Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thu 11th Oct Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns Quoc TaTam Phan and Hanh Le. Born on the same day across the years. Remember, birthdays are good for you. Those who live longest have the most.


PM’s phoney hysteria over personal dust-up

Piers Akerman – Thursday, October 11, 2012 (5:11pm)

IN what seems a very long 10 years ago, prime minister John Howard, deputy prime minister John Anderson and opposition leader Simon Crean flew to Bali to do what they possibly could to comfort the surviving victims of the first Bali bombing. 


Feminists backed wrong filly with Gillard

Piers Akerman – Thursday, October 11, 2012 (4:34am)

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard’s feminist cheer squad is now trying to spin her out of trouble.
They backed the wrong filly - as they have in the past when it comes to female Labor leaders - and are trying to bluff their way past the stewards of public opinion.
Her venomous rant against Opposition leader Tony Abbott revealed to millions what a phony pony she is.
Painting herself as a victim, invoking her own recently deceased father as a political weapon, showed the sort of depths this woman is prepared to go to in her bitter struggle for survival.
(Caution: I do not use the word “woman” in any other than the descriptive sense. The use is not intended to demean or in any other way cast aspersions on her character, it just happens to be her gender. I believe it to be true and accurate.)
While her carefully orchestrated display of faux outrage was unanimously condemned by the bulk of the Australian media, her own propaganda team have been busily pointing to a handful of foreign reports and claiming that Gillard has gained international statue from her hypocritical outpouring.
An examination conducted by writer Alan RM Jones, a student of political strategy, would indicate that the few who bothered to write about the First Fish Wife seem to have links to John “McNasty” McTernan, her imported Hibernian media hitman.
The ABC has reported that her abysmal attempt to justify her support for the former Speaker and gross misogynist Peter Slipper went viral.
In fact it went viral in the same way that other nasty things have gone viral in the past – through a small group of like-minded individuals sharing the same prejudices and hatreds.
When it was commented upon, it was commented upon by international fellow-travellers mostly singing from the same song sheet as McTernan.
The ABC reported that Gillard’s rant appeared in the UK in the Spectator and in the US in the Daily Beast, Salon and Business Insider.

According to ARM Jones, it appears in the Spectator in the blog of Alex Massie, who is also a columnist at the Beast.
He also has written for the Scotsman and Telegraph – as has John McTernan. In fact Massie has quoted McTernan favourably in the past and they seem to know each other pretty well.

Jones said the ABC also notes that Gillard is cited in the US in Salon.
He said the immensely misleading headline is – wait for it – “Australian PM takes on Misogyny”. But then the journalist concerned, a fellow Brit, Natasha Lennard, knows about misleading – she left the employ as a NYT freelancer after it was revealed that she was – undisclosed—part of Occupy while she was reporting on it.
The Business Insider’s Joe Weisenthal’s views on Conservative politicians is well known and just happen to fit with UK Labour’s.

Gillard also gets a mentioned in dispatches in the UK version of lefty Huffington Post by one Chris York, who was also undone after making misleading statements.
Jones’ conclusion:  All in all, Gillard’s woe-is-me performance has hardly electrified the world.
In most parts of the English speaking world, Gillard’s strangled syllables need translation.
She would like to see herself as a female leader in the same tradition as Margaret Thatcher or Golda Meir.
In reality, she is yet another failed Australian Labor leader in the sad train of Carmen Lawrence, Joan Kirner, Anna Bligh and Kristina Keneally.
That she happens to be woman is neither here nor there. Her gender was seized upon by feminists looking for a heroine.
That was a sexist approach.
Their judgment has shown to be as flawed as Gillard’s. 



Tim Blair – Thursday, October 11, 2012 (7:40am)

Badass mother**cker Julia Gillard previously enjoyed chatting with horrible misogynist Tony Abbott:


Julia then: Tee hee! Giggle! Oh, Tony!


(Via Alan R.M. Jones)


Downer almost denies considering taking over in South Australia

Andrew BoltOCTOBER112012(8:10pm)

Just passing it on:
THE former Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, is playing down the prospect of joining state politics, taking over as leader, and making a run for the Premier of South Australia.

The Seven Network has reported Mr Downer is being lobbied intensively to enter politics, supplant Isobel Redmond as leader and challenge Labor Premier Jay Weatherill at the 2014 state election.

It is understood the representations have come from senior SA Liberals, including Christopher Pyne. Mr Downer, who retired from federal politics in 2008, told the Herald on Thursday night that there had been approaches made but he was not keen.

“I left politics in 2008. I don’t think I want to go and do that again,” he said.


Gillard didn’t know her boyfriend was the purchaser? Did she truly witness that power of attorney?

Andrew BoltOCTOBER112012(2:59pm)

 The AWU scandal
Julia Gillard’s then client and boyfriend, AWU official Bruce Wilson, bought a house in Melbourne in 1993 using money from what Gillard called a “slush fund” and which she helped to register.
That slush fund, deceptively called the “Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association”, was used by Wilson to misappropriate around $500,000 for what appears to be his personal benefit.
(Gillard says she know nothing about Wilson’s rorts, did not benefit from them and did nothing wrong.)
Another important issue is emerging, as Michael Smith’s blog is detailing: Gillard’s use of a power of attorney signed by Wilson’s sidekick, Ralph Blewitt.
Wilson bought the Fitzroy house (with Gillard in attendance) in Blewitt’s name using a power of attorney, as the contract of sale notes: 
A Slater & Gordon para-legal handling the sale later notes (see document at the link) that the real estate agent she needs to be sent a copy of the power of attorney:
On 16 February Olive Brosnahan the para-legal executive resonsible for the conveyancing transaction makes a hand-written file note.  She acknowledges receipt of the contract for sale from G.A. Thomson, the Real Estate Agent but notes that it is not accompanied by a copy of the Power of Attorney.  She makes a further internal note to Elisha/Julia G - “we need P/A (Power of Attorney) or certified copy”. 
This power of attorney, signed by Gillard and dated 4 February, is then sent to the real estate agent:
[Reader Rod corrects me: “Where you say ‘This power of attorney, signed by Gillard and dated 4 February, is then sent to the real estate agent’, in fact as I understand it, S&G had to get the RE company to send them the original, because despite S&G (ie Ms Gillard) actually presiding over execution of the POA, they had no copy on file.”]
Ralph Blewitt has made certain statements to his current lawyers about who asked him to sign it, who was present and where he was when he signed it.  He will no doubt make a public statement in due course.  He had not seen the property in Melbourne prior to its purchase.  He says that he was not in Melbourne on 4 February, 1993.
For me, this trail of correspondence raises the question: should Gillard have asked her boyfriend and client, who already had a family and another property to maintain on his wages, where he’d got the money from for this new purchase?
Or did she really still believe Blewitt was the source of the funds, as she claimed to Slater & Gordon partners? From Mark Baker’s piece in The Age yesterday:
At that meeting she was also questioned about her role in advising on the purchase of a $230,000 unit in Kerr Street, Fitzroy - a property Ralph Blewitt had never seen before it was bought in his name in February 1993 by Bruce Wilson, who attended the auction with Julia Gillard.

She said Wilson had persuaded Blewitt, a union crony based in Perth, to buy an investment property that he, Wilson, could live in. ‘’It made sense, I didn’t have any particular reason to question it in great detail, or at all,’’ she said.

After buying the property in Blewitt’s name, Wilson managed all of the transaction, including the establishment of a $150,000 mortgage from a Slater & Gordon loan facility arranged by Gillard. A deposit payment of $67,722 transferred to Slater & Gordon’s trust account was later found to have come from the AWU Workplace Reform Association, along with other amounts for stamp duty and costs.

Prior to the meetings in August and September 1995, Ms Gillard had not revealed to the senior partners that her boyfriend was involved in the transaction and that she had done the work without charge for her professional services.

Questioned by Peter Gordon, Gillard said that she had not made inquiries about the source of funds Ralph Blewitt would use to buy the property and service the mortgage: ‘’I assumed he had the money for the deposit and to meet the mortgage repayments when they fell due … To the extent that I thought about it, I hadn’t made a careful inquiry about his financial circumstances.’’
I’m very surprised Gillard thought Blewitt was the source of the funds, to be frank.
I’m also suprised Slater & Gordon advanced a $150,000 loan for the purchase of a property for Gillard’s boyfriend. Did the other partners know the mortgage was effectively for the advantage of Bruce Wilson? Did they know of Gillard’s apparent conflict of interest?
This could be very serious for Gillard. Michael Smith has interviewed Ralph Blewitt and sums up:
Wilson wants to buy a house in Melbourne but doesn’t want his own name on the title deed.
Wilson signs a contract to buy 51 Kerr Street Fitzroy, but decides it should be in Ralph’s name.  The date is 13 February, 1993.
Wilson flies to Perth on or about 15 February, 1993.  He carries a Specific Power of Attorney document drafted by Julia Gillard of Slater and Gordon.
Wilson gets Blewitt to sign the document in Perth on or about 16 February, 1993.
Gillard signs the document that says she witnessed Blewitt sign it on 4 February, 1993.
Or as Blewitt’s lawyers put it: 

Ralph Blewitt has confirmed that he did not sign the Power of Attorney in front of Julia Gillard. He recalls signing it in Western Australia after it was produced by Bruce Wilson.  Julia Gillard was not present and did not see Ralph Blewitt sign the document.
This must be asked of Gillard in Parliament tomorrow next week. Today the Opposition asked if she’d gone to police, as a solicitor fulfilling her obligations to the courts, alerting them of her boyfriend’s scams, and she refused to give a direct answer.
This, however, is one question she cannot be allowed to avoid.


Unemployment rate soars

Andrew BoltOCTOBER112012(11:52am)

More people employed but even more hunting for work:
Economists on average had expected an unemployment rate of 5.2% in September. The number of people employed rose by 14,500, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said ...
The bureau said its seasonally-adjusted workforce participation rate, or the proportion of working-age people at work or actively seeking work, rose to 65.2% in September from 65.0% in August and a consensus expectation of 65.1%.


Did Swan laugh or complain? And is this Labor’s woman-hating culture?

Andrew BoltOCTOBER112012(11:40am)

A distasteful and offensive joke about Ms Credlin was made at a Labor union dinner last night attended by Julia Gillard and senior Cabinet Ministers.
The PM this morning called the union and expressed her anger at the joke…
“The remarks that were made are deeply offensive, they are wrong.’’
The joke delivered by a comedian known as Fair Go For Billionaires, hired by the Construction Forestry Mining an Energy Union contained lewd and offensive references to Ms Credlin. Offensive remarks were also made about Mr Abbott.
And what did Wayne Swan do to protest?
Hoist on their own petard.
She said she rang Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union national secretary Michael O’Connor this morning to condemn the comments, which had been relayed to her after the fact.
The comedy act - Fair Go for Millionaires - seems to have been specifically commissioned by the CFMEU, with the union hiring Manic Studios to produce media spots as part of a political campaign.
The CFMEU this morning distanced itself from the comedian, with a senior official saying he was “horrified’.
“We did not know what he was going to say, had we known we would have pulled him of stage.”


Gillard plays her last trick: the victim card

Andrew BoltOCTOBER112012(10:24am)

 Culture warsPolitics - deceits and stuff upsThe new morality
When did Julia Gillard discover Tony Abbott was a ”misogynist” - a hater of women?  Was it when she flirted with him on television, or when she desperately needed a diversion?
The really troubling implication of the showdown in parliament this week is that the Prime Minister will now misrepresent any criticisms of her performance and the performance of her government as examples of sexism and misogyny. She will play this card, even if it is the lowest trick in the book, constantly portraying herself as a helpless victim.
This is not the feminist way.
Even if Tony Abbott were the most sexist man alive, as Gillard would have Australians believe, it should not be used to excuse Slipper’s behaviour or make it acceptable that Gillard voted to keep him. As she most unwisely fought to save Slipper well beyond the point when it was decent to do so, she sought to trash Abbott in an extraordinary speech.

Gillard’s raw response exposed her grief, her fury, her frustration, her lingering resentments and ultimately her determination to personally destroy Abbott. When she finished it was impossible not to feel sorry for her because she is obviously still grieving, and equally impossible not to despair over her poor judgment. The sympathy is tempered by the underlying motives behind her remarks, articulated by government strategists days ago and, just in case anyone missed it, Tanya Plibersek and Jenny Macklin were dispatched yesterday to reinforce it.

If, after all this, Gillard continues to win more support from women, it will be a miracle....
Gillard’s speech dispelled any doubts there might have been about the government’s tactics against Abbott following the intervention of his wife Margie, tactics that sit uncomfortably with more decent members of caucus.
“The Prime Minister is setting back the cause of women decades by using sexism as a shield against criticisms of her performance,” deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop said.
Liberal backbencher Kelly O’Dwyer told government members “to look very deeply at their actions”.
“It’s a completely repugnant smear that they are trying to somehow make,” she told The Australian. “...There is very real misogyny and sexism that exists and I think, as a woman, they belittle that experience in using this language in this way.”
It was Abbott who brought on the motion to remove Slipper immediately; it was Windsor and Oakeshott who went to Slipper to tell him his time was up; and it was the Speaker who realised the jig was up and went with as much dignity as he could muster.
Yet yesterday Gillard and Tanya Plibersek, Penny Wong, Jenny Macklin and Anthony Albanese stuck to their lines as they tried to fend off widespread and legitimate claims that they were the hypocrites launching a gender war with double standards.
Macklin said it was “true” that Abbott - a father of three daughters - “hates” women and girls. Plibersek said he used the same language as Slipper. And Wong said he should resign like Slipper for his sexist remarks.
Gillard shifted from the role of Prime Minister to become a leader of all Australian women, saying women had “had enough” of misogyny and sexism while her strategists lauded the “viral” coverage of her feisty offensive.
But the whole shemozzle suggested Labor was more interested in running feminist lines than looking after the interests of single mums, addressing the concerns of those consumed by Twitter campaigns rather than the price-pressured families of the outer suburbs, and destroying Abbott instead of concentrating on governing.
If Gillard wasn’t screaming victim, would she have anything left to say? 
(Thanks to reader Alan RM Jones.) 


Baillieu could lose the vote that keeps him in power

Andrew BoltOCTOBER112012(10:21am)

A BOMBSHELL Ombudsman’s report about embattled Frankston MP Geoff Shaw has found he may be in contempt of State Parliament…
The damning findings against the Frankston MP now threaten the Baillieu Government’s slender grip on power, with an inquiry now called for to decide what punishments should be handed down.
The report found Mr Shaw appears to have breached parliamentary rules by allowing his taxpayer-funded car to be used for his own commercial purposes, as well as using taxpayer-funded fuel to run for his business…
If the fallout forces Mr Shaw to resign [and the Coalition loses the by-election], State Parliament would be deadlocked…
The Liberal Nationals coalition has 45 seats in parliament, while Labor has 43 seats.


Why did Obama claim a terrorist attack was just a protest against a film?

Andrew BoltOCTOBER112012(10:07am)

The State Department now says it never believed the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was a film protest gone awry...
For days the Obama Administration claimed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans simply died in a protest against an anti-Islamic film that had spun out of control
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, said on Sunday it began with a spontaneous protest over the anti-Islamic video that had already set off similar protests in Egypt, leading to the storming of the US embassy there.
“People gathered outside the embassy (consulate) and then it grew very violent and those with extremist ties joined the fray and came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately are quite common in post-revolutionary Libya and that then spun out of control,” Ms Rice said
“But we don’t see at this point signs that this was a coordinated plan, premeditated attack.

September 13—[White House spokesman] Jay Carney:

“The protests we’re seeing around the region are in reaction to this movie. They are not directly in reaction to any policy of the United States or the government of the United States or the people of the United States.”

September 13—State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland:
“Well, as we said yesterday when we were on background, we are very cautious about drawing any conclusions with regard to who the perpetrators were, what their motivations were, whether it was premeditated, whether they had any external contacts, whether there was any link, until we have a chance to investigate along with the Libyans. So I know that’s going to be frustrating for you, but we really want to make sure that we do this right and we don’t jump to conclusions. That said, obviously, there are plenty of people around the region citing this disgusting video as something that has been motivating.”

September 18—Jay Carney:
“Our belief based on the information we have is it was the video that caused the unrest in Cairo, and the video and the unrest in Cairo that helped—that precipitated some of the unrest in Benghazi and elsewhere. What other factors were involved is a matter of investigation.”

September 20—President Obama at a town hall meeting organized by the Spanish-language Univsion Network, responding to a question about the possible involvement of al Qaeda:
“What we do know is that the natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they can also directly harm U.S. interests.”
When Stevens finished his final meeting of the day, he escorted a Turkish diplomat outside the main entrance of the building. The situation was calm, the officials said, and there were no protests…
A little more than an hour later, around 9:40 p.m., everything changed.

The compound’s agents were alerted by loud noises, gunfire and explosions near the front gate. A barracks near the entrance for the local militiamen was burned down. In the control center, agents watched on cameras as a large group of armed men flowed into the compound…
The intruders penetrated Stevens’ building and tried to break the grill locks for the safe room but couldn’t gain access. So they dumped cans of diesel fuel in the building, lit furniture on fire and set aflame part of the exterior of the building…

A six-member quick reaction security team arrived on the scene from its compound across town, the officials said. About 60 Libyan militiamen accompanied the team, and it again tried to secure a perimeter around Stevens’ building, taking turns searching inside. Taking fire, the Libyan forces determined they couldn’t hold the perimeter. An evacuation plan was quickly put in place to retreat to the reaction force’s compound.
The State Department said Tuesday it never concluded that the consulate attack in Libya stemmed from protests over an American-made video ridiculing Islam, raising further questions about why the Obama administration used that explanation for more than a week after assailants killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans…
But asked about the administration’s initial – and since retracted – explanation linking the violence to protests over an anti-Muslim video circulating on the Internet, one [State Department] official said, “That was not our conclusion.” He called it a question for “others” to answer, without specifying.
Was it just easier to blame a film than admit to an al-Qaeda attack on September 11? Or was the Administration terrified by the truth - that it had turned down requests from American diplomats in Libya for more security?
According to an email obtained Tuesday by the AP, the top State Department security official in Libya told a congressional investigator that he had argued unsuccessfully for more security in the weeks before Ambassador Chris Stevens, a State Department computer specialist and two former Navy SEALs were killed. But department officials instead wanted to “normalize operations and reduce security resources,” he wrote.
Eric Nordstrom, who was the regional security officer in Libya, also referenced a State Department document detailing 230 security incidents in Libya between June 2011 and July 2012 that demonstrated the danger there to Americans…
Nordstrom also said diplomats in Libya were told not to request an extension of a 16-member special operations military team that left in August, according to an official of the Oversight panel…
The State Department has said it never received a request to extend the military team beyond August, and added that its members were replaced with a security team that had the same skills…
The Democratic memo said Nordstrom told committee investigators that he sent two cables to State Department headquarters in March and July 2012 requesting additional diplomatic security agents for Benghazi, but that he received no responses. 
Not buying the spin any more:


Only an early election can stop this poison

Andrew BoltOCTOBER112012(8:46am)

Enough. An early election is demanded to end this poisonous culture of abuse and deceit.
ONE thing has become clear in the aftermath of the Peter Slipper affair - Australia cannot endure another 12 months with a dysfunctional Parliament.
It was always likely that a minority Gillard Government would struggle to be effective… But the toxic nature of debate, the poisonous character assassinations and the absence of any positive intent has gone on long enough. The Australian people deserve better and they deserve to be heard.
The Slipper debacle has been an enormous embarrassment for Labor but not even the party’s most ardent supporter could pretend that it is an isolated incident. Take your pick: the tensions with former PM Kevin Rudd, the leaks, the infighting and the Craig Thomson affair all stand alongside the appointment of Mr Slipper as Speaker, a move that had nothing to do with good government and everything to do with propping up a shaky administration…
At home, the economy demands a firm hand but instead we have a Government that expends so much energy on simply staying in power that it is distracted from confronting issues such as jobs, housing and infrastructure....
More than ever, Australians need to feel that their politicians are in command, but instead we have a Parliament that has become a poisonous place, riven with fear, accusations and suspicion. Labor’s attacks on Tony Abbott, claiming he is a misogynist, have been as ineffective as they have been demeaning, while the Coalition’s sniping at Julia Gillard has not been much better.
Where we need vision and drive, we have name calling and petulance, and where we need decisive administration we have fecklessness… 
This is no time for political expediency and, while it’s the toughest decision she will make, Ms Gillard must put her trust in the people and go to the polls.
Desperate to cling to power, Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s minority government is bringing out the worst of Australia’s political culture rather than the best. Both sides of politics have been guilty of bad behaviour that is undermining the whole purpose of government and distracting national attention from the serious issues at hand such as the waning of Australia’s mining boom, the need to revive productivity growth and the federal budget’s stubborn structural deficit.
Ms Gillard installed Mr Slipper in the Speaker’s chair in late 2011 after the government dudded independent MP Andrew Wilkie on promised poker machine reforms, which threatened to remove one vote from Labor’s already wafer-thin majority.
Negotiation is widely agreed to be one of the Prime Minister’s strengths but the Slipper deal confirmed, following her ­carbon tax reversal, that Ms Gillard is also prepared to ruthlessly break promises to stay in office… The decision treated our nation’s parliamentary standards with contempt, again calling into question the credibility of her government and her judgment…
This unseemly episode is likely to turn voters away from debate and lower their opinions of both sides of politics. Many will increasingly figure that the only way to end this failed experiment with minority government will be through fresh elections to give one side proper authority to govern.


Roxon says zip about Slipper texts

Andrew BoltOCTOBER112012(8:39am)

For how long did the Attorney-General know Peter Slipper had written grossly offensive texts about women? And why her silence on Slipper while laying into Tony Abbott for much, much less? 
Solicitors for the federal government viewed thousands of text messages more than four months ago that were sent by former speaker Peter Slipper, including explosive texts laced with sordid references to female genitals, and others showing a pressing interest in the sex life of his aide James Ashby.
Attorney-General Nicola Roxon last night refused to say when she learned of the contents of the text messages, which cost Mr Slipper his job.
A monstrous hypocrite.
(Video via Professor Bunyip.)


Column - The moral vacuum that is Julia Gillard

Andrew BoltOCTOBER112012(8:32am)

 Politics - deceits and stuff ups
THE tragedy of Julia Gillard is that she has once more betrayed principle for power, and will lose both.

That shame is not the Prime Minister’s alone.


More, less, whatever - blame warming

Andrew BoltOCTOBER112012(7:46am)

Antarctic ice melting supports global warming

Global warming means more Antarctic ice


Obama’s friend, the debate moderator

Andrew BoltOCTOBER112012(6:50am)

What media bias? What conflict of interest?
President Barack Obama was a guest at the 1991 wedding of ABC senior foreign correspondent and vice presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz, The Daily Caller has learned. Obama and groom Julius Genachowski, whom Obama would later tap to head the Federal Communications Commission, were Harvard Law School classmates at the time and members of the Harvard Law Review.


Column - Damn the dam damners

Andrew BoltOCTOBER112012(6:42am)

HOW much does our green madness cost? Check the five desalination plants our green-panicked politicians built around Australia.
Four - worth more than $10 billion - are already mothballed.


Black actress attacked for backing white Romney

Andrew BoltOCTOBER112012(6:04am)

Actress Stacey Dash told talk show host Piers Morgan she “was shocked, saddened,” by the ferocious attacks she received on Twitter after voicing her support for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

The “Clueless” actress, who voted for barack Obama in 2008, said she supported Romney “because of the state of the country, and I want the next four years to be different."…
Dash first expressed her support on her Twitter account, and received scores of vicious replies.

“You’re an unemployed black woman endorsing Mitt Romney. You’re voting against yourself thrice. You poor beautiful idiot,” one Twitter user wrote, while @Black Voice wrote, “Stacey Dash had a perm since birth. I knew I couldn’t trust her.. lol.”

Several others went as far as to encourage “the old hag” to “kill herself.” One suicide encourager is listed as a doctor and politically active Democrat in Washington D.C., and although he reportedly has deleted the inflammatory “kill yourself” tweet, it was captured by social media news site,


A Jezebel steals the hearts of our journalists

Andrew BoltOCTOBER112012(12:14am)

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard’s parliamentary broadside against Tony Abbott has made international headlines, with one news blog praising it as an ‘epic speech’ by a ‘badass motherf***er’.
The 15 minute impassioned speech, in which Ms Gillard accused Mr Abbott of “peddling a double standard” and having a long history of sexism and misogyny, was uploaded to YouTube and viewed around the world.
The US-based, women-focused blog, owned by Gawker media and boasting millions of readers, said the video was the “best thing you’ll see all day: Australia’s female prime minister rips misogynist a new one in epic speech on sexism”.
“She basically ripped him a new [expletive],” the site said, excerpting several “choice quotes” from the “smackdown” and describing Ms Gillard as “one badass motherf***er”.
The Prime Minister’s 15-minute speech condemning misogyny and attacking Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s history of comments about abortion, women’s roles in the home and their ability to wield authority has impressed political pundits in the US and Britain.

The most enthusiastic praise came from US women’s site Jezebel, which described Ms Gillard as “one badass mother----er”.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s parliamentary attack on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has received a rave review on a popular American website dedicated to women’s issues.
The website Jezebel has posted a video and article on Ms Gillard, describing her as ‘one badass motherf---er’.
US feminist blog Jezebel called the Prime Minister “badass”...
So Jezebel must be pretty authoritative for reporters here to be so impressed, right?
Sexytime Dilemmas: Facials, Masturbation and Butt Fingering
Your Giant Engagement Ring Looks Stupid, Jennifer Aniston
The Only Way to Get a Kid to Do Stuff Is With Lies, So I Hope You’re Good At That
Flirt Your Way to the Top
Hot or Not: Why Conservative Women Are ‘Prettier’ Than Liberal Ladies
Penis Size Does Matter, According to Study
Olivia Wilde on Her Divorce: “I Felt Like My Vagina Died”
Excuse me, but can someone explain why a mention on this site is taken seriously by Australian journalists and presented as evidence of global approval of Gillard’s rant?


Bias Alert Flashback -- remember photos of Palin's legs?

The Associated Press issued a mea culpa Wednesday after it was criticized for releasing a photo earlier this week that showed Republican presidential Mitt Romney bending over while a seemingly astonished schoolgirl gawked at him from behind.
In 2008 critics also took both the Reuters and Associated Press to task when photos of  then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's legs and high heels were featured in photos and young male supporters appeared to be looking up her skirt. 
The most egregious photo came from Reuters photographer Carlos Barria. Reuters ran this caption with the photo: "A supporter listens to Republican vice presidential nominee Alaska Governor Sarah Palin during a rally in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania October 8, 2008. REUTERS/Carlos Barria."
The Associated Press ran this caption with the photo of Ms. Palin's legs and shoes: "Supporters listen to Republican vice presidential running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, legs visible, during a rally with Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., not visible, in Bethlehem, Pa., Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)."
Will Reuters and AP apologize for the photos of Palin’s legs?


Fox News poll: 53 percent say Obama failed on economy, Libya 'troubling'

Slim majorities of American voters say the Obama administration has mostly failed to grow the economy and create jobs.  And while a majority says President Obama has mostly succeeded at making America safer, two-thirds of voters are concerned about the administration’s initial false statements on the September 11, 2012 attacks in Libya.  
Fifty-two percent of likely voters think the Obama administration has mostly succeeded at making the country safer.  That’s the only positive rating for the White House on the issues tested.  
Fifty-three percent think the administration has mostly failed at creating new jobs, and another 53 percent feel it has failed on growing the economy.  
On health care: 44 percent say the White House has improved it and 48 percent say it’s failed to do so.  Likewise, 44 percent think the administration has succeeded in improving the country’s image around the world, while 48 percent say it’s failed.  
Half or more of independents think the administration has failed on jobs (57 percent), the economy (55 percent), improving America’s image (51 percent) and health care (50 percent).
President Obama also receives negative ratings on his handling of the economy:  44 percent of voters approve, while 53 percent disapprove.  That’s about where his ratings have been on the economy since August.
Overall, 49 percent of likely voters approve and 48 percent disapprove of the job Obama is doing as president -- unchanged from two weeks ago.
Some 37 percent of voters approve of how Obama’s dealing with Libya, and 46 percent disapprove.  Another 17 percent are unsure.  
In the aftermath of the September assault on diplomatic facilities in Libya that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, Obama administration officials falsely claimed it was a spontaneous reaction to an offensive online video, even though they had intelligence reports that the attacks were connected to terrorist groups tied to al Qaeda.  
Two-thirds of voters (67 percent) find it “troubling” that the White House initially made false public statements about the attacks.  For 26 percent “it’s not much of a concern.”  
Almost all Republicans (90 percent) and a majority of independents (70 percent) call the administration’s actions troubling.  For Democrats, 43 percent say “troubling” and 45 percent say it’s “not much of a concern.”  
Why did the administration give misleading info in their early statements?  A 37-percent plurality of voters thinks it was to “help the president’s campaign.”  Another 26 percent say it was for “diplomatic reasons,” and 23 percent think it was just a “mistake.”  
Optimism for the Future
Finally, looking ahead to the next 10 years, two-thirds of voters are very (33 percent) or somewhat (33 percent) optimistic about the future of the country.  Some 26 percent feel pessimistic, including 12 percent who are very pessimistic.
Fully 83 percent of Democrats feel optimistic, as do 63 percent of independents and 51 percent of Republicans.
The Fox News poll is based on live telephone interviews on landlines and cell phones from October 7 to October 9 among 1,109 randomly-chosen likely voters nationwide.  Likely voters are registered voters who are considered most likely to vote in the November presidential election.  The poll is conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R).  For the total sample, it has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.  The poll is weighted by age and race; it is not weighted by party identification.


An Obama second term will not be the second coming of Bill Clinton

Anyone who says that a second Obama term would recapture the golden days of Bill Clinton is selling fool’s gold. It appears to be shiny, but it’s counterfeit.
In fact, after nearly four years, Obama’s presidency only resembles a time when Clinton was at his worst—in his first two disastrous years in office.
In their first two years, both Clinton and Obama didn’t focus on growing jobs and “the economy, stupid.” Instead, Bubba and Bam preferred using their Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress to push for massive “stimulus” spending by government, government takeovers of the entire health care system, and energy taxation that would have been the biggest tax hike in American history.
Republican minorities in the House and Senate blocked almost all of Clinton’s agenda and gained majority status in Congress in the 1994 midterm elections. By his midterms, Obama had passed his reforms in health care and financial services, bailed out banks and the auto industry, signed his $862-billion “stimulus” into law, and started pouring billions of taxpayer dollars into his dream of “green” energy development.

Clinton was chastened by his midterm losses. Counseled by political consultant Dick Morris, Clinton tacked to the center, eventually accepting welfare reform and apologizing for raising taxes on job creators and investors. Clinton backed free trade. At the end of his first term, he declared that, “the era of big government is over.” Clinton’s cuts in military spending and the dotcom boom buoyed the economy and poured in revenues that reduced government debt.  
By contrast, following his midterm “shellacking” in the 2010 elections, Obama has been an “anti-Clinton.” Obama has doubled down on his commitments to: raise taxes on business and investing success; increase government’s size, spending and regulatory reach; and create roadblocks for the abundant fossil fuel extraction and pipelining that could produce a boom in American jobs and new business expansion.
Yes, Clinton raised taxes on the wealthy. But with arm-twisting from Republicans, Clinton also cut capital gains taxes. He reduced government spending as a share of GDP to 19.5 percent when he left office (under Obama it is 24 percent), and was way friendlier to businesses than Obama. Obama wants to raise business investment taxes and, according to The Wall Street Journal, has “already raised investment tax rates by 3.8 percentage points as part of ObamaCare.”
Obama’s un-Clinton-like hostility to small businesses and investors has these groups sitting on trillions of dollars in their assets and has caused the worst recovery from a recession in 70 years.
A recent poll finds that 69 percent of small business owners and manufacturers say that, “President Obama’s Executive Branch and regulatory policies have hurt American small businesses and manufacturers.” Further, 67 percent say “there is too much uncertainty in the market today to expand, grow or hire new workers.” And, 55 percent say, “they would not start a business today given what they know now and in the current environment.”
For Barack Obama to govern like Bill Clinton in a second term, Obama would have to undergo an ideological and personality transformation. Political reinvention, negotiation and “triangulation” are Clinton’s forte—not Obama’s.
Are you willing to bet the next four years—and the future of your children, grandchildren and country—on Obama not being Obama and, magically, becoming Bill Clinton at his best, rather than his worst?  
Jon Kraushar, a communications consultant to corporate and political leaders, is at


Will 2013 bring an Obama Supreme Court?

As the Supreme Court begins its 2012-13 term, it likely does so for the last time in its present configuration.  The Court’s four septuagenarians surely have replacement on their minds.  So the next president will likely have the opportunity to make two Court appointments, possibly more.  
Not since President Eisenhower has a single president nominated a majority of the Court, and these appointments could cement the Court’s current center-right ideology, or lock in a liberal hegemony for a generation.
Do voters care? 
Not specifically. Over the summer the Supreme Court-dedicated website “Scotusblog” hosted a symposium on the question what role the Supreme Court would play in the November election.  The participants, liberals and conservatives alike, were in vigorous agreement that the Court was unlikely to play much role at all as an election issue.  Chief Justice Roberts’ surprise vote to uphold the Affordable Care Act appears (perhaps calculatedly so) to have neutralized the Court as an issue for both candidates.
But should voters care?  Absolutely.  
The past half century has seen the relentless expansion of the branch of government Alexander Hamilton famously described in Federalist Paper No. 78 “the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution.”  Since the Warren Court placed itself firmly athwart American politics and culture, the Court has waded doggedly and repeatedly into those thickets.  In truth, little lies beyond the reach of the judiciary.
And what a difference one vote makes. For want of a vote the federal government could not tax people to coerce purchase of a favored product; EPA would not be attempting to regulate global warming; Congress could not, but states could, prohibit the partial delivery and killing of a child; citizens would not have an individual right to bear arms; local government could not take private property and hand it over to a corporation for private development; public sector unions could exact worker funding without consent; plaintiffs lawyers could pursue massive class actions on behalf of millions of undifferentiated plaintiffs; faith-based organizations would be free to register at a public university while retaining the ability to shape their membership to match their credo; and firefighters could be tested and treated differently on the basis of their race. 
So the real plum of the 2012 election is not just being able to call the shots for the next four years, but to pick the people who will call these “balls and strikes” for the next forty years.
Yes, voters should care, and passionately, about the sort of judges the next president picks.  
Voters must demand federal judges who will faithfully and evenhandedly apply the laws and the Constitution as written, regardless of their own personal or political preferences.  Nominees should be intelligent and well-qualified, but also must have a track record of commitment to the rule of law and the Constitution. 
Judicial nominees must appreciate that as a judge they doff whatever political mantle brought them there, and don the black robe of fealty to the Constitution and the laws of the United States.  
Supreme Court nominees in particular must not just mouth the words, but must have lived, and preferably judged, by them.  Nominees must have a real and reviewable record demonstrating the force of character to make fair and impartial decisions, even in the face of external pressures to rule on other grounds.  Long term quality cannot be sacrificed for short-term political expediency.
When we fail to demand this of our elected leaders we abdicate our democratic prerogatives. Politicians too often find it convenient to punt hard issues to the Courts; and courts sadly have entertained the invitation. 
Unsurprisingly, cries of “judicial activism” have rung from the right and the left, depending on whose ox was being gored. Quality judges must have the fortitude to resist that siren song, to enforce the law as written, and to leave it to the political branches and the states to address clearly and accountably the challenges of the day.
This November, voters should demand nothing less.
Gordon D. Todd practices Government Investigations and Litigation at Sidley Austin LLP in Washington, D.C.  He previously served as Special Counsel for Supreme Court Nominations at the United States Department of Justice and is a former law clerk to Justice Samuel Alito.


First official poster of Russell Crowe in musical Les Miserables also starring Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway released

THE first official poster of Russell Crowe for Les Misérables has been released ahead of the musical blockbuster's release here on Boxing Day.
The first-look poster shows a grim-facedCrowe as the heartless, relentless inspector Javert, with the equally grim tagline: "I Am the Law".
In his first role in a movie musical, thesometime rocker with the bands Thirty Odd Foot Of Grunts and The Ordinary Fear Of God, plays the nemesis of fellow Aussie and musical veteran Hugh Jackman, who is the crim-turned-mayor Jean Valjean.
The long-awaited movie adaption of the hit musical by lyricist Alain Boublil and composer Claude-Michel Schonberg, which is the longest running musical in the history of London’s West End, having played continuously since October 1985, is being directed by Tom Hooper, who won an Oscar this year for The King's Speech.


Attorney-General Nicola Roxon admits government solictors knew of former speaker Peter Slipper's vulgar texts in May

FEDERAL Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has admitted government solicitors knew of disgraced speaker Peter Slipper's vulgar texts about a female body part in May.
Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop, in trying to suspend the normal proceedings of parliament today, demanded to know why if Ms Roxon knew of the vulgar text messages why did she publicly lash out at complainant James Ashby who has made sexual harassment allegations against Mr Slipper in the Federal Court.
Ms Roxon called Mr Ashby's case vexatious and an abuse of process.
The Government today failed in a bid to gag debate about when Ms Roxon knew of Slipper's vulgar text messages.
Ms Bishop demanded to know why the government's legal practices directions were ignored in order for the commonwealth to offer Mr Slipper's ex-staffer Ashby a $50,000 settlement in his sexual harassment case.
Ms Bishop earlier has suggested the government settled the case "in order to suppress the public release of the offensive SMS messages from the member for Fisher''.
Mr Slipper resigned as the Speaker on Tuesday night.
Earlier in question time, Ms Roxon responded to Ms Bishop by stating all of the government's conduct had been "entirely consistent'' with the practice directions and legal advice.
Ms Roxon said suppressing the text messages wasn't the intention of the government in settling its case with Mr Ashby.
She said the dispute between Mr Ashby and Mr Slipper remained before the federal court "and I don't think it's appropriate for us to speculate what might happen in that matter that is still ongoing''.
Government house leader Anthony Albanese said Ms Bishop's motion was out of order because it related to a matter before the courts.
Ms Roxon said the material was provided to government solicitors at the end of May.
"Undertakings were made, as required by the court, that that material could only be used for court proceedings,'' she said.
"That is the only circumstance upon which any material could be used.''
Ms Roxon said Federal Court Justice Steven Rares was still reviewing Mr Slipper's application that Mr Ashby's case to be thrown out as an abuse of process.
Manager of opposition business Christopher Pyne said Ms Roxon had to explain "why she has corrupted the court process by trying to act as a prosecutor rather than as the first law officer of the land''.
Mr Pyne said the attorney-general had led an "attempted cover-up'' of Mr Slipper's text messages.
Mr Albanese immediately rose to his feet to claim Mr Pyne was using terms that were "entirely inappropriate''.
The attorney-general added the government's legal advice and preparation was covered by legal professional privilege.
Ms Bishop's push to have Ms Roxon explain her actions in parliament was ultimately unsuccessful.
Mr Albanese twice moved that Liberal MPs "no longer be heard'' which ran down the clock until the time allocated for debate expired.
Mr Slipper left the chamber while this occurred.

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