Monday, November 05, 2012

Mon 5th Nov Todays News


Happy birthday and many happy returns David Wyatt Warren. Born the same day I finished my video "Mystery of Webster's Curse part 1". Remember, birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
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Another day, another question for Gillard

Piers Akerman – Monday, November 05, 2012 (4:30am)

Julia Gillard has three weeks to consider her future before both houses of Parliament sit for the final time this year.
There are very distinct rumblings about her performance.
Last week she dodged questions about her role as a lawyer at Slater & Gordon and the setting up of an dodgy association for then boyfriend AWU boss Bruce Wilson.
The questions will not go away.
Yesterday, Senator Eric Abetz told my colleague Andrew Bolt that the Australian people are entitled to know the truth.
“She needs to make a full and frank statement as to what she knew and what her involvement was,” Abetz said on Bolt’s television program.
Her statements at the moment suggest, on one interpretation, that she has misled the Parliament, in as much as she said that when she was being interviewed by Slater and Gordon in September 1995 all the matters were known to the AWU officials.”
There you have it - the serious accusation that Gillard misled Parliament.
Gillard has maintained that “by the time the matters she refers to came to my attention they were already the subject of inquiry and investigation”.
But the record seems clear that there was no police investigation until at least a year after her partners at the Labor law firm had already made clear their grave concerns.
Further, there is no evidence that Gillard or her partners attempted to assist police by providing files which might have assisted them.
According to Abetz, there is a full 12 months in the chronology between Julia Gillard being interviewed and then leaving Slater and Gordon and the Australian Workers Union - which was being defrauded by Wilson- becoming aware of it and reporting it to the Police.
“So the assertion that the Prime Minister made in the Parliament does not seem to gel with the chronology on the public record. Having said that, I’m willing to give the Prime Minister the benefit of the doubt, but only if she provides a full and frank explanation to the Australian people,” Abetz offered.

Deputy Opposition leader Julie Bishop has more, lots more, files relating to Gillard’s work on the so-called AWU Reform Association she helped her boyfriend with.
While the Reform Association slush fund, as Gillard has called it did use the AWU name, the heads of the union were not told of its existence.
Even accounting for Gillard’s excuse that she was young and naive at the time of her association with Wilson, money belonging to union members went missing and she has still to address those members who lost money and explain precisely what she knew and when she knew it.
Hiding behind the passage of time is not a reality.
With every day that passes, more pertinent documents emerge and with every new piece of paper another question mark appears.
AWU members, like those of the HSU and the CMFEU who have also seen funds diverted from their asserted purpose deserve answers, as do all Australians. 

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ABC profiles Romney: slippery, sneaky, freaky. The report, I mean

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER052012(7:48pm)

The ABC’s 7.30 profiles Mitt Romney. We hear:
- lots and lots from a writer of the Lefitst Boston Globe who thinks Romney is “slippery”.
- a Massachusetts Democrat who thinks Romney is slippery.
- A Mormon who thinks Romney is trying to fulfill his father’s dream of being President.
- an excerpt from an attack ad from Newt Gingrich claiming he caused “suffering” to “tens of thousands of Americans” as a venture capitalist.
- an extract from the secretly recorded Mother Jones clip showing Romney saying 47 per cent of Americans are on benefits - or are “wastrels”, as ABC reporter Michael Brissenden helpfully interprets - and thus not likely to vote for him.
Brissenden cites what he claims are examples of a long list of Romney policy flip flops, with climate change featuring, of course. He says the real Romney is hard to find.
The most positive things Brissenden can think of is that Romney has built a Mormon church (but doesn’t want to discuss his inconvenient faith) and as Massachusetts governor worked with Democrats (but has now changed).
As a feature on the man now tied with Saint Barack of Obama in the national vote, it was an excellent hatchet job. Should Romney pull off a win, ABC voters will be astonished - or convinced Americans must be mad, or even bad. 
This is not reporting, but pandering to prejudice.

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11 leave as another 154 arrive

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER052012(5:03pm)

ELEVEN more Sri Lankans have decided to return home instead of staying in offshore processing...
Trouble is:
Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said a boat carrying 49 people was discovered northwest of Cocos Keeling Islands on Saturday.

Another 105 people were onboard a boat intercepted in the same spot yesterday.

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Palestinian PM gives up his right of return

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER052012(4:09pm)

A brave statement and the kind of concession without which there will be no peace:

His comments tore at the fabric of one of the most sensitive issues for Palestinians — the right of at least 5 million refugees and internally displaced people to return to their ancestral homes in what is now Israel.
“I am a refugee, but I am living in Ramallah. I believe that the West Bank and Gaza is Palestine. And the other parts is Israel,” Mr Abbas said in the interview on Israel’s Channel 2 on Friday. “I want to see Safed. It is my right to see it, but not to live there.
“All what we want is to establish an independent Palestinian state on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Responding to the widespread condemnation of his comments, Mr Abbas was forced to deny he conceded the right of return for Palestinians, saying he was expressing a personal opinion that did not represent a change in policy.

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Why is Treasury helping Labor to bag Liberals?

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER052012(12:18pm)

Fairfax is very excited by another Labor attack on what Tony Abbott might do, as opposed to what the Gillard Government has actually and disastrously done:
image
Professor Judith Sloan notes the author is a Labor favorite and adds:
But the real point I want to make is this: 
WHAT THE HELL IS THE TREASURY DOING COSTING COALITION POLICIES?

There is no sense in which this is legitimate activity for public servants to undertake.  And were a government minister to ask for such analysis, the appropriate action of the public servants would be respectfully to decline the request.

I am absolutely amazed that Peter Martin can’t see this.

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Early votes swing to Romney

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER052012(11:54am)


Early votes in Ohio, a key swing state, swing strongly Republican, which even Obama spinner Dave Axelrod can’t deny.
Against the trend of media punditry:

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Thanks again

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER052012(11:33am)

 Bolt Report
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As I said last week, we’re ahead of the other weekend TV political talk shows at the moment, but that can change and we’ve got a long way to go and a lot to overcome - not least Labor’s ban.
But thank you very much for your support. No audience, no show.

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A real poll

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER052012(11:00am)

Reader Stephen seeks answers to his poll: 
1. Which bank would you put your (or your family’s) life savings into? 
a. One run by Swan and Wong
b. One run by Hockey and Robb
c. One run by Milne and SHY

2. Which school would you send your children to if you wanted them to be fully equipped and be able to compete effectively in the global economy? 
a. One run by Principal Garrett
b. One run by Principal Pyne
c. One run by Principals Milne and SHY
3. Which legal firm would you appoint if you were running a bona fide corporation? 
a. One run by Roxon
b. One run by Bishop
c. One run by Milne and Bandt
4. Which security firm would you appoint to guard your property? 
a. One run by Smith, Bowen and Clare
b. One run by Johnson and Morrison
c. One run by Milne and SHY
5. If you were fighting for your life in a battle who do you think would lay down his/her life for you? 
a. Gillard
b. Rudd
c. Milne
d. Turnbull
e. Abbott
f. David Marr
6. If you want your children to be burdened by a huge national debt (and corresponding high taxes) which party is most likely to deliver this outcome? 
a. The ALP
b. The LNP
c. The Greens
7. Which PR firm would you appoint to represent if you had knowingly bankrupted a large group of individuals and needed to spin a story to keep them at bay? 
a. One run by McTernan
b. One run by McTernan
c. One run by McTernan

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Teachers hold children hostage for a few dollars more

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER052012(10:48am)

A Victorian school sends parents a shameful email:
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A parent and blog reader objects: 
I have attached a letter I received late last week from my children’s school indicating that their teachers will not be writing any comments (apart from general behavioural ones) in the end of year reports this year. This means that students will have a very scant record of the year’s work particularly when it comes to specialist areas like LOTE and art. I have a son in prep so his end of year report for this year is pretty important.

I think asking students to forgo feedback for the year so that teachers can get a few more dollars shows a breathtaking lack of professionalism on the part of the teachers and an entitlement mentality that is just extraordinarily arrogant. If I had tried this sort of tactic in the private sector - refusing to complete reports for clients because I wanted more money - I would certainly have been sacked (and rightfully so). 
These teachers sure have taught their students a lesson - as in how to use even children as hostages for cash.
UPDATE

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War on women?

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER052012(8:47am)

Retired United States Air Force colonel Martha McSally is the Republican running for Gabrielle Giffords’ seat in Congress. Don’t ask her about the latest smear from parties of the Left - of the “war on women”.
No, wait. Please do ask.
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Column - Put a price on this green madness

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER052012(8:19am)

 Global warming - dud predictionsPolitics - stateThe green movement
EVERY water bill for every Melbourne household next year should come with the $290 price increase circled in angry green ink.
And next to it should come this explanatory note: “This $290 surcharge is the price of useless green politics.”

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Column - Gillard’s poor excuse for not telling police

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER052012(8:06am)

 The AWU scandal
JULIA Gillard is suddenly in deep trouble over the slush fund she helped create for her then boyfriend, union boss Bruce Wilson.
The Prime Minister seems to have misled Parliament last Thursday, prompting the Opposition yesterday to claim “the jury is out” about her involvement in her boyfriend’s scam.
Gillard was asked in Parliament why she did not go to police - as the law requires - after learning her boyfriend used the slush fund to rip off $400,000, spending $100,000 to buy a house with a power of attorney witnessed by Gillard.
Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop: “Why did not the Prime Minister herself report the fraud involving the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association?
Gillard: “By the time the matters she refers to came to my attention they were already the subject of inquiry and investigation.”
But is that true? Gillard was grilled by angry fellow partners of her law firm in September 1995 about the fund. In August, she admitted she knew in 1995 something was improper.
“I formed a view that I had not been dealt with honestly and, based on that view, I ended a relationship I had back then, 17 years ago,” she said. But it wasn’t until late 1996 that any police investigation started.
UPDATE
Hedley Thomas agrees there is a real problem with the excuse Julia Gillard gave Parliament last week for not alerting police to her former boyfriend’s frauds:
If Gillard means by this answer that the timing of the matters that came to her attention was August-September 1995, which is when her firm was tipped off and started an internal probe, she is mistaken on her second point.
The record shows that there was no inquiry and no investigation into the slush fund at that time because the fund’s existence had not been disclosed to the AWU leadership, or to Victoria Police....
The difficulty for Gillard is that in August-September 1995, she and the firm were alerted to the separate and serious fraud claims against Wilson. They knew the AWU’s national heads were trying to uncover the dodgy bank accounts and financial mischief linked to a separate slush fund in Victoria, and should have told the union about the concealed slush fund in Western Australia…
By neither Gillard nor the firm telling the AWU, or police, about the slush fund, more fraud and asset-stripping occurred.
THE Coalition has demanded Julia Gillard offer a full parliamentary explanation over her involvement in a union slush fund she helped create in 1992 for her then boyfriend, union boss Bruce Wilson, to clarify whether she may have misled parliament.
The opposition is also pressing the Prime Minister for the statement to address new questions on her knowledge of the slush fund, after declaring on August 23 that she had no further involvement after providing advice on its establishment as a partner at law firm Slater & Gordon.
“I am seeking through the parliament a full and frank explanation from the Prime Minister on the very serious issue of her involvement in a union slush fund which allegedly defrauded the Australian Workers Union of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Julie Bishop told The Australian yesterday.
“I am challenging her recent version of events, by referring to documents that have not been previously put to her by a journalist about her involvement in this large slush fund and her knowledge of its operation.”
Gillard’s failure to go to police may have helped her ex-boyfriend get away with more cash:
Opposition workplace relations spokesman Eric Abetz said yesterday there was a full year between when Ms Gillard was interviewed by Slater & Gordon and when the AWU demanded its fraud probe of September 1996.
In the intervening period, the two union officials sold the Fitzroy property bought with slush fund money and kept the proceeds of about $80,000.
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(Thanks to reader Peter.)

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Let’s see if Newman gets away with mocking the warming faith

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER052012(7:37am)

When Mother Nature decided in 1980 to change gears from cooler to warmer, a new global warming religion was born, replete with its own church (the UN), a papacy, (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), and a global warming priesthood masquerading as climate scientists. Selfish humans in rich, polluting countries were blamed for the warming and had to pay for past trespasses by providing material compensation to poor nations as penance. Cutting greenhouse gas emissions became the new holy grail. With a warm wind at their backs, these fundamentalists collected hundreds of billions of dollars from naive governments that adopted their faith on behalf of billions of people. No crusader was ever so effective.

The message was stark. If the non-believers didn’t convert immediately, our children and grandchildren would face a hell on earth. The priesthood excommunicated and humiliated sceptics and deniers. Alternative views were not tolerated and, where possible, were suppressed. Did someone mention the dark ages?
Newman does not exaggerate the suppression of debate - a scandal in this ostensibly free country. I am currently in furious argument with an agency active in prosecuting sceptics and stifling debate on this issue. I am bound by confidentiality requirements not to say more at the moment on this disgraceful attempt to protect the warming scare by peddling false claims, disputing clear evidence and recycling casual smears - but, by God, I one day will. Kafka lives.
But I should warn Newman this particular agency takes official umbrage at arguments and evidence that he, too, advances. I can only hope that it will make the mistake of going after a former ABC chairman as well. Nothing would more clearly demonstrate its betrayal of its true mission and of the principle of free speech, Nothing would more surely expose it to public ridicule: 
Regrettably for the global warming religion, its predictions have started to appear shaky, and the converts, many of whom have lost their jobs and much of their wealth, are losing faith. Worse, heretic scientists have been giving the lie to many of the prophecies described in the IPCC bible. They could not be silenced
....the British arm of the climate establishment silently released an encyclical that revealed no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures from the beginning of 1997 until August this year.

This communique was unearthed by the heretic newspaper, the Daily Mail, which pointed out that this period was of about the same duration as when temperatures rose between 1980 to 1996.

Of course, the religious high priests were quick to play down the significance of this pause. Phil Jones of the Climategate denomination claimed it was to be expected and, he insisted, 15 or 16 years is not a significant period.

Yet in 2009 he said that a “no upward trend has to continue for a total of 15 years before we get worried”. But that was then and this is now and he is not about to lose his religion simply because the evidence doesn’t support the text.

And, of course, there are always extenuating circumstances. El Nino and La Nina are there when you need them, to be forgotten when temperatures are warming or remembered if they are cooling. And, we’ve had a record Arctic melt. But better not mention the storm that NASA concedes broke the ice up and drove it south, or the record Antarctic ice gain.

Rather we must listen to Australia’s Climate Change Commission novitiates who, against the evidence, have delivered a parable linking Superstorm Sandy to global warming.

At least the media disciples are keeping the faith by emphasising what supports the gospel and, where possible, omitting that which doesn’t. New, corroborative revelations enjoy widespread publicity. If the same findings are later retracted for lack of scientific rigour, they are simply allowed to disappear without comment. 
(Thanks to reader Susan.)

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Surplus blown, as is Gillard’s credibility

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER052012(7:01am)

The Gillard Government’s financial incompetence will become a key issue in the election year:
THE mining industry says the government should have expected the proceeds from the mining tax to be highly volatile, with an estimate by Deloitte Access Economics today suggesting it will add no more than a net $500 million to the budget bottom line this year.
This represents a $1.5 billion hole in the budget from the mining tax alone - enough to wipe out the Gillard government’s promised 2012-13 surplus of $1.1bn. The Australian revealed last month that none of the major resources companies had paid mining tax in its first three months this financial year…
The firm says that the downturn has also dampened company tax by more than Treasury allowed for in its mid-year budget update, released last month.
“Absent further policy changes, we see 2012-13’s hoped-for surplus turning into a cash underlying deficit of $4.2bn. That is $5.3bn worse than Treasury forecasts,” it says.
The firm expects results will be worse in 2013-14, as some of the one-off boosts to this year’s budget expire, raising the budget deficit to $5.1bn, compared with the forecast $2.2bn surplus.
The obvious points here are: 
- how could the Government be so incompetent as to design a tax that raises only a fraction of the money it expected?
- how could the Government be so reckless as to rack up deficits even in a mining boom and with a growing economy?
- how could Labor be so spendthrift - now spending $100 billion a year more - as to fail to deliver a single surplus since its election in 2007? 
And there is its honesty issue: 
- how could the Government break yet another election promise - to return the Budget to surplus this year, ”no ifs, no buts”?
But there is one other point to make about this broken promise.
Gillard herself strikes me as someone who reflexively resorts to a fib under pressure, to put it mildly. Her instinctive reaction under pressure to say what’s convenient, not true - and hope to brazen things out if or when the truth finally comes out.  In this she is helped by what a former Slater & Gordon partner once noted:
I think she has a very robust sense of her own integrity and she prefers that view to those who would assail it.
Those who doesn’t even blush when confronted with a deceit can make accusers doubt their own judgement.
Some examples of Gillard resorting to what’s convenient, rather than true, meant or deliverable: 
- “there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead”
- the undeliverable promise to independent MP Andrew Wilkie for mandatory precommitment technology on all pokie machines in exchange for his vote.
- Gillard’s claim in 2009 that there was ”no evidence” of dozens of boat people being lured to their deaths.
- Gillard’s claim in 2007 that her involvement with the Socialist Forum occurred “many a long year ago”, mostly when “I was a university student” doing “part-time clerical and administrative work” for this “debating society”, when in fact the Socialist Forum was a radical group helping to bring former members of the Communist Party into the Labor Party, and Gillard had been on its management committee, organising events and giving speeches, and remaining a member until 2002.
- Gillard’s repeated retort to questions on the AWU scandal that she’s answered the questions in her August 2012 press conference - a patently untrue statement.
- Gillard dodging criticism over her defence of Peter Slipper by falsely smearing Tony Abbott as a “misogynist”. 
In 2010, ABC journalist Annabel Crabb told a story of deception that must have come from Gillard.
In 2004, Gillard was Labor’s health spokeswoman, and “one night ...fired off a despairing text message to a friend, confessing exasperatedly that health was too confusing for her”.
To her horror, she accidentally sent the message to Tony Abbott, then the health minister. Fearing he’d embarrass her, she arranged to talk to a regional radio station.
“During the interview she laughingly confessed to having sent tongue-in-cheek text messages to her opponent feigning frustration with the minefield of health reform.
“Had (her email) been raised in Parliament, she would musically have read aloud from the transcript, demonstrating that the whole thing was a bit of a lark.”

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Abbott can’t be doing too badly, despite all you read

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER052012(6:55am)

No, Labor has no reason at all to feel confident - with yet more reason to doubt Newspoll’s cheery 50-50 finding - the one that set the tone of so much media coverage:
The Galaxy poll found Labor would lose 20-plus seats if an election were held now, with the Coalition ahead 53 per cent to 47 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.



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