Thursday, April 21, 2011

News Items and comments

Liked on www.youtube.com
SJ's acoustic guitar video "I Like You". SJ plays acoustic folk music, acoustic love songs and makes acoustic music videos.
17 minutes ago via YouTube · ·
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Where were they going?
A BABY boy and a woman have died in the crash of an overloaded vehicle in Western Australia in which few, if any, of the passengers were wearing seatbelts.
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ALP are corrupt.
HARNESS racing officials were trying to trample all over parliamentary privilege in their bid to stop the sale of Brisbane's Albion Park paceway, a court heard today.
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What is his excuse?
A MELBOURNE teenager has pleaded guilty to murdering Indian student Nitin Garg - a crime which threatened Australia's relations with India.
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He isn't supposed to enjoy it.
IF you thought next month's Budget would cause you pain, then Wayne Swan wants you to know - he feels pain, too.
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And yet the ALP retain government.
ONE in four homes inspected under the Federal Government's botched home insulation scheme had varying levels of safety risks and did not meet national building safety standards.
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Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. What happened is tragic. But it wasn't because of his harsh words.
THE policeman who chastised Grantham woman Donna Rice for driving into floodwaters is "suffering", the Queensland Police Union says.
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I know the secret to gettin women mad. Just run up and kick them in the butt. Works on men too.
SCIENTISTS have put a finger on what makes a man more attractive to women. It's all about their index and ring fingers and it all happens in the womb, according to research.
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I haven't been able to shop for supplies this week .. It is a worry.
BUSINESSES are bracing for their most expensive Easter long weekend on record, with many small retailers considering a five-day shutdown to avoid paying exorbitant wages.
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It would not be hard to get France or Belgium to cooperate. The farmers can be compensated. But our chief diplomat is abysmal.
THE remains of Australian war dead are being uncovered by farmers in France and Belgium and immediately reburied to avoid red tape and delays - and there is nothing authorities can do about it.
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Good investigative reporting .. Coming after the election.
THE State Government is hiring private spies to protect water infrastructure from sabotage that could disrupt supplies to up to four million people.
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Unlike mining where tough men do hard work, racing is a filthy corrupt industry.
THE mining-turned-sports tycoon Nathan Tinkler is heading for a Supreme Court showdown with horse trainer Anthony Cummings after storming out of a six-hour mediation hearing over their $7 million lega...
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She got the written consent when they married.
A WOMAN fighting to have her dead husband's baby has launched a new court battle to take his frozen sperm outside NSW for use in IVF treatment.
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It takes money to make money. You can't shortchange a business to make it discount.
BUDGET airline Tiger Airways is at risk of being grounded by the aviation regulator after a spate of serious safety and maintenance breaches.
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But the boy was misbehaving. What was he supposed to do? Use harsh language? Jks I get it the kid is 5 yo ..
A WEST Australian teacher who allegedly tied a five-year-old boy to a chair to punish him for misbehaving has been stood aside while the case is investigated.
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This ALP policy is not compassionate.
TWO asylum-seekers in Sydney's Villawood detention centre are on the roof of the facility staging a protest over the rejection of their visa applications.
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I hope it works.
THE first of the new 78 Waratah trains, worth a total of $1.9 billion, has just been handed over to the NSW government.
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Grandma. Some things I shouldn't know.
A VICTORIAN grandmother who killed her husband after he constantly demanded kinky sex has been jailed for 11 years.


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Yum. Crumbed chicken.
THE body of a dead 'alien' has been found in Siberia after claims of UFO 'hurtling to earth.'

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That was a mistake. I would have used it as an opportunity to say hello.
CHANNELLING Julia Roberts in Notting Hill, Megan Gale has today confronted two girls in a caf as they picked apart the model's looks within her earshot.
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I hope Mokbel talks. But I still don't like him.
UPDATE 8pm: POLICE chief Simon Overland says the taskforce charged with investigating Melbourne's gangland wars will survive, despite admissions by Tony Mokbel that he orchestrated a multimillion doll...
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This sounds more responsible than what is at some high schools.
FACEBOOK has released a raft of safety features to help protect young people against online bullying. The most comprehensive change is what Facebook calls "social reporting" - where users can report o...
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‎@Blunty3000 I think the advert is a humorous one associating the beef with the spanish sport. Personally I'd give the actor both ears and the tail.
11 hours ago via YouTube · ·
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DECISIVE FREEDOM

Tim Blair – Thursday, April 21, 11 (06:01 am)

The SMH’s Elizabeth Farrelly considers the 80/80 principle – “the assumption that 80 per cent of Australians have an IQ average of 80” – and what she describes as “Australia’s ludicrous dithering on a pollution tax”:

Whether non-democracies such as China will negotiate the rapids of the coming century more adroitly remains to be seen. Certainly, freed from any need to pander to the 80/80 rule, they have at least one freedom Western-style democracies do not have – the freedom to act decisively.

This, of course, can be bad, very bad. But it can also be good, facilitating just the kind of purposive decision making needed to change habits quickly and cater to excellence rather than popularity.

Elizabeth declines to list any actual examples of excellence arising from communist dictatorships, possibly because there aren’t any. The headline on her piece: “Democracy is blocking intelligence.”

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ONE LABOR MP, FOUR CHARGES

Tim Blair – Thursday, April 21, 11 (05:49 am)

An arrest in Adelaide:

A South Australian Labor MP stands charged with child pornography offences after being arrested by police last night.

The MP, who cannot be named because of automatic suppressions on such offences, was taken into police custody last night ...

The MP is charged with one aggravated count of possessing child pornography, a second count of possession of child pornography and two counts of taking steps to obtain child pornography, and has been released on police bail.

The mystery Labor politician is due to appear in court on May 20.

Turmoil swept state political circles in South Australia as details of the incident slowly emerged …

Labor and Liberal MPs were in shock and few were prepared to talk about the incident. Many were asking the media for details.

Maximum penalty: seven years.

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SWINGS AND ROUNDABOUTS

Tim Blair – Thursday, April 21, 11 (04:47 am)

“Although Britain is unquestionably less racist than it was 40 years ago,” asks Ed West, “have our overall cultural values improved? I’m not so sure.”

(Via Mystery Meat)

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439 DAYS UNTIL LABOR’S SCEPTIC ENLOUDENING TAX

Tim Blair – Thursday, April 21, 11 (04:45 am)

The government’s proposed carbon dioxide tax has changed Australia’s mood, according to Stephen Frost:

In April 2009, the LA Times published an article with the title “What will global warming look like?Scientists point to Australia”. Prolonged droughts, deadly bush fires, monsoon flooding and mosquito-borne fevers, widespread wildlife decline, economic collapse in agriculture, killer heat waves, suicide, depression, and families being torn apart were all put down to climate change. Or as Frank Eddy (a drought affected orchardist) put it: “You’d have to have your head in the bloody sand to think otherwise” ….

Two years later, such an article would be improbable. Climate change sceptics are no longer shut out of debates, and their voices are louder than ever. The mood has changed significantly, not the least because Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a tax on carbon dioxide emissions.

Politics is a long game. Let’s see where we are in 2013.

UPDATE:

Mortgage repayments on newly built homes could jump almost $43 a month unless housing is compensated under a carbon tax.

Spread over a typical 25-year loan for a new home in Melbourne, the total hit could top $12,800.

Way to help working families, Labor.

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AT LEAST THEY DIDN’T EGG HIM

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 20, 11 (07:41 pm)

A post-Marriqville battle of wits is quickly ended:

image

The “Murdoch reading press”, you say? That would be someone from Fairfax or possibly the ABC. As J.F. Beckobserves: “Only 140 characters and Loewenstein still mangles the language.”

UPDATE. Antony never changes his spots.

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BIG NAMES, NO BOYCOTT

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 20, 11 (12:28 pm)

All hail the names:

Some of the biggest cultural and academic names in the world have thrown their support behind Marrickville Council’s controversial boycott of Israel.

These big names are also “leading moral authorities” and “cultural and intellectual icons”. Despite their general awesomeness, Marriqville’s boycott of Israel has been voted down:

A Greens-dominated Sydney council was last night forced to abandon its bid to implement a boycott of goods and services from Israel, after a fiery meeting that lasted more than three hours.

Two of the five Greens on Marrickville Council repeatedly split from their colleagues by refusing to back motions to water down the original proposal to support the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign.

Some attendees brought their own subtitles:

One woman called Arab councillors who did not support the boycott ‘’f---ing cowards’’, first in Arabic, then in English, before storming out.

What might be Marriqville’s next move? Sandra Eckersley has an idea:

Australia continues to struggle to secure a seat on the UN Security Council after failing to gain support from the Arab League but at least Marrickville now looks like it is in with a good chance.

It could be the first egg to gain UN authority:

Councillor Byrne says she does not understand why there has been such a backlash to the boycott plans.

“Marrickville Council has created a little egg here, which is support for this BDS campaign,” she said.

“We have created a little egg, which is support for the plight of the Palestinian people, and a sledgehammer is being used to break that.”

Egg lady Byrne voted to maintain the boycott.

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FORMULA NEWS

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 20, 11 (11:51 am)

This could be amusing:

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is in the early stages of talks about forming a consortium to acquire control of Formula One motor racing, according to someone familiar with the deal.

First order of business: ban baby engines.

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If they were happy with Overland they’d have said so

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, April 21, 11 (07:10 am)

Sir Ken Jones will become Victoria’s top cop within the Baillieu Peter Ryan Government’s first term in office:


SIMON Overland is under growing pressure as frustrated State Government insiders say his performance as police Chief Commissioner is disappointing.

They are seething over what they see as a lack of leadership by Mr Overland....

The crisis follows the Herald Sun’s revelation that seven parole violators charged with murder were still on the streets at the time of the killings because of a failure in the police computer system.

And as a $100 million blowout in the cost of a new police crime database was revealed, Police Minister Peter Ryan offered only qualified support for the top cop.

“I think it has been a testing week for police command. Yes I do have faith in Simon Overland, but it has been a testing week,” he said.

When asked directly if Mr Overland’s future hinged on the ability to overcome the LINK computer fiasco, Mr Ryan said: “I am not speculating about any of that.”

He also declined to comment on whether it was appropriate for Mr Overland to leave a deputy to face the media to explain the $100 million bungle…

High-ranking Government sources told the Herald Sun there was growing unease about Mr Overland’s performance.... Anger in Government circles has increased after a string of controversies. ...

Public pressure has built to the point where Mr Overland has ceased his regular appearances on Neil Mitchell’s 3AW morning radio program and withdrawn from recent appearances on Jon Faine’s ABC radio program.

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How “peer review” corrupts the warming “science”

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, April 21, 11 (06:46 am)

Professor Ross McKitrick on how “peer review” has corrupted the global warming debate:

Starting in 2007, I spent two years trying to publish a paper to refute an important claim in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (on how real-word data allegedly confirmed models predicting a recent man-made warming).

The claim in question was not just wrong but was based on fabricated evidence. Showing that the claim was fabricated was easy: it suffices merely to quote the section of the report, since no supporting evidence is given....

Showing that the IPCC claim is also false took some mundane statistical work, but the results were clear. Once the numbers were crunched and the paper was written, I began sending it to science journals. Having published several against-the-flow papers in climatology journals, I did not expect a smooth ride, but the process eventually became surreal. In the end, the paper was accepted for publication, but not in a climatology journal. Fortunately for me, I am an economist, not a climatologist, and my career doesn’t depend on getting published in climatology journals. If I were a young climatologist, I would have learned that my career prospects would be much better if I never wrote papers that question the IPCC. The skewing of the literature (and careers) can only be bad for society, which depends on scientists and the scientific literature for trustworthy advice for wise policy decisions....

Of course, differences of opinion exist and vigorous disputes play out among opposing camps. But what is happening in climate science is very different, or at least is on a much more intense scale. I know of no parallels in modern economics. It appears to be a profession-wide decision that, due to the conjectured threat of global warming, the ethic of scientific objectivity has had an asterisk added to it: there is now the additional condition that objectivity cannot compromise the imperative of supporting one particular point of view.

This strategy is backfiring badly: rather than creating the appearance of genuine scientific progress,the situation appears more like a chokehold of indoctrination and intellectual corruption.

The warning was sounded some years ago by Professor Edward Wegman, who lead the Wegman Report into the discredited “hockey stick”:

One of the interesting questions associated with the ‚"hockey stick controversy’ are the relationships among the authors and consequently how confident one can be in the peer review process. In particular, if there is a tight relationship among the authors and there are not a large number of individuals engaged in a particular topic area, then one may suspect that the peer review process does not fully vet papers before they are published…

However, it is immediately clear that the Mann, Rutherford, Jones, Osborn, Briffa, Bradley and Hughes form a clique, each interacting with all of the others. A clique is a fully connected subgraph, meaning everyone in the clique interacts with every one else in the clique.

The report added:

One of the interesting questions associated with the ‘hockey stick controversy’ are the relationships among the authors and consequently how confident one can be in the peer review process. In particular, if there is a tight relationship among the authors and there are not a large number of individuals engaged in a particular topic area, then one may suspect that the peer review process does not fully vet papers before they are published. ndeed, a common practice among associate editors for scholarly journals is to look in the list of references for a submitted paper to see who else is writing in a given area and thus who might legitimately be called on to provide knowledgeable peer review. Of course, if a given discipline area is small and the authors in the area are tightly coupled, then this process is likely to turn up very sympathetic referees. These referees may have coauthored other papers with a given author. They may believe they know that author’s other writings well enough that errors can continue to propagate and indeed be reinforced.

In the case of the “hockey stick”, Wegman and his team found the “clique” of gatekeepers to be no more than just 43 warmist scientists.

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Warmist yearns for the “freedom” of a dictatorship

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, April 21, 11 (06:22 am)

Sydney Morning Herald columnist Elizabeth Farrelly sighs for the virtue of a communist dictatorship, which, unike Australia, needs not pander to the 80 per cent of the population which has an IQ of just 80 and resists virtuous causes such as global warming:

Whether non-democracies such as China will negotiate the rapids of the coming century more adroitly remains to be seen. Certainly, freed from any need to pander to the 80/80 rule, they have at least one freedom Western-style democracies do not have – the freedom to act decisively.

Farrelly of course imagines herself in the 20 per cent of the intellectual elite, and thus born to dictate.

UPDATE

Farrelly joins other warmists in regretting the freedom of other citizens to disagree with them.

Here’s former Greens candidate Professor Clive Hamilton:

(T)he implications of 3C, let alone 4C or 5C, are so horrible that we look to any possible scenario to head it off, including the canvassing of “emergency” responses such as the suspension of democratic processes.

Here’s Emeritus Professor David Shearman, an IPCC assessor and honorary secretary of Doctors for the Environment Australia:

Government in the future will be based upon . . . a supreme office of the biosphere. The office will comprise specially trained philosopher/ecologists. These guardians will either rule themselves or advise an authoritarian government of policies based on their ecological training and philosophical sensitivities. These guardians will be specially trained for the task.

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Setting fire to Gillard’s “compassionate” policies

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, April 21, 11 (06:12 am)

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I really don’t think Julia Gillard’s boat people policies are working, or, on the other hand, have turned out so ”compassionate”, either:

SYDNEY’S Villawood Detention Centre last night erupted into violence with rioting detainees setting fire to the facility and forcing guards to retreat....

The rioting followed a day-long protest by up to 11 detainees, some of whom refused to come down from the roof from where they threw tiles… A spokesman for the NSW Fire Brigade said it was not safe for the officers to enter the centre, forcing them to attempt to extinguish the flames from a cherry picker....

Refugee advocate Ian Rintoul said three areas of the compound on fire had been destroyed, including a billiards room and computer room....

Last month, a violent riot erupted at Christmas Island’s high security detention centre following a mass breakout. In the past eight months, six people have died in detention.... A senior Comcare investigator found that alleged ringleaders of the Christmas Island riot transferred to Villawood’s high-security area were placed under the control of a worker who had not been trained for the job.

These are people asking to be let into the country? Still, if setting fire to stuff has already got some detainees from Christmas Island to Sydney, why stop?

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No comment again

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, April 21, 11 (05:50 am)

Once again, despite my long involvement in the “stolen generations” debate I am now advised by lawyers not to comment on this news story and this comment piece by Keith Windschuttle. Once again, I must also forbid you commenting here, too. If you think these restrictions illiberal, I may not comment on that, either. Nor may I comment on Windschuttle’s observation about the refusal of the Fairfax media to comment, or even comment on any risk Windshuttle risks in commenting on a matter of important public interest. I apologise for not commenting on all these matters, but must refrain in order to protect my right to free speech. True.

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Deeper and deeper into Libya…

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 20, 11 (05:01 pm)

Where is the anti-war Left which once opposed even the removal of the genocidal war-monger Saddam Hussein without United Nations authorisation?

You see, the United Nations Security Council was quite specific on March 17 - yes, impose a no-fly-zone on Libya, but do not send in troops:

4. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, who opposed the war in Iraq, boasted that this time (thanks in part to his own humble efforts) the war in Libya was legit:

The Australian government strongly welcomed this outcome....

The League of Arab States adopted its own resolution to support a no-fly zone for Libya at its March 12 meeting in Cairo. The support of the league was vital. Its members are Libya’s neighbouring states and were a critical element in the legitimacy of Security Council intervention.

Without their support, we might have found ourselves in the difficult and dangerous terrain of the Security Council deliberations on Iraq in the lead-up to the 2003 intervention, which occurred outside authorisation of the council...

The Security Council deliberately stopped short of authorising any occupation force in Libya.

Thing is, the US, France and England, now with NATO help, have found that just an aerial bombardment isn’t enough to achieve their real aim - not to protect Libyan civilians but to kick out Muammar Gaddafi. And so began the mission creep, way beyond what the UN authorised.

March 20:

“As I said yesterday, we will not - I repeat - we will not deploy any US troops on the ground,” Obama said.

March 31:

The CIA has sent a small, covert team into rebel-held eastern Libya while the White House debates whether to arm the opposition, NPR has confirmed. The operatives are in Libya to gather intelligence to help direct NATO airstrikes and to help train inexperienced rebel fighters.

April 15:

The United States, Britain and France are thinking beyond the current UN resolution authorising action to protect Libyan civilians and now seek regime change, France’s defence minister said Friday.

April 19:

Britain is to send a team of military officers to Libya to help advise the rebels fighting Col Muammar Gaddafi.

The BBC understands about 10 UK officers and a similar number from France will provide logistics and intelligence training in Benghazi.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said the move was in accordance with the resolution on Libya, which forbids foreign occupation forces.

Mission creep, stalemate, deceit ... and this time not a peep from the Left.

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Europe’s doors are swinging shut

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 20, 11 (04:05 pm)

It’s all unravelling, this dream of a borderless world and a world culture:

THE DREAM of a borderless Europe - in which passport control has been abolished across the Continent over the past 25 years - is in tatters amid a row over North African refugees.

Document checks are being hastily reintroduced in France, the Netherlands and Belgium in response to Italy’s decision to hand travel papers to at least 22,000 Tunisian migrants, allowing them access to the mainland of Europe. Austria and Germany also indicated that they would toughen up border checks amid the dispute that threatens to undo a quarter of a century of painstaking efforts to create a passport-free area from the English Channel to the Aegean sea…

The dispute erupted when Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister, flew into a rage at fellow EU nations’ refusal to take a share of refugees pouring into the Italian island of Lampedusa from Tunisia.

Germany said that it had accepted many more people when Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe and other countries such as Sweden have taken thousands of Iranian refugees.

Italy, knowing that many of the French-speaking Tunisians were seeking a better life in France, began to hand out temporary residence permits, which give Schengen travel rights.

On Sunday France halted train crossings from the Italian town of Ventimiglia to block groups of Tunisians.

UPDATE

A door less wide open might suit us better, too:

An Australian citizen of Saudi origin was indicted in the Central District Court on Sunday for membership in the Hamas terrorist organization and attempting to aid the organization in attacking Israel.

The man, Ia’ad Rashid Abu Arja, was arrested by the police and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) last week, when he attempted to enter the country at Ben Gurion Airport.

(Thanks to readers Owen and Alan RM Jones.)

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Where is Labor not on the nose?

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 20, 11 (10:09 am)

Add South Australia to the list of states where’s Labor’s brand has been trashed:

The party’s primary vote has dropped to 24 per cent in a new Advertiser poll, conducted on Monday night.

The primary result is even worse than the 25.6 per cent recorded by Labor at the recent New South Wales election....

The poll shows the Liberal primary vote at 50 per cent.

On a two-party preferred basis, this translates to a 60 per cent to 40 per cent Liberal victory at an election, even taking into account a 4.8 per cent margin for error.

Another Labor figure blames Gillard and her carbon dioxide tax:

Sport Minister Tom Kenyon thinks the Labor Party in South Australia will not go any lower than a current poll showing its primary support at 24 per cent…

“It’d be fair to say there’s a bit of tarnish on the Labor brand at the moment,” he said.

The feds aren’t doing particularly well, the carbon tax is another thing, another difficult thing that’s going on in the background.

(Thanks to reader Noodles Romanoff.)

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US drowns in its debt

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 20, 11 (07:05 am)

This is getting way, way out of control - and could hurt us all:

THE United States is facing the possible loss of its prized AAA credit rating for the first time, as global markets begin to question the ability of the world’s biggest economy to rein in its ballooning debt.

In an unexpected move that sent shivers through the markets, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has cut its outlook on the US from ‘’stable’’ to ‘’negative’’.

The move was widely seen as a warning to Washington to overcome bitter political disputes over how to handle its $US14 trillion in public debt.

UPDATE

Maurice Newman expects terrible trouble - and worse if we don’t ditch the planned carbon dioxide tax:

THE world economy is on “life support”, living beyond its means, with the threat of a cataclysmic shock within the next eight years, ABC chairman Maurice Newman warned yesterday.

The former chairman of the Australian Securities Exchange, who is also a director of the Queensland Investment Corporation, said the Australian economy was better placed than many others to withstand the potential major shock to the world trade and financial system.

But he warned that Australia had only a few years to get its economic house in order—improving the competitiveness of the economy, avoiding new taxes such as the carbon tax, balancing its budget, reducing energy costs, streamlining business regulation and moving towards a more flexible industrial relations system.

“Nearly three years since the global financial crisis, the world economy remains on life-support, despite the trillions of dollars of stimulus and monetary easing… We are nearing an endgame...”

The US was now facing a budget deficit of $US1.65 trillion ($1.57tn) compared with the $US580 billion predicted by the Obama administration only two years ago.

Youth unemployment in Britain was now running at 20 per cent. In countries such as Britain and others in Europe, the state now made up more than 50 per cent of the economy.


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