Friday, July 08, 2011

News items and comments

ABC’s Leftist views at odds with the public

Piers Akerman – Thursday, July 07, 11 (06:36 pm)

THE future of the politically-driven ABC, the audio-visual arm of the extreme Green Left, needs to be reviewed. It has abused its charter. It does not contribute to a sense of national identity, inform or entertain as its charter decrees.

There was nothing on TV tonight, and that program is included in that. I didn’t watch it, but am confident that your words describe it accurately, being commensurate with my past experience with the ABC.
The ABC were the last to know the ALP had fractured when Rudd was dumped. But they were the first to promote Gillard as viable.
Children don’t know how bad the ABC is. Schools have failed in the area of critical analysis. You are doing a good job, Piers, with this. But I must point out that those among the conservative movement failed to identify at the appropriate level of the failings of the ABC prior to 2007. This left the young to be exploited by Get Up and similar groups.
The ABC have been abysmal, but they have triumphed with marketing. They have fierce unprofessional protectors in the media too. It was a failing of the Howard administration that it didn’t address the issue. But then there were always more important things to do.
With the changeover to digital, there is an opportunity for change.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Thu 07 Jul 11 (09:35pm)

Consumer surplus

by RUSS ROBERTS on JULY 7, 2011


Whether you measure it by willingness to pay or how much you’d have to be compensated to go without something, the emergent harmony of the market gives us such a good deal most of the time.


A theory of government

by RUSS ROBERTS on JULY 7, 2011


You can think of two theories of government. One theory is that government exists to correct externalities and provide public goods. The other is that government uses the language of helping people to justify giving stuff to the politically powerful out of the pockets of the rest of us. Here’s some evidence for the second theory.


Pulling back the curtain

by RUSS ROBERTS on JULY 7, 2011


Every once in a while, a news story comes along that lets you see how the world really works. After NAFTA was passed 17 years ago, one provision was never implemented fully–the ability of Mexican trucking firms to operate in the US. This provision was held up because the Teamsters and others didn’t want the competition. But you can’t say that. So the issue that the Teamsters and others used was safety, presumably because there was some provision in NAFTA that required imports to be safe. Or maybe it was on pure political grounds. At any rate, the US has now supposedly agreed to let the trucks to operate freely though it is still subject to some kind of Congressional approval:

The United States and Mexico on Wednesday signed an agreement aimed at resolving a cross-border trucking dispute. The longstanding disagreement had come to symbolize growing resistance, especially in the US Congress, to free-trade provisions with America’s southern neighbor.

The accord, signed in Mexico City by US and Mexican transportation officials, would end a 15-year-old controversy that on the US side featured fears of unsafe Mexican trucks barreling along US highways, driven by unprofessional Mexican truckers.

On the Mexican side, outrage over the American disregard for a NAFTA provision led to retaliatory tariffs on US goods ranging from pork to consumer care products – which cost the US as much as $2 billion in exports.

The accord was greeted warmly by US trade, farm, and business organizations – but condemned by US trucking organizations, a sign the agreement could face trouble in Congress.

The reporter, Howard LaFranchi, frames it clearly just the way the Teamsters would want it framed. Who wants to let in unsafe trucks? The safety issue is the concern of the United States. But is it? Who is worried about it, really? How unsafe are the trucks and drivers? There is no mention of the self-interest of the US trucking industry. There is no mention of consumers in the US who might prefer the lower prices that usually come with competition.

The reporter is not unusual. Every news story that I have seen treats the safety issue as a legitimate concern without wondering if there is anything to it. Turns out that according to a government study, 41% of inspected trucks crossing into the Mexican border were found to be unsafe. But how was that number collected? What does it really mean?

Ten years ago, I wrote an article trying to find out. It’s still on line at EconLib. There are things I would have said differently were I to write it today. But the bottom line is that the whole issue was weird–the safety problem could have been solved at any time the way it has been solved today–by requiring Mexican trucks to comply with US safety standards. And don’t they have to comply with those standards anyway?

The lesson here is how easy it is to get what you want politically by making the issue one of safety or the children. This is not the precise bootlegger and baptist argument but it’s a variant.


… is from page 99 of the late Yale Brozen‘s 1982 book Concentration, Mergers, and Public Policy:

[S]uppressing competition can cause [industrial] concentration to decline. In 1953, Judge Wyzanski ruled that United Shoe Machinery had monopolized the shoe machinery industry, although all its practices were “honestly industrial.” He ordered, as a remedy, that United stop competing. These, of course, were not the literal words of the order. He ordered the cessation of “practices which without being predatory, abusive or coercive were in economic effect exclusionary.” Since all successful competitive acts and practices are “exclusionary” in the sense that they divert business toward the firm and away from its rivals, he, in effect, ordered United to stop competing. The only basis for finding United guilty of monopolizing was its 85 percent share of the market for major machines. Since the decree, affirmed in 1954 by the Supreme Court, provided for a 1965 review by the Court, the only way for United to avoid further penalties on review was to stop being so competitive and allow its market share to diwindle.

As ordered by the Court, United stopped the provision of free repair service for its machines.



Tim Blair – Friday, July 08, 11 (01:05 pm)

GetUp gets uppity:

A powerful consumer lobby group has threatened a mass boycott of major grocery companies if they oppose the carbon tax.

Activist group Get Up has been accused of blackmail after sending a warning letter to 150 companies including Coca-Cola, Heinz, Kraft, McDonald’s, Schweppes and Nestle.

GetUp leader Simon Sheikh commands an army of elderly Canberra residents.

Get Up says it will urge its 570,000 members to “boycott goods and services that are linked to the scare campaign’’.

Get Up confirmed it was prepared to mount a national boycott of the products of any company that was “holding our climate to ransom’’ by supporting a multi-million-dollar anti-tax advertising campaign by business.

Labor has such nice friends.



Tim Blair – Thursday, July 07, 11 (08:36 pm)

The News of the World phone hacking disgrace, which began in 2005, now reaches a critical point. Live coverage of events here. This won’t end nicely. Nor should it.

UK Times columnist Giles Coren summarises the feelings of many News staffers.

UPDATE. This is massive:

The News of the World, Britain’s leading Sunday tabloid newspaper that has become embroiled in a high-profile phone hacking scandal, will be published for the last time this weekend.

News Corporation’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer James Murdoch made the announcement in an email to staff today.

“Having consulted senior colleagues, I have decided that we must take further decisive action with respect to the paper. This Sunday will be the last issue of the News of the World,” Mr Murdoch said.

UPDATE II. The former broadsheet, first published in 1843, closes after 168 years.

UPDATE III. This was no convenient closure of an unprofitable masthead:

The title remains the UK’s biggest-selling paper, with a circulation of 2.66m in May this year …

The News of the World has been NI’s most profitable title for many years.

Hence understandable shock and amazement.

UPDATE IV. The full announcement, posted at the News of the World‘s site.



Tim Blair – Thursday, July 07, 11 (02:03 pm)

Indian call-centre operators don’t think much of Australians:

During the second day of culture training, Lekha dissected the Australian psyche. It took about 20 minutes.

“Just stating facts, guys,” Lekha began, as we scribbled notes, ”Australia is known as the dumbest continent. Literally, college was unknown there until recently. So speak slowly.” Next to me, a young man in a turban wrote No college in his notebook.

“Technologically speaking, they’re somewhat backward, as well. The average person’s mobile would be no better than, say, a Nokia 3110 classic.” This drew scoffs from around the room.

“Australians drink constantly,” Lekha continued. “If you call on a Friday night, they’ll be smashed—every time. Oh, and don’t attempt to make small talk with them about their pets, okay? They can be quite touchy about animals.”

“What kind of people are there in Australia?” a trainee asked. “What are their traits?”

“Well, for one thing,” Lekha said, “let’s admit: They are quite racist. They do not like Indians. Their preferred term for us is — please don’t mind, ladies — ‘brown bastards.’ So if you hear that kind of language, you can just hang up the call.”

I think that my phone is a Nokia 3110 classic, but I lack the technological prowess to make sure.



Tim Blair – Thursday, July 07, 11 (11:17 am)

The greatest moral issue of our time has now shrunk to a dinky 500-company affair:

The controversial carbon tax is expected to have a $23-a-tonne starting price and the government has slashed the number of companies paying the tax, reports say.

The Fairfax report said the $23 price is a compromise between Labor, which was seeking $20, and the Greens, who wanted a much higher price …

And while Prime Minister Julia Gillard last month said the carbon tax would apply to the nation’s “1000 biggest polluters” the government has halved the number of companies hit by the carbon tax to about 500, Fairfax media said.

Bad luck if you happen to be employed by one of those companies. We’re now left with a planet-saving carbon tax that excludes agriculture and petrol – and also involves a tax-churning compensation delivery to 70 per cent of households. The sheer pointlessness of it all is stunning:

The Herald has also learnt the compensation and spending promised in negotiations over the climate deal together cost more than $4 billion over the first four years on top of what the scheme will raise in revenue.

Congratulations, Labor. You’ve invented a tax that costs the government money. Oh, and if households don’t receive a visit from your Labor MP in coming weeks, it’s bad news:

The Daily Telegraph revealed yesterday that Labor MPs who are expected to go out and sell the carbon tax scheme to constituents were told in a special caucus briefing on Tuesday that they would be given a carbon tax package containing a database of the households in their own electorates. It would reveal which will and won’t be compensated under the tax.

“At least we will know which streets we won’t be able to walk down any more,” said a Labor MP.

They should send their Greens partners out on street duty. Seems only fair.



Tim Blair – Thursday, July 07, 11 (11:12 am)

The iconic poley bear has descended from great global warming symbol to mere dog toy:


(From reader Nicole)



Tim Blair – Thursday, July 07, 11 (11:09 am)

Repetitious racism outrage has robbed the accusation of power, observes Jonah Goldberg:

If I write on Twitter something about how I don’t like “Obamacare,” some fellow right-winger will immediately respond with some variant of “that’s racist!”

And that’s the joke. And the people who’ve spent the last few decades screaming, “That’s racist,” not as a punch line but as a heinously unfair accusation or in an attempt to bully people, don’t seem to get that the joke is on them.

It’s even funnier when racism outrage is generated not over issues of race, but over a certain religion.



Tim Blair – Thursday, July 07, 11 (10:32 am)

A. Barton Hinkle observes some wishful thinking:

Boy, those sure have been some mighty peaceful protests against government budget cuts in Greece, haven’t they? You bet they have — at least if you ignore the rock-throwing, fire-setting, window-smashing, and blood-spilling.

Which, it seems clear, a lot of major news organs would like to do. According to one story in The Wall Street Journal, the demonstrations “began peacefully.” According to another, last week Constitution Square in Athens “seethed with indignant, but peaceful, demonstrators.”

“The day began noisily but peacefully,” intoned The New York Times on Wednesday. The Washington Post likewise observed that “a peaceful protest … quickly degenerated into violence.” Reuters reported that, regardless of “clashes between stone-throwing masked youths and riot police … thousands of peaceful protesters demonstrated against the austerity plan.”

What these people need is a carbon tax.


Thatcher’s pearls before swine?

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 08, 11 (11:25 am)

I’m far from being convinced that this won’t be the mocking caricature that’s so religiously clung to by members of this professional class.

(Thanks to reader Kevin.)


Milne confirms: the tax won’t push us to renewables

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 08, 11 (10:52 am)

Deputy Greens leader Christine Milne is just the latest to confirm that this carbon dioixde tax won’t change the climate. From her press conference this morning:

The (tax level of $23 a tonne) price will not be high enough to drive the transition to renewables.

She twice refused to give a guarantee that this tax would even achieve the Government’s target of a 5 per cent cut in our 2000 emissions by 2010. Which wouldn’t cut the temperature, either.


How is it that the Greens, with just a single member in the House of Representatives, get to announce the latest policy of the Gillard Government?

AN independent authority has been established to manage $3.2 billion of renewable energy funding.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will disperse funds as it sees fit in order to best support renewable energy research, development, commercialisation and demonstration, Australian Greens deputy leader Christine Milne said today.

“It has been obvious for years that renewable energy programs in Australia are a mess of badly designed schemes run as photo opportunities rather than helping build the industry,” Senator Milne told reporters in Canberra.

“ARENA will change all that.”

And trust that policy to be yet another green bureaucracy, devoting billions to the kind of green schemes that the Productivity Commission last month warned were wasteful.


As I’ve argued for a long time, the Greens are the One Nation of the Left, and must be treated as such by Labor:

AN influential Labor strategist has called for the major parties to starve the Greens of preferences in a One Nation-style pincer movement designed to kill the party.

Former Victorian ALP secretary Stephen Newnham predicted the ALP and the Coalition would soon swap preferences to isolate the Greens federally and at a state level.

Mr Newnham said the Greens had reached a tipping point in politics and the party should continue to be heavily scrutinised.

“I think it’s only a matter of time before the Greens are given the One Nation treatment,” he told The Australian.


BBC concedes: we stifled debate

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 08, 11 (10:19 am)

The sin isn’t just that journalists censored debate on a critical national issue for fear of what their own audience might conclude.

It’s also that this censorship meant that braver journalists could be singled out for abuse as “racists”, so that the virutous were punished:

And, of course, it’s a bit too late:

Sensitive or ‘taboo’ subjects such as immigration were avoided by the BBC for fear of being too right-wing, the corporation’s director-general admitted yesterday.

Mark Thompson conceded that the broadcaster had been ‘anxious’ in the past about playing into what it may have perceived to be a Right-wing political agenda.

But he claimed it had now changed its position and was responsible for raising the topic of immigration during last year’s general election.

Mr Thompson added that the BBC had a duty to address ‘sensitive and difficult’ issues a ‘significant proportion’ of the public wanted to hear about.

(Thanks to reader Dean.)


There never was a ledger, so how did this smear get made?

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 08, 11 (09:32 am)

It was clear two years ago that the “sex ledger” claims so hyped by the media were false, as I said at the time, and an injustice had been done to three sailors. So why only now, and after so much witch-huntery, are apologies being offered?

THREE sailors who were shamed by the captain of the supply ship HMAS Success and put ashore in Singapore as punishment after being identified as the ringleaders in sexual abuse on the ship will receive a public apology as well as compensation for their treatment.

Former judge Roger Gyles, who investigated claims of sexual misbehaviour on the ship and the punishments the navy handed out in its aftermath, ...examined how those sailors were treated after the allegations against them emerged.

He said the men should still be called to account for their wrongdoing, but the decision to march the alleged ringleaders off the ship and send them back to Australia amounted to a very public humiliation.

The men were not given explanations for the punishment until four months later, by which time they had featured in media reports that claimed they had run a sex ledger, offering cash to shipmates who had sex with female colleagues.

Mr Gyles said he found no evidence of such a ledger…

The men had been unfairly consigned to limbo and the consequences were escalated “by the frenzy of media allegations of a connection between the landing of the sailors and a sex ledger or a sex scandal of some sort, first published on July 4, 2009, and not refuted at all by the navy in the media until one letter . . . to one newspaper on October 27”.

Scream sexual assault, and politics trumps justice.

So how did the ledger allegation get made and get leaked, and why did the navy take so long to deny it? This strikes me as something very much needing action.


Fairfax strips title from sceptic

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 08, 11 (09:27 am)

Fairfax newspapers stoop to incredibly petty tactics to delegitimise sceptic Lord Christopher Monckton:

The Australian yesterday received a copy of an email from Steve Jacobs of Fairfax, to staff.

“Hi all,” it said. ”We are not calling him ‘Lord’. This is the reason: although Monckton calls himself a lord, he is not a member of the House of Lords. He is a hereditary peer. In 1999, a law debarred most hereditary peers, including his father, from sitting or voting in the House of Lords. Tks, Steve.”


The new warming McCarthyists

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 08, 11 (07:12 am)


Activist group Get Up has been accused of blackmail after sending a warning letter to 150 companies including Coca-Cola, Heinz, Kraft, McDonald’s, Schweppes and Nestle.

Get Up says it will urge its 570,000 members to “boycott goods and services that are linked to the scare campaign’’.

Get Up confirmed it was prepared to mount a national boycott of the products of any company that was “holding our climate to ransom’’ by supporting a multi-million-dollar anti-tax advertising campaign by business.

Merely holding the wrong opinion can have a Labor-linked activist group threaten you with ruin:

“We’ve asked company CEOs to answer a series of questions, including whether they accept the science of climate change, whether they back a carbon price, and whether they would consider resigning from the industry body, and we intend to make that information public...”

It’s time more people realised the GetUp’s power is wildly overstated. Those more than 400,000 members it boasts are just names on petitions. Fewer than 18,000 people have actually sent it money - less than $100 each on average.

Time we heard from Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten, a founding director of GetUp, what he thinks of this latest attack on free speech.


Gillard’s last chance

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 08, 11 (07:10 am)

Dennis Shanahan:

AT about one o’clock this Sunday Julia Gillard will get a second chance. It will also be her last chance...

The Gillard carbon tax will have to stand scrutiny first on policy and effectiveness grounds, and then scrutiny on political grounds and her ability to get people to change their minds once they’ve taken a second look. Failure on any grounds will mean she has blown her second chance, and that’s her last chance.


Don’t bother me with the science

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 08, 11 (07:07 am)

ABC host Adam Spencer, having abused sceptic Lord Monckton and hung up on him once, tries again to slime him - while avoiding the real issue:

Spencer: Can we just move on from a discussion of the science because I don’t want us to butt heads again on that sort of stuff. Some people say that you lack any economic credentials.


Ah, well, Whyalla was struggling anyway

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 08, 11 (06:58 am)

Is this Labor MP representing her electorate or betraying it?

FOR months, the South Australian steel city of Whyalla has been a focal point for national debate as politicians and unionists argued over its grim future as a “ghost town” under a carbon tax.

Tony Abbott was in the city of 22,000 in April to back an Australian Workers Union warning that a carbon tax would wipe Whyalla off the map, forcing the closure of the OneSteel plant, which directly employs up to 4000 people…

But now the local MP Lyn Breuer, the South Australian Labor speaker, fears the steel plant is doomed anyway, whatever the impact of the tax.

She believes the company will close its Whyalla operation under the cover of a carbon tax, and says the real reason is its lack of profitability. “I don’t believe a carbon tax will be OneSteel’s problem—the company made a $71 million loss in the past 12 months on steelmaking,” Ms Breuer, whose northern electorate of Giles takes in the steel city, said yesterday.

They will close because they are just not making a profit and they are looking to get out of it, and the carbon tax would be the excuse they need....”

Ms Breuer’s comments to The Australian put her at odds with her own party, Premier Mike Rann and senior ministers, who have insisted their negotiations with the federal government on behalf of OneSteel will result in an agreement, to be revealed with the carbon tax plans on Sunday, that does not threaten the future of industry in South Australia.

I wonder if Breuer would say the same if it was her own job under threat.

So far now we’ve seen Labor argue that miners are profitable enough to not worry about the carbon dioxide tax. Now this Labor MP argues that a steel works is too unprofitable to worry about the carbon dioxide tax.

Someone here does not understand the business basics about costs not being allowed to exceed income, and how one more tax can kill a struggling enterprise.


Gillard stunned instead

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 08, 11 (06:54 am)

Labor backbenchers revolt against Julia Gillard’s backflip on the cattle trade:

Hours after the Prime Minister declared yesterday that new exporting arrangements would guarantee humane treatment of exported Australian cattle, nine Labor MPs signed a letter rejecting the deal as inadequate.
In the first public revolt by backbenchers since Labor won office in 2007, they demanded Australian cattle be stunned before being killed in Indonesian abattoirs.

Mind you, MP Kelvin Thomson yesterday gave no hint at all of any consequences if Gillard went ahead.


Gillard will run billions short on compensation

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 08, 11 (06:50 am)

Henry Ergas says there is a huge financial black hole in the Gillard Government’s plan to compensate taxpayers for its emissions trading scheme:

THE government’s claim that it will provide permanent compensation to 70 per cent of households for its carbon tax is based on a false premise: that the Australian government will receive the revenues from the tax and of permit sales in the subsequent emissions trading scheme.

But Treasury’s modelling of the carbon pollution reduction scheme found that by 2050 nearly 50 per cent of permits would be imported, even with the 2020 target set at a 5 per cent reduction in emissions below 2000 levels. Were the target a 25 to 30 per cent fall in emissions, the share of imported permits would exceed 60 per cent.

When permits are bought overseas, domestic prices still rise, as the purchases add to Australian costs of production.

With the carbon tax increasing at 4 per cent a year in real terms, ensuring households are no worse off requires corresponding increases in commonwealth outlays. But with foreign sellers of permits getting more and more of the revenue, there is a mounting gap between the scheme’s costs and the government’s income..

Even in the 5 per cent reduction scenario, by 2050, annual imports of permits amount to $23 billion at today’s prices; that is, each man, woman and child in this country will be transferring $600 a year to foreign owners of permits. Whatever one may think of those transfers, they mean the government’s compensation promise is vastly underfunded.

This scheme will not only transfer Australian businesses overseas. It will also send billions of our taxes there, too.


News of the World shut down in penance

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 08, 11 (06:21 am)

A shameful scandal for my company, and a dramatic self-punishment:

THE News of the World will be closed down in the wake of the phone hacking scandal, it was announced today.

This Sunday’s edition will be the last ever after private eyes hired by the paper were accused of hacking thousands of numbers including those of murder victims and relatives of dead war heroes.

News International — which owns the 168-year-old tabloid — announced it would be axed, adding that the alleged practices were “inhuman” and had “no place in our Company”.

Chairman James Murdoch revealed the news to shocked staff at the papers’ offices in London this afternoon.

The paper’s circulation on closure: 2.6 million.

The hacking allegations have caused far more damage to the News brand than this move can fix. I still maintain that every person responsible must be identified and sacked, no matter how senior - first and foremost because that would be morally right, but also because there is no other way to even begin to convince our public of the company’s true horror and contrition. It would also reassure those of us who have been proud to work for News, that we can continue to be proud.

Indeed, I’d have rather seen those responsible sacked, than a whole paper closed and innocent employees sacked. But both may yet happen. After all, shutting the paper will prove to be a futile sacrifice if News is found to to be still protecting any executive.

Meanwhile, News defends one executive who is a focus of criticism:

Rebekah Brooks, News International’s Chief Executive and the editor of the News of the World at the time of the Milly Dowler hacking, has said she is “sickened” by the allegations and has promised the “strongest possible action” against those responsible.

She added she has pledged her “full co-operation” with the police inquiry into the scandal.

Later in the day, James Murdoch said that he was satisfied with the “standard of ethics” of Ms Brooks.

But Murdoch’s principled statement suggests very great anger at some News executives, and rifts near the top, which could yet lead to still more dramatic developments:

In 2006, the police focused their investigations on two men. Both went to jail. But the News of the World and News International failed to get to the bottom of repeated wrongdoing that occurred without conscience or legitimate purpose. Wrongdoers turned a good newsroom bad and this was not fully understood or adequately pursued.

As a result, the News of the World and News International wrongly maintained that these issues were confined to one reporter. We now have voluntarily given evidence to the police that I believe will prove that this was untrue and those who acted wrongly will have to face the consequences.

This was not the only fault.

The paper made statements to Parliament without being in the full possession of the facts. This was wrong.

The Company paid out-of-court settlements approved by me. I now know that I did not have a complete picture when I did so. This was wrong and is a matter of serious regret.


No gain for that pain, Senator?

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 08, 11 (06:15 am)


They would say that such a sacrifice is too little gain for that pain - which is precisely my argument about their whole tax:

THEY want to tax regular Australians out of their cars but the Greens are still being chauffeur-driven in their tax-payer funded Comcars.

Senator Christine Milne, who accrued $7527 in Comcar expenses in the past 12 months, this week said that ordinary people needed to “drive less and drive more efficiently”.

The party is pushing for extra excise on petrol or to extend the carbon tax to fuel to curb motorists.

But the tough-on-driving approach did not appear to apply to Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young yesterday…

Senator Hanson-Young, who accrued $17,260 in Comcar expenses, gave no response when asked if she thought the Greens should give up their cars in light of Senator Milne’s comments.

(Thanks to reader CA and many others.)


Now Labor meows

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 07, 11 (03:01 pm)

Someone meowed Liberal frontbencher Julie Bishop in Question Time.

Let’s see if Labor makes the fuss this time that it made last month.


Remember Labor’s faux outrage last month over a meow by Liberal backbencher David Bushby (who apologised):

During Question Time this afternoon, Social Inclusion Minister Tanya Plibersek accused Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and his senior frontbenchers of “sexist language”.

“There is room for humour… there’s room for rough and tumble. I think we all know that politics is a business where there’s a degree of conflict but what I am tired of and what so many woman are tired of is that whenever there is conflict we have the Leader of the Opposition and his senior ministers reverting to this sort of sexist language,” Ms Plibersek said.


It was Joel Fitzgibbon, the chief government whip, who took two goes and several protests by the Opposition before he kind of apologised.

Any minute now, Plibersek should give another of her huffing speeches about sexisim at the very top.

(UPDATE Thanks to readers Lisle, Dee and Bradly for correcting me on the target of the meow. Kelly O’Dwyer was the one who protested.)


Except, of course, another side won

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 07, 11 (12:13 pm)


Sometimes Kevin Rudd’s attempts to play the average Joe come unstuck.


Incidentally, when was Rudd told that the ban on the live catttle export was being lifted? There he was, just hours earlier on Sky, talking about the ban like it wasn’t going to go away soon, and he’d be having tough talks with the Indonesians on Friday.


Which Labor MPs would save us from Labor?

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 07, 11 (11:57 am)

I’m afraid Rafe Champion is dreaming:

In the current situation one can envisage a group of ALP members crossing the floor to bring on an election to save the nation from the impending disasters that are being driven by the Greens and that part of the ALP that has lost contact with economic and some other realities.

Professor Sinclair Davidson explains some depressing realities.


Gillard says she’ll take your cash to sell her tax

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 07, 11 (11:24 am)

Julia Gillard confrirms on Sky News that she will start spending taxpayer dollars on advertising her carbon dioxide tax a full year before it comes into force, and before it’s even legislated.

Your taxes, Labor’s propaganda.

Richardson misses the point. It isn't lack of strategic thinking. They are drunk with power. They don't care. It has always been there way.
GOVERNMENTS yearn for the rarest of opportunities - to announce something incontrovertibly good.

They call it a bribe but any decent nation wouldn't be able to do it
NORTH Korea paid bribes to senior Pakistani military officials in return for nuclear secrets, reports said yesterday.
Prostitute abuser still has an eye on politics
DOMINIQUE Strauss-Kahn will not plead guilty to even a minor charge to reach a plea deal, his defence team has said.
There was something wrong with his head anyway.
MALAYSIAN police have shot in the head a man who took 30 pre-school children and four teachers hostage.

What ALP do in office is different to what they promise in election, and their constituents suffer.
HEALTH Minister Nicola Roxon has refused to release a report by doctors that she has used to justify her move to water down Labor's long-promised health system reforms.
ALP costs even after they leave government.
WESTERN Australia's bungled attempt to centralise back-room corporate services for government agencies -- touted as a saving -- has lost taxpayers a staggering $400 million and is set to cost another ...
The PM is an unrepentant fornicator. It is costing us. .P
THE cost to the taxpayer of funding domestic travel for Julia Gillard's long-term partner, Tim Mathieson, and other family members exceeds the costs incurred by Tony Abbott's family, including his wif...
Fair Work is hurting the economy
EMPLOYERS have ended a two-month run of job losses, switching strongly back to full-time hiring, with the national unemployment rate holding steady at 4.9 per cent last month.

ALP admit they don't like Whyalla
FOR months, the South Australian steel city of Whyalla has been a focal point for national debate as politicians and unionists argued over its grim future as a "ghost town" under a carbon tax.
ABC are engaged in viscous campaign.
THE adventures of climate sceptic Christopher Monckton continue apace: already banned from speaking at functions in Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth, he was hung up on by an ABC radio presenter...
Some crimes are so bad bail should not be given. This is one.
A FORMER Qantas cabin cleaner convicted and jailed for creating a do-it-yourself terrorism manual has been granted bail ahead of his retrial.

Why does this article finish with a tongue sticking out emoticon?
MANY taxpayers dream of three days in New Zealand's wine region - but that is what deputy speaker Peter Slipper and his wife enjoyed at public expense.
There is a profound sense of entitlement surrounding the ALP
SENIOR state bureaucrat Warwick Watkins admitted yesterday he asked former planning minister Tony Kelly to put his name to a falsified letter to justify buying a former union retreat in Sydney.
If you lie with dogs ..
AN associate of murdered businessman Michael McGurk was refused bail last night over a $4 million mortgage and luxury car loan scam.
Greens don't deserve your vote
THEY want to tax regular Australians out of their cars but the Greens are still being chauffeur-driven in their tax-payer funded Comcars.
ALP snouts in trough
THE southwest rail link or a second harbour crossing would be funded by the federal government and NSW would approve the Epping to Parramatta rail link under a compromise deal put forward by Premier B...
Police don't go to work looking to kill.
AT least one police officer could be facing adverse findings at a coronial inquest into the death of Steven Bosevski.
She isn't alone
A "FATTER than fat" mother of four says she's sick of fellow commuters who abuse her for being obese.

Poor Penny Wong must be crying and shaking somewhere, timid thing.
CHIEF government whip Joel Fitzgibbon will make a personal apology to Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop after making a "meow" noise as she spoke yesterday.
Compassion is a verb
This morning I woke up and asked God the question, “What do you want from me today?”

A sensor that can scan huge crowds and pick out a lone suicide bomber by homing in on hidden explosives has undergone official tests, The Sun reported Thursday.
What price Hansen's AGW alarmism?
Lawmakers working on next year's federal finances have taken the ax to the James Webb Space Telescope -- the space agency's biggest post-shuttle project.
ALP represent their creditors, which include organized crime and big business. Their rhetoric is related to the worker, but they don't serve the interests of the worker, and haven't for a very long time.
Location: Hyde Park Sydney
Time: Saturday, 09 July 2011 12:00
    • David Goodridge Was hoping you would guest blog for us at the event..
      15 hours ago ·
    • David Daniel Ball Um, what does that mean? I work all day saturday .. but I would like to contribute.
      15 hours ago ·
    • David Goodridge sorry to hear that is the new trend to have friendly blogger media to report on and even live from events like Saturday. As a senior member of the Sydney blogging community you will be missed!
      15 hours ago · · 1 person
    • David Daniel Ball Thank you. I'll still follow up on the event

I fell in love with her comedy in the early '90s, before Peter's Friends. It is good to remember how funny she is. Delivery is impeccable.
The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

He committed the crime. The only dispute is over the technicality of jurisdiction. His victim already got her sentence.
The execution scheduled for Thursday of a Mexican national who was convicted in 1995 of a brutal rape and murder of a teenage girl has become something of an international brouhaha.

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