is a terrorist who is charged with helping to kill over 200 people. He is an enemy combatant who was picked up in Pakistan. He was not entitled to a trial in federal civilian courts or constitutional protections. Cases like his belong in military tribunals. In a military tribunal Abebe could have testified and any confessions by the defendant could be used.
“The court has not reached this conclusion lightly,” Judge Lewis Kaplan explained. “It is acutely aware of the perilous nature of the world in which we live. But the Constitution is the rock upon which our nation rests. We must follow it not only when it is convenient, but when fear and danger beckon in a different direction. To do less would diminish us and undermine the foundation upon which we stand.”
The Obama Administration has said it wants the world to see the American judicial process at work. However, seeing the government loose trials against suspected terrorists who have helped to kill hundreds of people is not going to get us any respect anywhere. The judge, apparently recognizing already that the government may not be able to attain a conviction now in this case, said that the defendant’s status as an “ ‘enemy combatant’ probably would permit his detention as something akin to a prisoner of war until hostilities between the United States and Al Qaeda and the Taliban end, even if he were found not guilty.” Is that what we have to rely on as Americans? The Obama Administration has to wake up and realize that if he is found not guilty, then is held indefinitely despite being acquitted, this will make America look weak and foolish on the world stage. We are at war, and need to act accordingly when we handle those who attack Americans and our interests.
This case is a warning to the Administration. The same problems that are faced here apply in cases of others held in Gitmo such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Those prosecutions need to take place in military tribunals, where they belong.
Annemarie McAvoy is a former federal prosecutor. She currently is a consultant and teaches Counter-Terrorism, Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing at Fordham Law School in New York City.
Why Leftists Want to Pull You All on Mass Transit
By Steven Crowder
Living in NYC has truly awakened me to the New York elite and their penchant for the city’s self-described brilliant public transit system. I think it sucks… just like public transit always does.
“Oh I just don’t think I could live without the subway system, it’s so convenient. I can get anywhere I need to go in the city in a flash.” Right. Or –and follow me on this here– I could live anywhere else in the country, take 3 steps out my front door, get into my car, and drive anywhere on the continent. How’s that for convenience? Not only is it faster, but my car generally doesn’t smell like mothballs and urine (last Tuesday notwithstanding). It would almost seem that –dare I say this– private transportation is more efficient than mass public-transit! That won’t change today’s leftists from disparaging the former and praising the latter. Why?
It’s simple. Control. It’s no secret that the environmental movement is ultimately designed to create new inroads into increased government control. All of the shots taken at emissions, the dependence on fossil fuels and noise pollution are designed to paint those things as symptoms of a problem, with the government able to step in as the solution. The root of their problem is ultimately your independence.
Do me a favor for a second. I want you to close your eyes, and think back to the day you first received your license. Do you remember that day? Do you remember that feeling?
Freedom. The world was your oyster and that license was your golden ticket. Granted, my 1982 Datsun was no Nightrider, but it didn’t matter… because it was mine. East coast, west coast, as long as I kept refilling my leaky radiator with water and my warped gasket managed to hang on for dear life, I was a free man. Most Americans see these kinds of tales as a right of passage. Democrats see them as a Wes Craven film.
Not only have individual politicians and celebrities personally condemned your automobiles for being too messy, noisy and harmful to the common good, but they’ve tried to effect the natural market through taxes on larger vehicles along with incentives and quota’s for “greener” cars. That’s not even to mention Biden’s unhealthy fetish for Amtrak and it’s expansion. It’s borderline creepy. Not only that, but they constantly bombard you with their silly self-righteous “take the bus” or “ride your bike to work” campaigns. I’d sooner wear a fanny pack.
By the same token, big-city leftist elite’s disdain for middle America can also be explained by their lack of ability to corral them into metropolitan areas where they can be weaned onto a reliance of the government. Good luck making the Joe Biden express work in rural Wyoming. Once you bring Americans into major cities and put them all on mass transit you’re one step closer to the leftist Utopia. Just ask Jerome Cavanaugh or Lynden Johnson.
See, I have no problem with folks who take the bus or train. Heck, I don’t even have a problem with the people who are loopy enough to enjoy it. Just stop taking my tax dollars and then lay a guilt trip on me for driving my Datsun. Sure it may not look pretty, but when the apocalypse goes down it’ll be the only thing left standing along with cockroaches.
… You can’t say that about the Joe Biden express.
Steven Crowder is a comedian, actor, writer and Fox News contributor.
SONS OF GUNS
The second generation of racers of Bathurst.
Give the Nobel committees a prize
Have the Nobel committees finally curbed their mad-Left tendencies?
First the literature prize goes to a sane, readable writer and former conservative presidential candidate, Maria Vargas Llosa.
Now the peace prize goes to someone who’s not actually a green warrior (like Al Gore), anti-capitalist or critic of the West, but a brave campaigner against the biggest danger to human rights in the world:
THE biggest thorn in Beijing’s flesh, the courtly, professorial dissident Liu Xiaobo, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last night.UPDATE
Worse for Beijing, which warned the Nobel committee that honouring the jailed Professor Liu would be “totally wrong”, this is the first Nobel prize in any category that any Chinese citizen has won.
Professor Liu was honoured “for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China”, Norwegian Nobel Committee president Thorbjoern Jagland said last night in Oslo.
Reader Louis Hissink upbraids me:
The term Human Rights is a lefty term and is collectivist it its essence - so someone being awarded a Nobel Prize for advocating human rights is leftism rewarding leftism.All right, let’s put it this way - which indeed is better: the Nobel Peace Prize has for once gone to someone who campaigns for freedom.
The problem is that only individuals can actually have rights, while humans having rights is terminological rubbish - why does a collective term, human, require rights? To protect it from non humans?
Individual rights are anathema to leftists, hence the emphasis on “human” rights, but as long as you and your fellow journalists keep calling it human rights, then you are, unwittingly, giving support to leftism etc.
On Vargas Llosa and politics - which he once said would cost him the Nobel.
But what about our own cultural duties?
The cultural duty of Australians should be to protect its citizens from the uncivilised cultural duties of other cultures:
A SAMOAN national avoided jail for smashing the jaw of a man because of a cultural duty to protect his sister.===
The Brisbane District Court was told Lawrence Milo, then aged 20, king-hit the man as he walked from Brisbane’s Victory Hotel to a taxi rank about 1am on December 19.
How Leftist reform betrayed poor students
A teacher and former Marxist warns against what ideology has done to Britain’s schools.
Naturally, revealing the damage done by the Left has its consequences, but note the creditable position taken by the National Union of Teachers:
Katharine Birbalsingh, 37, was ordered not to come into school on Thursday or Friday after making critical remarks before a speech by Education Secretary Michael Gove at the party conference in Birmingham on Tuesday. ...The board of governors at St Michael and All Angels Church of England Academy in Camberwell, south London, told Miss Birbalsingh to stay away from the school while they considered her position. ...(Thanks to readers ML and Mark.)
Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “No teacher will want to damage relationships with the school community within which they work, but as the experts on educational issues teachers must be allowed to speak out about the impact of government policies and give their views on the education system.
“The NUT may not agree with a teacher’s views but we will assert their their right to express opinions about the system within which they work.”
Yesterday the Diocese said Miss Birbalsingh had been asked to return.
Obama’s Afghanistan strategy is imploding
Barack Obama has two problems in deciding his strategy in Afghanistan: what to do and what to say. And he’s got at least one of them dangerously wrong.
First, there’s his problem about how to win a war when your partner in Afghanistan seems so hopeless, if not corrupt. Here’s Kerry O’Brien interviewing Bob Woodward, author of Obama’s War, written after Woodward was given generous access by Obama:
KERRY O’BRIEN: You’ve captured some very revealing and candid comments from the various meetings to review the policy. For instance, General Petraeus (head of Coalition forces in Afghanistan) describes the Karzai Government as a “criminal syndicate”, and Vice President Joe Biden asks, “If the Government’s a criminal syndicate a year from now, how will the troops make a difference?” And you say no-one recorded an answer to that question in their notes....Jed Babbin, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense under George H.W. Bush, is alarmed the Obama Administration would so publicly trash its ally in Afghanistan, no matter how unworthy he is:
BOB WOODWARD: And when’s the last time somebody had a partnership with a criminal syndicate and it had a happy ending? I don’t know of any really, certainly in recent history. And this is General Petraeus, probably the most revered general on duty, active duty now, who can be quite cautious saying not just that the Government’s corrupt; he said it’s a criminal syndicate. A very stiff indictment, and in the book I go through in these meetings and the documents you see that there’re kind of four problem areas, risk areas, key dependencies - whatever you wanna call them - that indicate, as one of the generals told President Obama as he was about to decide, he said, “Mr President, this is not a calculated risk; this is a gamble.” And the Karzai Government, the ability to train Afghan soldiers and police at a sufficient level that they can take over the security function is - it sets risk. International support for the war is going down and then the fourth area’s Pakistan, which is really the powderkeg of South Asia, and given the world we live in now it’s to a certain extent the powderkeg of the world...
Obama’s “diplomacy” is being carried out by other senior members of his administration, including National Security Advisor Gen. Jim Jones, CIA Director Leon Panetta and Amb. Richard Holbrooke. The air quotes around “diplomacy” are necessary because many of the Obama team with direct responsibility for it have, in Woodward’s book, vented views of Karzai and Zardari (Afghanistan’s US ambassador) that are so damaging and offensive to the Afghan and Pakistani leaders that their cooperation will surely be reduced rather than enhanced.===
Woodward’s book leaves no doubt about the contempt Obama’s team has for these key allies. Jones is quoted speaking about “the Karzai problem”: “[Karzai] doesn’t get it, or he doesn’t want to get it,” that Karzai is just “the mayor of Kabul.” Gen. David Petraeus is quoted as saying that the Karzai government is a “criminal syndicate.” US Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry’s disdain for Karzai has been public since January when secret cables he wrote to Secretary Clinton last November were published. Woodward quotes Eikenberry saying that we have no strong reliable partner in Afghanstan, that Karzai lacks connection with the Afghan people. Woodward also quotes intelligence sources saying that Karzai has been diagnosed a manic-depressive, on medication and suffering severe mood swings. In a section referring to Jones, Woodward quotes intelligence reports saying that Karzai is erratic, delusional, “off his meds” or “high on weed."…
There is merit to many of the accusations against both men, but making them publicly is certain to reduce their level of trust in Obama and the people he sends to meet with them.
Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway has said that the president’s July 2011 schedule to begin withdrawing from Afghanistan gives the enemy sustenance. How much will the enemy gain from the assaults on Karzai and Zardari?
So where’s Hillary? If there were a strong Secretary of State - such as Henry Kissinger or George Schultz - would any of the Obama team be spouting off like this?
Greens take over Labor’s climate change committee
The Leninism of the Greens is revealed - and their power over Gillard, too:
THERE was no room for Nick Xenophon on the government’s multi-party climate change committee...Wasn’t this a committee to build “consensus” on global warming policies? Not only does it exclude those who disagree with the Greens position that we must put a price on carbon dioxide emissions, but now it’s excluding those who might challenge Greens power, too.
Climate Change Minister Greg Combet ... said the committee, chaired by Julia Gillard, was “small and tightly focused” and there was no room for anyone else, even though the Coalition had refused to fill two seats set aside for it…
Senator Xenophon said he was bitterly disappointed that despite writing and making representations to the Prime Minister and Mr Combet requesting a seat, he was excluded from the committee.
Sources close to Senator Xenophon said at least two Labor Party figures had told him “the Greens vetoed his presence”.
“Christine Milne was fingered as the one who insisted Nick not be on the committee,” a well-placed source said.
A spokesman for Senator Milne yesterday said the claim was “untrue”. South Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said there was “no space available” for Senator Xenophon on the committee. “The committee decides that, and at this stage he’s not on there.”
(Thanks to reader Guuest.)
Election results come in by boat
Now they’re coming in two by two:
The Navy has intercepted two boats carrying asylum seekers in waters north-west of Australia.Then there was the one the day before:
It says one of the boats was towing the other.
The Federal Government says 74 asylum seekers and three crew members were on board.
The third boat, intercepted Thursday, held 56 passengers and two crew.(Thanks to reader Pira.)