Miranda Devine – Wednesday, May 04, 11 (07:28 pm)
THE already-historic photograph of US President Barack Obama and his national security team in the White House situation room is a fascinating psychological study.
- The decision to kill Osama was successful but it remains to be seen if it was right. Obama made much in his campaigning of ending Gitmo and trying terrorists as civilians. Yet here we see the fruit of Gitmo which still (successfully) continues and which is punctuated not with a civilian trial but with a killing.
Few could argue the killing was not earned. But one must wonder at the possibility that a trial would have presented. What would Osama have said? Would he have tried to exploit political division within the US? Would he have claimed to have cooperated with Obama in the past, or used his electoral success as impetus for his struggling network? Would he have implicated those that had been released from Gitmo in earlier days, like Habib and Hicks?
Obama has a shadowy past and it involves Pakistan. Would Osama have tried to exploit a Pakistan based view of those links?
It is a gallows joke to say that the tension clearly on the faces of those assembled to watch the assault might well have been from the fear that Obama might say too much before dying. - ed
Tim Blair – Thursday, May 05, 11 (04:54 am)
Today’s Age editorial:
A carbon tax will (or at least should) profoundly change the national economy and the way Australians conduct their lives …
The government must not lose sight of the purpose of a carbon tax.
Brisbane MP Graham Perrett said 80 per cent of constituents who contacted his office about the issue in the seat of Moreton in March and April opposed the tax.
“The fear is troubling them, the uncertainty is troubling them,” Mr Perrett said.
But Perrett predicts an eventual end to the fear and uncertainty:
Mr Perrett said he believed Australians wanted action on climate change and would be more receptive when they understood the final package, which Labor is developing in conjunction with the Greens and independents.
Nothing works faster to make Australians feel secure than the words “independents” and “Greens”.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, May 05, 11 (07:09 am)
How much is out refugee program costing, and what kind of citizens are we gaining?
MORE than 60 per cent of refugees to Australia have failed to get a job after five years, according to a damning Federal Government report into the humanitarian settlement program.
And 83 per cent of those households now rely on welfare payments for income.
The greatest unemployment rate was recorded among new arrivals from Iraq and Afghanistan, with less than one in 10 finding full-time work and 93.7 per cent of households receiving Centrelink payments.
The statistics are contained in a Department of Immigration and Citizenship report released last Friday under the cover of the royal wedding.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, May 05, 11 (07:06 am)
Green power just costs too much - even for this Gillard Government, which claims we need more renewable power:
THE government is set to accelerate cuts to subsidies for household solar panels from July under changes to be announced today.
Climate Change Minister Greg Combet is expected to announce the changes in response to soaring electricity prices and an overheating renewable energy market.
The cuts to solar subsidies are expected to save households up to $35 a year on their power bills.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, May 05, 11 (06:59 am)
I don’t think Julia Gillard’s ”charm offensive” is working:
WESTPAC chief executive Gail Kelly has joined the growing criticism of Labor’s carbon tax, declaring an emissions trading scheme better for business and warning the “uncertainty” caused by the lack of policy detail is affecting her customers.
Mrs Kelly’s criticism came as Julia Gillard met key business leaders at her Kirribilli House residence in Sydney last night in a bid to win support for the tax, but that fanned anger from brown-coal producers and electricity generators who were not invited.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, May 05, 11 (06:19 am)
I haven’t seen the photos, so can’t judge how provocative they’d be:
PRESIDENT Barack Obama will not release photos of the dead Osama bin Laden, nor visuals of his burial at sea, but has told the world that ?you will not see bin Laden walking on this Earth again?…
Asked he saw the pictures, the president said: “Yes.”
(CAUTION: some of the pictures are gruesome.)
Asked for his reaction, the president said: “It was him.”
Asked why he wouldn’t release them, the president said: “We discussed this internally. Keep in mind we were absolutely certain it was him. We’d done DNA sampling and testing.
“There is no doubt that we killed Osama bin Laden. It is important for is to make sure that very graphic photos of someone who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool...”
I have thought from the start that the pictures actually needed to get out to puncture the conspiracy theories - now growing fast - and also to strip Osama of dignity.
The release of these earlier images seemed to deflate the terrorists in Iraq, not inflame them. I suspect that Obama’s refusal to now try the same technique reflects a concern about the reaction not from Muslims but from the Left. I tend to think it a mistake.
One reason why “trust me” won’t work now:
White House counterterror adviser John Brennan, May 2:
(Osama bin Laden) was engaged in a firefight with those who entered the house he was in, whether he got off any rounds I quite frankly do not know. Thinking about that from a visual perspective, here is Bin Laden who has been calling on these attacks, living in this million dollar plus compound, living in an area that is far removed from the front, hiding behind women.. who were put in front of him as a shield..
White House spokesman Jay Carney, May 3:
... bin Laden’s wife rushed the U.S. assaulter and was shot in the leg but not killed. Bin Laden was then shot and killed. He was not armed.
Yet we can see the pictures of those shot with Osama....
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, May 05, 11 (05:56 am)
Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama uses intelligence gained through a waterboarding he damned from a suspect still kept in a facility he vowed to close to send Special Forces to kill a man who’s a hero to many of the Muslims he vowed to reach out to. And he reaps the rewards:
PRESIDENT Barack Obama has received a big boost following the US military raid that killed al-Qa’ida leader Osama bin Laden, with his approval rating surging 11 points, a new poll shows.
The survey conducted by the New York Times and CBS News found that 57 per cent of respondents approved of the President’s job performance, compared to 46 per cent last month.
Claims that CIA chief Leon Panetta, with the backing of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, defied Obama to launch the mission.
(Thanks to reader Gary.)
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, May 05, 11 (12:08 am)
Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery flew (again) to Canada to scold its politicians for not talking more about global warming:
A best-selling Australian author who is known as the “rock star” of modern science is baffled to see Canada’s election campaign side-stepping around climate change and environmental issues…
Tim Flannery ...says the environment is one of the top issues everywhere he travels…
He noted that in his home country, considered to be the biggest global exporter of coal, the issue remains a hot topic as the minority Labour government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard, propped up by independent and Green MPs, grapples with a plan to introduce a tax on greenhouse gas emissions by July 2012.
That’s a misleading impression that Flannery gives, implying that Australians are much keener than Canadians on policies to “stop” global warming.
In fact, the latest Newspoll says 60 per cent of Australians oppose Julia Gillard’s carbon dioxide tax - and her determination to impose one anyway, breaking a promise not to, is the only reason it’s a “top issue” here.
Canada’s politicians may be smarter. In fact, the party which talked least about global warming has just won the election:
On the domestic front, Harper defended Canada’s Arctic claims, while appearing to show little interest in climate change.
Let Flannery weep.
(Thanks to reader Neil.)
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, May 05, 11 (12:02 am)
Warwick Hughes checks the warmist Bureau of Meteorology’s three-month forecast for January-March against what really happened. Conclusion: hopeless again.
The BoM 3 month forecast Outlooks improved for three months after Spring 2010 but have deteriorated again over the last two months.
Stats and graphs at the link. Cooler and wetter again.
(Thanks to reader Steve.)
Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, May 04, 11 (07:22 pm)
Gosh, who’d have thought that a government scheme to bribe the young in to taking on big debt would lead to trouble?
ANZ reported yesterday a sharp rise in arrears since September, with more than 30 days arrears rising 41 per cent to $5.8bn, while more than 90 days jumped 26 per cent to $2bn, with the majority related to its Australian mortgage business.
UBS analyst Jonathan Mott, who today cut ANZ to neutral, said the arrears are heavily related to first home owners across the country who piled into housing on the back of the government’s incentive scheme post the global financial crisis.
Taking money off some people to lure other people into deep debt. Brilliant skills.
(Thanks to reader Daniel.)
Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, May 04, 11 (04:04 pm)
This gets more stupid by the day:
The device, believed to have been made from a can of flyspray and canola cooking oil, was found by police after a suspicious fire in a computer room at the detention centre on Saturday, March 19.
The fire came a month before the April 20 riot at Villawood in which nine rooms were gutted and damage caused worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Does this government run the economy like it runs immigration?
Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, May 04, 11 (03:50 pm)
Big surprise. Most Afghans are economic refugees, not real ones, and the government knows it:
ECONOMIC deprivation rather than the fear of persecution is driving Afghan Hazaras to risk their lives to come to Australia, a previously secret government-commissioned report has found.
The Gillard government contracted a Kabul-based communications company to find out what people from the Afghan ethnic minority knew about the risks inherent in using people smugglers to get to Australia.
The report by Wise Strategic Communications, released under freedom of information laws, found ... many Hazaras strongly believed that travelling to Australia practically guaranteed refugee status…
Of the 7668 unlawful arrivals by boat since January last year, 3306 were Afghan. In this period, only 83 have returned home - mostly voluntarily - including six Afghans.
The rejection rate for Afghan refugee claims is about 50 per cent - up from 10 per cent 18 months ago - but 70 per cent of those rejected have their refugee status confirmed on appeal.
‘’Lower-income classes feel their opportunities are virtually non-existent and that clandestine migration is their only option,’’ the report says about those in Bamyan province.
‘’The vast majority of focus group participants from Ghazni regard migration to Australia as a livelihood strategy and coping mechanism to respond to social and economic needs.’’
(Thanks to readers Max and David.)