Monday, April 18, 2011

News Items and comments

Like her marital status, Gillard gives up and enjoys the ride.
THE consensus is that Julia Gillard has lost control of the Government's policy agenda. The PM faces the very real prospect that she will fail to get carbon tax legislation up.
This sounds like his political enemies can't fault him in policy terms.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told prosecutors "will not succeed in getting rid of me".

Have they died because Obama promised a withdrawal?
THREE more NATO troops were killed in attacks in Afghanistan on Saturday.

Sounds like their previous lies.
PENSIONERS have won a guarantee that they will secure a boost to the aged pension to help cover the cost of a carbon tax. The latest Treasury analysis shows pensioners will also be able to earn as muc..
Sounds like an unhappy marriage.
IN the heat generated by a collapsing relationship it is often the little things that can turn into big trouble. When estranged husband Graham Brown, 44, returned to the marital home in Cessnock to co...
Sounds like a plan.
DIVERTING the North West Rail Link to Parramatta instead of Epping would save the State and Federal Governments up to $2 billion.
What caused the fire?
A FAMILY with five young children is facing an Easter full of heartache after losing everything they own in a ferocious weekend blaze.
Sounds like the driver broke the law too.
A TAXI driver claims Keli Lane's baby Tegan was alive when she left her in a secluded place as he drove her home from Auburn Hospital.
Under federal ALP government small business is suffering.
IT stretches through 18 suburbs yet Sydney's busiest arterial road is a multi-billion-dollar wasteland. Parramatta Rd is a ghetto of boarded-up shopfronts.
It would be good to have a fun park in the west.
SYMBOLS can form the central image of a city. The Harbour Bridge, for example, will forever remain the primary image of Sydney, and with good reason.
Is it my imagination or are the police more effective after the change of government?
SOPHISTICATED shoplifting gangs are infesting markets across the state, allegedly prowling shopping aisles and stealing to order.
A disaster without the feared terrorist hit.
ANGRY Australian companies dudded out of millions by Delhi Commonwealth Games organisers are being asked to pay back some of the minimal money they have received.
All that money that used to go to the community .. Up in smoke
ALREADY losing $2 billion a year because of smoking bans, NSW pubs and clubs are now facing an even bigger fight with the proposed pokies cap.
ALP solution is to throw money at it.
TAXPAYERS may be called on to compensate former and serving defence employees who were victims of abuse and bastardisation. Defence Minister Stephen Smith said yesterday there was a "distinct possibil...
An essential service.
NEW mothers being sent home early from hospital coupled with an increase in the number of older first-time mums has led to skyrocketing demand for private midwives and baby clinics.
ALP never mentioned it in election campaign. After the election "everything will be different" sounds prophetic.
HUNDREDS of millions of dollars will be slashed from business programs and top-line research as part of a horror Budget likely to spark massive community unrest.
Carbon dioxide is plant food, not pollution.
DOZENS of food, mining and agricultural businesses have united to call on Julia Gillard to confirm they won't be worse off under a carbon tax.
A $700k a year part time job?
TIM Flannery, the Gillard Government's Climate Commission head, is being paid by Japan-based electronics giant Panasonic, publicly plugging the company on the internet.
Being drunk is a reason but not an excuse .. But for law.
SYDNEY Roosters player Anthony Watts is set to be sacked from the club after being charged with an alcohol-fuelled assault on his ex-girlfriend at their Coogee home.
‎...Insiders believe the Government was trying to buy the shirts on the cheap as theprice of $5.12 each totalling $7687 cost less than local shirts priced at up to $10 each. But the decision left manufacturers such as Cairns-based Shirts North out in the cold. "Business is a bit slow . . . and we would have appreciated that," spokeswoman Esme Corrigan said...
THE Bligh Government has made a complete mockery of its "Buy Local" flood recovery campaign after buying cheap imported T-shirts from overseas to promote the program.
Miranda quickly weighs that repellant cry.
THE bestiality tweet by inner-city barrister Larissa Behrendt against the Northern Territory activist Bess Price, was offensive.

No home for these sailors

Piers Akerman – Monday, April 18, 11 (04:21 am)

While the morning air filled with the crowing of roosters and the tolling of church bells, the full moon set across Apia Harbour and Van Diemen prepared to slip out to sea on Palm Sunday.



Tim Blair – Monday, April 18, 11 (08:07 am)

Labor is carbonised:

The Coalition has opened a huge 56-44 per cent two-party lead in an Age/Nielsen poll showing Labor’s primary vote at its lowest in 15 years and rising community opposition to the carbon price

Only in South Australia is the government ahead (52-48 per cent).

But of course.



Tim Blair – Monday, April 18, 11 (07:51 am)

Reaction to Tim Flannery’s Panasonic promotion:

The ABC has defended the editorial integrity of an upcoming TV program featuring Tim Flannery after he said he would be “waving the flag” for Panasonic – which pays his salary at Macquarie University – on the ad-free national broadcaster.

Dr Flannery, who was this year appointed the nation’s first Climate Change Commissioner – a taxpayer-funded role paying about $180,000 a year – made his remarks in a video interview recorded last month posted on the multinational electronics company’s website.

Panasonic Australia’s managing director Steve Rust opens the video by saying: “Hi, I’m here today with Tim Flannery. Tim’s associated with Panasonic through Macquarie University, where we sponsor the chair in environmental sustainability, and today Tim’s going to talk to us about that topic.”

Dr Flannery replies … : “I’ve also been carrying the flag for Panasonic in everything else I do, the books I publish, in the television series that I’m making at the moment, and of course in the new position as the chief of the Climate Commission” …

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet had no immediate objection to the video. “All commissioners are engaged on a part-time basis and are free to pursue other areas of work, whilst mindful of their responsibilities as commissioners,” he said.

So the $180,000 part-timer gets a free pass. And the ABC says Flannery hasn’t been carrying the Panasonic flag at all:

ABC head of documentaries Alan Erson said he had spoken to independent producer Michael Cordell. “The first thing I’ll say is that no one can wave the flag for any products on the ABC,” he said. “I’m told the series is two-thirds shot, and they have not spoken to anyone at Panasonic or about Panasonic, and they’ve got no plans to do so. The show is actually shot using Sony cameras.”

No value there for Panasonic. Come on, Tim; wave that flag! The SMH reports:

Rust asks Flannery how he’s been working with Panasonic since his appointment, and after noting his busy year teaching a course in science communication at Macquarie, Flannery said: ‘’I’ve also been carrying the flag for Panasonic in everything else I do, the books I publish, in the television series that I’m making at the moment, and of course in the new position as the chief of the Climate Commission’’ … We feel he must mean carrying the flag for the research – mustn’t he? If not: does Julia know about this?

Apparently she does, and according to a spokeswoman who replied to questions from the Daily Telegraph (item not online) she thinks it’s cool:

A spokeswoman for Ms Gillard said it sounds as if Prof Flannery is actually using his role at Panasonic to spruik the government’s climate change commission, which, she said, “is a great thing for us”.

Yep. People just love it.



Tim Blair – Monday, April 18, 11 (07:25 am)

Latest news from war-torn Marriqville:

The Greens on Marrickville Council were last night locked in talks on a face-saving measure in itsIsrael boycott saga

One option under consideration would see an alternate motion put forward that made no specific mention of the global boycott, divest and sanctions (BDS) movement, but instead aligned the council with a 1980 UN resolution critical of Israel.

Nothing like some Carter-era UN whining to rally the troops. That resolution has long since been overturned by Jake, the 55-year-old Jewish health professional who made a difference.



Tim Blair – Monday, April 18, 11 (06:11 am)

Unions were first, but business is catching up:

Business opposition to Julia Gillard’s carbon tax has intensified, with food and grocery producers falling into line with miners to warn the levy could destroy jobs and slash living standards.

And negotiations between the government and business appear close to flashpoint, as seven out of the government’s hand-picked 15-member industry advisory group have signed a letter to the Prime Minister warning the tax could drive investment overseas.

They’ll have to drive because flying might not be available. Check the estimated carbon tax bill for Qantas:


Yowza! $102 million! Now consider that the airline’s 2009 profit was $123 million. Had Labor’s human existence tax been in place, Qantas would have been left with a profit of just $21 million – enough to buy a scrappy bunch of used Boeing 727s.



Tim Blair – Monday, April 18, 11 (04:21 am)

This might be fun. It’s a section-by-section deal, too, which should bring the Telegraph‘s opinion pages into direct combat with other, lesser opinion pages.


If he’d stayed home, there would be less of that effect to worry about

Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 18, 11 (07:06 am)

Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery flies all the way to Canada to sign books in which he bemoans our “negative effects on Earth’s ecosystems, potentially resulting in our downfall”.


Rights trump the NBN’s red ink

Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 18, 11 (06:53 am)

The troubled $37 billion (plus plus) National Broadband Network is about giving people rights, it seems, and not about making financial sense:

Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Troy Harper told The Australian that although the NBN was a great concept, the network’s rollout in Tasmania was “a disgrace” and “madness”.

Mr Harper said the initial rollout should have focused on the cities, where the take-up rate by businesses and homes would have been greatest, instead of on three small towns, including two in rural areas.

The criticism brought a swift rebuke from Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, who said people were entitled to affordable high-speed broadband services no matter where they chose to live or work.


Mind you, it helps that some lucky recipients live in marginal Labor seats - not that the swine seem grateful for their luck:

For the network’s initial rollout, the federal and state governments chose three towns: Smithton, a quiet rural timber area in Tasmania’s northwest, Scottsdale, a timber town in the rural northeast, and Midway Point, on Hobart’s eastern outskirts.

Scottsdale, population 950, and Smithton, population 1609, are in the seats of Bass and Braddon, which until last year’s federal election were marginal, and support for the NBN was seen as a factor in swings to Labor. Midway Point is in less marginal Lyons, which was further shored up by Labor at last year’s poll.

While politically popular in these towns, take-up rates for the high-speed internet have been low, at about 11 per cent, according to figures released by the federal government last year.


Why did Combet knowingly give a misleading figure?

Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 18, 11 (06:33 am)

Did Climate Change Minister Greg Combet yesterday admit to using dodgy figures to fool us into thinking his carbon dioxide tax wouldn’t hurt?

First, here’s his claim from last week:

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said under CPRS-level assistance and a $20 a tonne carbon price, the steel industry faced a $2.60 hike in the cost of making a tonne of steel, which currently sells at $800.

He said the aluminium industry would face an additional cost of $18.70 a tonne, out of a price of about $2500 a tonne.

Wrong, said Bluescope Steel. Wrong, said the Australian Aluminium Council.

Combet yesterday backtracked fast:

Mr Combet said that if the carbon price were $20 a tonne, the average carbon price after 94.5 per cent assistance for the core pollution-intensive activity would be about $2.60 per tonne.

“Of steel—that’s out of a steel price of $800 per tonne,” he said.

Steelmakers would immediately say that is not the only carbon cost they will face, and that is true. I am referring to the carbon cost in their core activity, and this will be the largest component of their carbon costs.”

So why did Combet use a figure which he concedes underestimated the costs to the industries he’d singled out?


Save the planet! Tax this cake

Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 18, 11 (06:18 am)

Tim Wilson bakes a birthday cake, following Julia Gillard’s planet-saving recipe:

All the ingredients for our birthday cake—225g of White Wings plain flour, 125ml of Crisco vegetable oil, 85g of Cadbury cocoa powder, 250ml of Pauls milk, 350g of CSR caster sugar—will include the direct cost of a carbon tax because they’re manufactured by a big polluter. As will the 220g of Plaistowe cooking chocolate and 200ml of Pura double cream for the icing.

And assuming the cake is being made in my kitchen in Melbourne’s South Yarra, there’ll be a carbon tax directly on the 250ml of water from big polluter South East Water I need to boil as well....

All the locally produced ingredients, however, will include an indirect price increase through carbon tax electricity price rises.

They’ll also include the carbon tax that flows through from “scope three” emissions, which includes all non-electricity scope two emissions whose cost will be passed through to every good and service in the economy and for which the government won’t be compensating households.

For our birthday cake, scope three emission costs will be added to ingredients through the carbon tax paid by wholesale distributor Linfox and retailers Coles, Woolworths or ALDI; as well as any other carbon tax costs to other companies who help get the ingredients into my pantry....However, I will need to include the carbon tax cost from the electricity company’s scope one emissions, which are my scope two emissions, for the electricity used to power the mixer, oven and dishwasher, as well as more of the South East Water consumed.


So it’s no wonder that business is finally rebelling against this pointlessly damaging tax - and how:

BUSINESS opposition to Julia Gillard’s carbon tax has intensified, with ...19 food and grocery manufacturers (joining) the resistance, alongside mining and power companies, to sign a letter to Ms Gillard warning of dire consequences if the tax was not carefully designed.

Companies represented included Goodman Fielder, George Weston Foods, Nestle Australia, CSR, Laucke Flour Mills, Yakult Australia and Bundaberg Sugar.

Crucially, seven of the signatories—mainly from mining companies—went public despite their membership of the government’s business roundtable, which is advising Ms Gillard on the design of the tax.

The letter to Ms Gillard, which was sent last Friday, argued that jobs could easily be lost in emissions-intensive industries competing with overseas rivals that did not tax carbon…

“A carbon pricing scheme that fails to include measures to fully preserve the international competitiveness of Australia’s export and import-competing industry during a period of uneven or limited international action will cost jobs, investment and reduce the living standards of all Australians.


How many more hints do they need? Gillard is finished

Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 18, 11 (05:57 am)

At some stage even a Canberra political correspondent will see that Julia Gillard is finished, and her pointlessly damaging tax with her:

THE Coalition has opened a huge 56-44 per cent two-party lead in an Age/Nielsen poll showing Labor’s primary vote at its lowest in 15 years and rising community opposition to the carbon price.

Julia Gillard now trails Kevin Rudd, the prime minister she overthrew, by 38-55 per cent as preferred Labor leader, although Labor MPs rule out any change...Ms Gillard now has her worst approval rating (45 per cent, down 2 points) and her highest disapproval (50 per cent, up 3 points) since she became Prime Minister. ..

With unions and employers turning the screws on the government over its carbon proposals, a carbon price has become steadily more unpopular. Fifty-nine per cent oppose it, compared with 56 per cent last month and 44 per cent in February.

Labor cannot win an election promising this tax, and Gillard cannot win an election if she dumps it. The logic is inescapable.


Obama admits to a stalemate

Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 18, 11 (12:02 am)

Barack Obama’s concession does not sound promising:

You now have a stalemate on the ground militarily, but Gaddafi is still getting squeezed in all kinds of other ways. He is running out of money, he is running out of supplies. The noose is tightening and he is becoming more and more isolated.

“My expectation is that if we continue to apply that pressure and continue to protect civilians, which NATO is doing very capably, then I think over the long term Gaddafi will go and we will be successful.”

I’ll say it again: America is demonstrating its lack of will and cash in Libya, and faces humiliation.


It’s just the kind of timid, weak and incompetent folly that makes Donald Trump look surprisingly - even dangerously - viable:

BILLIONAIRE businessman Donald Trump, who is flirting with a White House run, ... said that by failing to move more decisively in its foreign policy, ”this country is a laughing stock throughout the world”…

“Look at Libya. Look at this mess,” an exasperated Trump said.

“We go in, we don’t go in, he shouldn’t be removed, we don’t want to remove him, we don’t want to touch him, but he should be removed. Nobody knows what they’re doing on Gaddafi.

“I’d do one thing. Either I’d go in and take the oil or I don’t go in at all,” he said.

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