Piers Akerman – Thursday, August 18, 11 (06:50 pm)
DETAILED circumstantial evidence now suggests Craig Thomson may have misused union funds when he was national secretary of the Health Services Union.
All the ALP can do now is rush through legislation and make the changes that will be a lasting legacy for them. They will try to do as much as they can to make it look like the Conservatives are mean and anti poor. Which brings us back to Mr Abbott. The threat is that someone on the conservative side may have visited brothels, or some such. It doesn't have to be true. It is only a threat, so that if Mr Abbott makes a statement, he might be embarrassed.
Gillard failed my test before the 2007 election She was never competent. She has never made an effective policy. Her legacy is medicare Gold and many bungled operations, including Fair Work. History will show that under her watch the poor got poorer, the rich got richer and many unjust situations arose. She isn't compassionate. She isn't fair. She isn't gracious. She isn't kind.
I posted the following question to the age on "Our Say." It is too late to support it, but you might like to know the answer to it too.
"Good women are involved with politics, like Thatcher, Palin, Bronwin Bishop or Julie Bishop. Deeply troubled women like Carmen Lawrence and Kristina Keneally, Bligh and Gillard are also involved in politics. What changes need to happen to allow a good woman to be in politics without emasculating them like Gillard? Palin shows a mum of 5 can be a real presence, graceful and sharp. Thatcher shows a woman can be a great leader. A red headed daughter of a welsh coal miner can lead a nation to greatness. Or she can crumble and stagger from false compromise to corrupt hucksterism, selling out compassion and exploiting children and old folk, eschewing marriage or children while conducting affairs with married men."
Miranda Devine – Wednesday, August 17, 11 (06:50 pm)
THE reaction to my column last week pointing out the perils of a fatherless society is a case study in how intimidation, vilification, distortion and outright lies are being used in an attempt to silence unfashionable opinions.
What you write is reasonable and proportionate. The response hysterical, abysmal and low. One example you didn’t mention was the Media Watch gleefully passing on the alleged criticism without correcting the mistakes. It was an illustration, ironically, in how a mixture of telephones and social networks conspired with horrible people to cause the London riots.
Further, Media Watch has illustrated how it is the rhetoric of UK Labor that is responsible for such things as the London Riots. Imagine if one of those idiots irresponsibly directed your way by Media Watch got violent?
… is from page 527 of Will Durant’s The Reformation:
[I]t is a lesson of history that men lie most when they govern states.
Dear Mr. Romney:
A blog-post by the Cato Institute’s Sallie James links to a transcript of your appearance recently on the Greta van Susteren show on which you complained that Beijing pursues policies that make Chinese products less expensive than American products.
I overlook the fact that, because only 2.7 percent of Americans’ personal consumption expenditures are on goods and services produced in China, 97.3 percent of the goods and services bought by American consumers obviously are less expensive to Americans than are Chinese-made equivalents.
Instead, let me here go to the heart of your argument and accept your presumption that party A harms party B if A offers to sell goods or services to B at prices lower than what it would cost B to produce those goods or services himself.
Accepting this presumption, I’m obliged to advise you that you can make yourself and your family better off by styling your own hair. Your current stylist obviously does a fine job – strong evidence in support of my suspicion that that stylist has pursued policies that make it less costly for you to use his or her styling services than it would be for you to design and maintain your coiffure yourself.
Clearly, you’re being harmfully exploited.
By accepting my counsel that you style your own hair you will no doubt improve your well-being and, more importantly, demonstrate to voters that you’re a man of your convictions – one who acts in the same ways that he proposes that other people act.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Cato’s Sallie James exposes Mitt Romney for the ignoramus that he apparently is on matters of trade. (And I love Sallie’s line on the IRS.)
Here’s a letter to the New York Times:
Unimpressed that wage flexibility creates jobs in Texas, Paul Krugman writes that “at a national level lower wages would almost certainly lead to fewer jobs” (“The Texas Unmiracle,” August 15).
By asserting – for he has no evidence – that job growth in Texas comes at other states’ expense, Mr. Krugman reveals his Keynesian confusion.
But he can be forgiven, for Keynes himself was deeply confused. While it’s true that in some parts of the General Theory Keynes alleges that falling nominal wages won’t increase overall employment, in other parts of that book – parts in which Keynes more carefully spells out his assumptions – he sings a different song. Consider Keynes’s conclusion on this matter from page 253 in Chapter 18: “If competition between unemployed workers always led to a very great reduction of the money-wage level … there might be no position of stable equilibrium except in conditions consistent with full employment…. At no other point could there be a resting-place.”*
Translation: “If wages are flexible, competition for jobs will reduce nominal wages until there is full employment.”
Keynes himself here contradicts his modern-day St. Paul.
Donald J. Boudreaux
As the late David McCord Wright pointed out about Keynes’s General Theory (in addition to the fact that it is no general theory at all):
about half of the General Theory is inconsistent with the Keynesian model, usually understood. The General Theory is almost, in fact, two separate books only slightly related by a common terminology.
This quotation from Wright is from page 83 of his superb article “Is There a Keynesian System?” found in Money, the Market, and the State: Economic Essays in Honor of James Muir Waller, N. Beadles and L. Drewry, eds. (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1968), pp. 82-90.
More generally, Mr. Krugman’s take on Texas is questionable – as Kevin Williamson explains. (HT Peter Minowitz)
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 18, 11 (02:15 pm)
How MSNBC framed Texas Governer Rick Perry as a racist. It takes your breath away how brazenly the fraud is done.
(Thanks to reader Terry.)
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 18, 11 (10:13 am)
A few years ago, such scepticism was political death in the West - but the slant in this report suggests Perry will have trouble with the media still:
Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry said Wednesday morning that he does not believe in global warming science and suggested it is grounded in scientists manipulating data for financial gain.
The Texas governor was appearing at a New Hampshire breakfast event with business leaders Wednesday morning when he said “there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects.”
Perry said scientists are coming forward almost daily to question “the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.” He said the climate is changing but that it has been changing “ever since the earth was formed.”
Perry added that “the issue of global warming has been politicized,” and argued that America should not spend billions of dollars addressing “a scientific theory that has not been proven, and from my perspective is more and more being put into question.”
(Thanks to reader Gordon.)
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 18, 11 (09:33 am)
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 18, 11 (09:33 am)
Around September – October 2009, there was considerable debate about whether the reason for stimulus had passed (with the stockmarket up over 60% here and in the US) and it was time to end the accumulation of debt to pay for the building equivalent of digging a hole and filling it in.
Hockey said “enough already” as interest rates rose rapidly – Swan said “not the time.” The debate is outlined here.
But in fact 4Q09 saw a recovering economy turn to an overinflated one at +1.4% YoY, and interest rates soared from then on.
Swan preferred to have stimulus come off in 2011, and we’re seeing what a good choice that was. The “unluckiest government ever” has managed to choose the worst quarter in 20 years to start seriously destimulating, having laughed at calls to do so in one of the handful of strongest quarters of the decade.
Steve Kates crunches numbers:
But to give the Government the benefit of the doubt, suppose the stimulus added 100,000 jobs. Thenthe cost of each additional job saved was $430,000. What a stunning expense for so paltry a return.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 18, 11 (07:17 am)
What on earth is the point of a green tax that will kill jobs without actually affecting the climate?
MORE than 23,000 jobs will be ripped from the Victorian economy by the Gillard Government’s carbon tax, new economic modelling suggests…
The Department of Premier and Cabinet commissioned the modelling...Its research showed the Victorian economy would be about $2.8 billion worse off in 2015 and $3 billion worse off in 2030.
The preliminary figures, described as “conservative” by sources, do not take account of the promised federal compensation, which so far includes $12 billion for Australia’s manufacturing and electricity industries.
Tax to damage, and then spend to fix. Are we insane?
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 18, 11 (07:04 am)
A panicked over-reaction ... or signs of a necessary cultural change in the administration of justice? Le’s see if such sentences are allowed to stand:
There was growing discord, however, over harsh sentences handed down to convicted rioters. Last week a 23-year-old engineering student with no previous convictions was sentenced to six months in prison for looting $5 worth of bottled water.
Yesterday, two young men from the outskirts of Manchester were each given four years in prison for inciting others to riot via Facebook.
The postings by Jordan Blackshaw, 20, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, did not in fact lead to any violence. Blackshaw, of Northwich, Cheshire, set up an event titled ‘’Smash Down Northwich Town’’, and Sutcliffe-Keenan, of Warrington, created the page ‘’Let’s Have a Riot in Latchford’’.
Neither were accused of rioting or looting themselves...
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 18, 11 (06:36 am)
Here’s how it works. First Julia Gillard makes a clearly preposterous promise or one she has no intention of keeping.
Think “no carbon tax”. Citizen’s assembly. Cash for Clunkers. East Timor detention centre. Or this, repeated last August at the Brisbane community forum:
Moderator David Speers: I think, Prime Minister, that Peter is seeking some sort of guarantee if you don’t get the budget back into surplus in three years, what happens? Do you sack the Treasurer, do you take personal responsibility?
Julia Gillard: It’s happening, David. Failure is not an option.
Speers: If it doesn’t? If it doesn’t?
Gillard: Well, failure is not an option here and we won’t fail.
No ifs and buts about it, Gillard said again and again:
The Budget will be back in surplus in 20113 if I’m re-elected, if my Government is re-elected on Saturday. .. The Budget is coming back to surplus, no ifs no buts it will happen.
But then, inevitably, through sheer incompetence or a collision with reality, the promise is exposed as worthless.
Does a senior Canberra press gallery reporter at last conclude that Gillard is a liar, a bungler or both? Or does this reporter search for yet more excuses? Maybe even dress up the latest broken promise as a sign of responsibility?
FRAN Kelly: A more difficult economic situation is going to make it harder for the government to achieve its promise of bringing the budget into surplus by 2012-13 and the opposition’s leaping on that as . . . the next big lie, accusing Julia Gillard of lying on the carbon tax and lying on this return to surplus. Now the two are not the same thing, Michelle. There’s plenty of people, economists and others, . . . urging the government not to stick to its promise if the global financial situation deteriorates further and that it would be irresponsible to do so.
Michelle Grattan: That’s right.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 18, 11 (06:27 am)
Don’t they see that creating a “government” even more divorced from the people, and even less able to command the natural affection of its “citizens”, can lead only to failure ... if not destruction:
FRANCE and Germany sought to calm the storm around the euro by announcing plans to equip the 17-nation currency zone with a “government” and a new obligation for all members to pass laws that would enforce balanced national budgets.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised yesterday to harmonise French and German business tax as part of their drive to ensure new co-ordinated management of a currency zone that had been battered by concern over the debts run up by its southern members and France…
Mr Sarkozy said the most important decision had been “to create a real economic government for the eurozone”, adding: “This will be made up of . . . heads of state and government that will meet twice a year, and more if necessary.”
The two leaders agreed that the body should have as its permanent chairman Herman van Rompuy, the permanent president of the European Council. At present the eurozone is “governed” by a council of its finance ministers.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 18, 11 (06:21 am)
The Greens want:
- nuclear power banned
- coal-fired power scrapped.
- no more dams for hydro-electricity.
- petrol taxed more.
And now even coal-seam gas is under attack:
BOB Brown has challenged a key assumption of the carbon pricing package he negotiated with Julia Gillard, declaring “the jury is out” on whether switching from coal to gas for electricity will deliver the emissions savings the government’s greenhouse modelling assumes.
The Greens leader yesterday stood by comments from his deputy, Christine Milne, who on Tuesday questioned the emissions reduction qualities of coal-seam gas. ”The presumption that the damage done by gas is half that done by coal is under very serious questioning,” Senator Brown said.
The Greens’ attack on gas - particularly the vast coal-seam gas expansion in Queensland and NSW - has raised concerns in the electricity industry that the party will push for an escalation of the amount of renewable energy used in the generation mix above the 40 per cent estimate by 2050 proposed in the government’s carbon pricing package.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 18, 11 (06:10 am)
The study, to be published in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences:
However, warming from a doubling of CO2 would only be about 1°C (based on simple calculations where the radiation altitude and the Planck temperature depend on wavelength in accordance with the attenuation coefficients of wellmixed CO2 molecules; a doubling of any concentration in ppmv produces the same warming because of the logarithmic dependence of CO2’s absorption on the amount of CO2) (IPCC, 2007)…
This modest warming is much less than current climate models suggest for a doubling of CO2.Models predict warming of from 1.5°C to 5°C and even more for a doubling of CO2
(Via Watts Up With That.)
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 18, 11 (05:49 am)
SENATOR BOB BROWN: Well, it is the way to go. The Greens have recently rescued the proposals for base load solar power stations, which will go in rural and regional Australia to make sure they are progressing.... We want this country to be at the cutting edge. I repeat, the example is firm and true. In Germany, where they did this because the Greens were in the balance of power, they have created 350,000 jobs. It was the strongest component of the German economy during the recent recession. It’s good economics.
Ttrouble is, Brown’s inspiration is drying up:
THE German green power revolution is facing hard times because of government cutbacks and stiff competition from Asia… A string of recent profit slumps by German solar-cell companies underscores the depth of the crisis for solar business.
One-time industry leader Q-Cells has announced a second quarter loss of almost E355 million ($486.6m) and will shift production to Malaysia and close half its German manufacturing capacity.
Another solar company, Solon, has reported a first-half loss of E63m because of weak demand. And Phoenix, a solar photovoltaic company, has reported a 60 per cent sales slump to E141m.
Not all of Germany’s solar companies are in the red but it has been a dramatic turnaround for a sector that has always had a special status in the country that has led the world in rooftop solar rollout.
But as demand increases, production of solar technology is increasingly moving to China which will soon account for 85 per cent of all solar-cell production… German manufacturers cannot compete with China on price, but price is not the only problem they face.
The German government can no longer afford to continue its generous rooftop subsidy scheme in the face of falling prices. The feed-in tariff has been cut from 33c to 28.74c per kilowatt hour, dampening demand.
Meanwhile, German chemical giant Bayer has warned that rising electricity prices may force it to relocate its manufacturing base to China.
China has it all sewn up - selling Germany the solar cells that will force German companies to China.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 18, 11 (12:10 am)
Liberal Senator George Brandis said this in Parliament yesterday about Labor backbencher Craig Thomson:
Yesterday during Question Time in the House of Representatives, the Prime Minister was asked by the Member for Mackellar whether she retained complete confidence in the Member for Dobell, Mr Craig Thomson. She was further asked whether she had conducted an investigation of her own into the allegations surrounding the Member for Dobell. The Prime Minister did not answer the second part of the question. However, she did tell the House of Representatives that she had complete confidence in the Member for Dobell, that in her opinion he was doing a fine job and that she was looking forward to him doing that job “for a very long, long, long time to come”. Because the Prime Minister avoided answering the second part of the question, we do not know what, if any, investigations she has made into allegations concerning Mr Thomson. We do know that on Monday night Ms Gillard said:These matters have been and are in the process of being looked at through various investigations.She did not elaborate on what those various investigations were, but she did say that she had not held any detailed discussions with Mr Thomson.
In view of the severity of the allegations that have been made about Mr Thomson, there are certain inquiries which the Prime Minister herself must make and certain questions which she herself needs to address. I know that Mr Thomson has denied allegations of wrongdoing made against him. Those who are observing the Thomson case carefully will be able to form their own conclusions about the credibility of those denials and about the credibility of the Prime Minister’s evident reliance upon those denials. But there are many facts now in the public arena which are not in dispute.
Those undisputed facts include the following. Between 2002 and December 14, 2007, when he resigned after his election to the House of Representatives, Mr Thomson was the national secretary of the Health Services Union. In that capacity, Mr Thomson was issued with a corporate credit card held by the union, transactions upon which were paid for from union funds. On two occasions - on April 8, 2005 and August 16, 2007 - calls were made from Mr Thomson’s mobile telephone to the telephone number of Sydney Outcalls, an escort agency. On April 9, 2005 and August 16 2007, the HSU credit card issued to Mr Thomson was used to pay for services provided by Keywed Pty Ltd, which is the corporate entity which trades as Sydney Outcalls. The payments were in the amounts of $2,475 and $385 respectively. The credit card vouchers were signed in Thomson’s name, and a driver’s licence number which corresponds to the number of Thomson’s driver’s licence was endorsed upon the receipts. On April 7, 2009, Thomson denied allegations of improper use of the union credit card and told the Sydney Morning Herald that the allegations against him were the result of feuding in the union’s Victorian branches, with “more and more outrageous claims and counterclaims being made” by his factional opponents. In the time since, Mr Thomson has continued to deny that he was responsible for the use of the union credit card to obtain escort services. As recently as the week before last, in the course of an interview with Michael Smith on radio 2UE in Sydney, Thomson asserted that the credit card had been used by a third party and not by him. Let me read into the record some extracts from that interview:
Smith: Hang on, mate. I’m repeating it. I’m saying your signature is on that voucher. Your driver’s licence has been transcribed on the back of it. How did all that get there?
Thomson: Well, I’m not saying that’s my signature for a start. That’s the first thing that’s there…
Smith: OK, so did someone forge your signature for the procurement of those services on your credit card?
Thomson: Well, it certainly wasn’t me and in fact on over half of the occasions that I’m alleged to have been using that card in those sorts of establishments, I actually…
Smith: Let’s talk about one…
Thomson: I’m not going to go through the details of stuff…
The transcript proceeds after a few minutes:
Smith: OK, well, you were the boss of the Health Services Union at the time the Health Services Union credit card was used to procure those services, weren’t you?
Thomson: Yes, I was.
Smith: OK. Did you take the matter to the police if you believe the credit card was used improperly, did you go and report it to the police?
Thomson: The union reached a settlement with another gentleman who paid back $15,000 in relation to use of credit cards at an escort agency.
Smith: Did he forge your signature?
Thomson: I don’t know whether he forged my signature or who forged my signature...
As is the practice in New South Wales, Thomson’s signature appears on his driver’s licence. Paul Westwood OAM, a former director of the document examination section of the Australian Federal Police, who is a handwriting expert with 45 years experience as a forensic handwriting examiner, has compared the signature on Thomson’s driver’s licence and the signature on the credit card voucher and has concluded that they were made by the same person.
Photographs of Thomson’s driver’s licence and the credit card voucher were reproduced in the Sydney Morning Herald on December 1, 2010, and they appear to the untrained eye to be identical. If Thomson did not sign the credit card voucher, then it was signed in his name by an expert forger who eluded Mr Westwood and who also had Thomson’s driver’s licence.
In the same interview with Michael Smith, Thomson admitted that in his capacity as the secretary of the HSU he had authorised the payment by the union to the credit card provider of the credit card accounts, which included debts for the services provided by Sydney Outcalls on both April 9, 2005 and August 16, 2007. Let me read a little more of Michael Smith’s interview with Mr Thomson into the record:
Smith: Ok. Craig, when you got the credit card statement for that month with $2,475 appearing –
Thomson: Michael, I’ve said the difficulty we have in terms of going through these issues -
Smith: Hang on a sec, mate, it’s a simple question. A simple question, Craig. Did you authorise it getting paid?
Thomson: Um… in terms of the actual bills that have been paid? Yes, I authorised all the credit card bills -
In the same interview with Michael Smith, Thomson also asserted that an unnamed third party had repaid some $15,000 to the HSU in respect of escort services. Reading again from Michael Smith’s interview:
Smith: OK, well, you were the boss of the Health Services Union at the time the Health Services Union credit card was used to procure those services, weren’t you?
Thomson: Yes, I was.
Smith: OK. Did you take the matter to the police if you believe the credit card was used improperly? Did you go and report it to the police?
Thomson: The union reached a settlement with another gentleman who paid back $15,000 in relation to the use of credit cards at an escort agency.
Smith: Did you go to the police though, Craig?
Thomson: We have gone through the appropriate bodies in terms of that and you know there has been a person who has paid back some money.
Smith: Who was that?
Thomson: Well, I am not at liberty to say, again, because I am very careful in relation to defamation action. There has been a private agreement signed.
In light of these facts and Mr Thomson’s assertions and admissions, the Prime Minister must satisfy herself in relation to the following matters. First, given the amounts of money involved and the entity to whom the credit card payments were made, why did Thomson not query the accounts before authorising them for payment? Secondly, given that Thomson’s mobile telephone number was used to contact the service provider and that his driver’s licence was produced to verify payment, how did his credit card, driver’s licence and mobile phone find their way into the possession of another person? Thirdly, why was their loss or misappropriation not reported? Fourthly, in what circumstances were they returned? Fifthly, as Mr Thomson now claims that his signature was forged, why was that matter not reported to the police? Sixthly, what is the name of the person who allegedly repaid $15,000 to the HSU and what was the reason for the repayment? Was that person an officer or employee of the union and is that person still employed by the union? Seventhly, if it is the case that another person has accepted responsibility for the fraudulent use of the credit card, why has that version of events not emerged from other sources and why was no evidence disclosed or adduced to that effect in the Fairfax defamation proceedings? Finally, if a third party accepted responsibility, why would a settlement of a matter in which Thomson’s reputation was potentially so gravely affected preclude him from taking any steps to protect his reputation? Moreover, the version of events given by Thomson on August 1 contains inconsistencies with Thomson’s previous versions of events. The Prime Minister must therefore satisfy herself of this: given that Thomson now admits that he personally authorised the payment of the credit card account, why did he allege that his enemies had falsified HSU records and does he still allege that?
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 18, 11 (12:01 am)
This is the Member for Moreton, next to Julia Gillard:
Vance returns his mail:
Here’s another way to send a message and demand some answers: vote, vote, vote.