Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Tue 6th Nov Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns Stacy HostKaren Chu and Dave Imms. Born on the same day, across the years. Remember, birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

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Labor soiled by its new favourite

Piers Akerman – Tuesday, November 06, 2012 (3:52am)

WHO is in and who is out of favour with the federal ALP now reads like a morality tale.
Aboriginal Warren Mundine, a former national president of the ALP, is out and is riling several Aboriginal Labor politicians with his stinging attacks on his former party.
Last weekend, The Australian revealed that Mundine did not renew his ALP membership when it fell due in August.
One of the main reasons was that for all its claims to inclusivity and equality, the ALP has never, in a history spanning more than 100 years, put an Aborigine in the Federal Parliament (the Liberal Party has had two Aboriginal representatives in Canberra: Neville Bonner, in the Senate, and Ken Wyatt, who is currently in the House; the Australian Democrats had Aden Ridgeway in the Senate.)
Yesterday, he stepped up his assault on the ALP, saying the party had no credibility on Aboriginal issues.
“What is happening is that the Labor Party has been very focused on touch-feely symbolism. But on the ground it made not one iota of change in people’s lives,” Mundine told The Australian Monday. “They are great on vision, but the implementation is not very good.”
Really? Tell us about it.
While Mundine is out of favour, the disgraced Labor-appointed former Speaker Peter Slipper is still being treated like Labor royalty.
Last week, the Leader of the House, Anthony Albanese, announced that Slipper, hand-picked by Prime Minister Julia Gillard for the Speakership, had been appointed to the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs committee.
Before Slipper’s disgusting texted descriptions of female genitalia brought him a greater degree of notoriety when they were revealed during his ongoing Federal Court suit for sexual harassment, he had achieved infamy for his expensive travel arrangements.
He replaces former Attorney General Rob McClelland on the prestigious committee.
McClelland is out of favour with the ALP.
Since being dumped from Cabinet he has used federal parliament to raise his concerns about the misuse of union funds – a pointed reference to Gillard’s involvement with the fraudulent AWU Reform Association 17 years ago.
McClelland knows all about the AWU affair, he wrote his masters thesis on it.
Even rusted-on Labor supporters must acknowledge that there is something deeply disturbing taking place when a former national president like Mundine throws in the towel.
(Michael Williamson, who is facing nearly 50 charges relating to the defrauding of members of the HSU, was also a national president and one of Gillard’s key supporters. There is no suggestion that he shares any attributes with Mundine.)
So, too, must rusted-on Labor supporters, particularly women members of the ALP wonder what is going on when a person like Slipper wins promotion from a female prime minister who – in the course of defending him – made the mendacious claim that Opposition leader Tony Abbott was a misogynist.
When good men leave and others speak out while people of the calibre of Slipper enjoy preferment and treats, it appears that Labor is turning its back on those of moral courage while flattering those upon whom it depends to cling to power.
It looks atrocious and it is atrocious.

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Camilla’s parasol is beyond the pale

Miranda Devine – Tuesday, November 06, 2012 (5:23pm)

SORRY, Camilla, but what is with the parasol? We know you have pale British skin but, hey, so do quite a few Australians. Ever heard of sunscreen? 

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Tell Laurie, Mark

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER062012(5:18pm)

Mitt Romney is ahead by a single percentage point in Ohio, according to internal polling data provided to MailOnline by a Republican party source.
The ABC’s Mark Colvin complains:
image
Part of the reason is probably explained by some poll findings that came into my hands yesterday - an extract from a report prepared within the last week by UMR Research, the company that does polling for Labor.
People in the survey were asked: “Do you have confidence in Tony Abbott’s ability to handle Australia’s economy?”
Mark Colvin? Nothing.
UPDATE
An internal Labor Party poll predicts that this weekend’s Northern Territory election will go down to the wire, with voters showing a last-minute “safety” swing to the ALP...
(Thanks to reader Alan RM Jones.)

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Treasury becomes branch of Labor party

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER062012(5:08pm)

Utterly shameless - using Treasury for party political purposes:
The modelling, published by Fairfax this week, found the Coalition’s tax policies would cost businesses $4.57 billion in their first full year of operation.
Fairfax said the modelling was undertaken “as Treasury attempts to come to grips with a suite of Coalition policies”.
But it is understood the work was commissioned by the Treasurer’s office.
Mr Swan’s spokesman said it was “not remotely unusual” for Treasury to analyse policies that were in the public domain, or for governments to disseminate the material.
“From time to time governments of both persuasions publicise information to contribute to a more fulsome debate about policies,” the spokesman told The Australian.
As for Fairfax, how does it explain its apparent misrepresentation of the Labor-commissioned hit job?
This modelling indeed seems to have been commissioned by Labor, but Fairfax’s Peter Martin described it like this
Prepared as Treasury attempts to come to grips with a suite of Coalition policies yet to be announced, the analysis includes only those to which it has publicly committed...The three policies identified by Treasury are...

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First blood to Romney. Or maybe not…

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER062012(4:59pm)

The first votes are in. Mark Steyn reports: 
Here’s one for the psephological experts. Last time round, first-in-the-nation Dixville Notch, NH voted:
Obama 15, McCain 6
The 2012 results, announced moments ago, are:
Obama 5, Romney 5
Two families moved out of town, so make of the result what you will.

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Boats, boats, boats

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER062012(4:39pm)

 Boat people policy
An average of more than 2000 boat people a month since July, and no sign of any slowdown: 
Customs has intercepted three suspected asylum seeker boats carrying a total of 58 people off the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
It follows the arrival of five boats carrying more than 300 people over the weekend.
UPDATE
A fourth boat today, with 63 on board.
In John Howard’s last six years, three boats arrived each year, on average. Now more than that have arrived in a single day.

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2GB, November 6

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER062012(3:58pm)

 2GB podcasts
On with Steve Price from 8pm. Listen live here.
Last night: the AWU corruption scandal, Rudd on The Project, the Melbourne Cup, and why on earth is Treasury doing hit jobs on the Liberals for the Gillard Government? With Opposition frontbencher Eric Abetz. Listen here.
UPDATE
Sorry. Second link now fixed.

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Overheating detected

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER062012(9:34am)

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Again we must ask: are the Bureau of Meteorology’s climate models predisposed to overheat?
(Thanks to reader Steve.)
UPDATE
Reader Greg: 
Look carefully at the two maps, and the captions. The second is in fact consistent with the first, as the first graphs predicted percentage probability of positive change, while the second is the temperature anomoly.
UPDATE
Jo Nova makes an excellent point:
If Alan Jones needs to get “educated” because he got the level of CO2 wrong once, the Climate Commission surely needs to go back to do high school maths, because anyone who has done junior high can see that the running average in the graph below is an impossibility. The latest Climate Commission report: “The Critical Decade: Queensland climate impact and opportunities” starts with blatantly incorrect figure. Since when do “averages” run outside the extreme highs and lows?…

Eyeballing this graph suggests Queensland’s average temperature has risen by 2.7 C since the 1950?s.

image
Jo wonders how this error wasn’t picked up by the Climate Commission’s proof-readers. I’d guess it’s because they are so predisposed to see disaster and run-away warming that this graph seemed exactly right.
But will the Climate Commission - and, of course, David Karoly and Stephan Lewandowsky - be punished by the thought police as was Jones?
Of course not. To make errors in the “good” cause shows nothing worse than an excess of virtue.

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A little googling can lead you astray

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER062012(9:16am)

Google makes two errors in this very short profile that pops up when you google my name.  One promotes a rival show.
Who is in charge of these things?: 
image 
(Thanks to reader John.)

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Put the greens on the bill

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER062012(9:07am)

The price of green madness. As with desal plants, the price for solar subsidies should be isolated and identified on all bills so we can all see plainly the cost of listening to greens: 
New modelling has revealed that by 2015-16, almost 15 per cent of the total household power price will fund the solar feed-in tariff.
The Newman Government has already cut the tariff for home-produced power to 8 per kilowatt hour for all solar systems bought after July 9.
However, the new figures exposing the huge burden being carried by all consumers to pay those who produce solar power may prompt the Government to also reduce the 44/kWh tariff paid to those who previously installed photovoltaic systems…
Energy Minister Mark McArdle said ... “What we have here is Labor, and its Green partners, hiding its head in the sand and continuing to claim that renewable energy schemes are decreasing the cost of electricity. This is blatantly untrue and the modelling by the QCA should finally end this.”
(Thanks to reader Who Will Ask the Questions.) 

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AWU scandal: Gillard should tell why she kept her mouth shut

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER062012(8:49am)

 The AWU scandal
Why didn’t Julia Gillard blow the whistle on her boyfriend’s scams? Why keep quiet, allowing him to get away with the cash?

Peter Trebilco, who was joint secretary of the West Australian branch of the AWU in 1995, said yesterday if he had received such a call, he would have done an immediate audit and proved that the AWU Workplace Reform Association fund and its accounts were secret, unauthorised and unlawful. “If Slater & Gordon had contacted us with the name of it, we would have said, ‘We will try to get to the bottom of what it is and who the beneficiaries are’,” Mr Trebilco told The Australian.
“If we had been told by Slater & Gordon that it was set up by Bruce Wilson and Ralph Blewitt, we would have been immediately more suspicious. We knew about the relationship between Julia Gillard and Bruce, but (not) of the slush fund until after the money in its accounts had disappeared.”
The slush fund, which the Prime Minister had helped set up for Mr Wilson, her boyfriend, and his deputy, Mr Blewitt, amassed large sums and was kept secret for four years from 1992…
Ms Gillard told her firm in a tape-recorded interview in September 1995 that the slush fund was for the purpose of funding union elections. At the time, the WA branch already had its own election fund. Normal union funds can be used to pay for election costs for union officials but the accounts must be transparent and known to officials to ensure they can voluntarily contribute cash from their own pay packets.
The AWU was the client of Ms Gillard and Slater & Gordon, but the slush fund that bore the name of the union was never disclosed to the union’s national leadership by either the solicitor or her firm..
The failure in 1995 of Ms Gillard and the firm to alert the union’s national leadership or the branch officials in WA, where the slush fund was formally registered and subject to state laws, meant that police and the union remained unaware of it until 1996. In the intervening months before the CBA told the union about it, the fund accounts were emptied and a Melbourne terrace house bought with ill-gotten cash was sold.
Gillard needs to explain her extraordinary silence, as much as she needs to explain her extraordinary conduct. She insists she did “nothing wrong”, but all we have is her word for it.
(Thanks to reader Peter.)

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The new gun culture

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER062012(8:05am)

We’re getting the Sydney disease:
TWO people escaped injury when a house was peppered with bullets during a drive-by shooting in Melbourne’s north last night.
Last week:
Waleed Haddara, 28, was found guilty by a jury of intentionally causing serious injury to Sabet Haddara, and reckless conduct placing Antonio Sawan in danger of serious injury, over the Altona North shooting on the night of June 6, 2010.

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Anyone’s, and maybe Romney’s

Andrew BoltNOVEMBER062012(7:18am)

Obama closes the gap with Romney in Gallup: Romney 49, Obama 48
ABC News/Washington Post: Obama 49, Romney 48
In Michigan: Romney 47, Obama 46
In Virginia: Romney 50, Obama 48
Real Clear Politics average of polls: Obama 48.5, Romney 48.1 
Real Clear Politics electoral college votes: Obama 201, Romney 191, toss-up 146
Mitt Romney is ahead by a single percentage point in Ohio, according to internal polling data provided to MailOnline by a Republican party source.

Internal campaign polling completed last night by campaign pollster Neil Newhouse has Romney three points up in New Hampshire, two points up in Iowa and dead level in Wisconsin and - most startlingly - Pennsylvania.

If the Romney campaign’s internal numbers are correct - and nearly all independent pollsters have come up with a picture much more favourable for Obama - then the former Massachusetts governor will almost certainly be elected 45th U.S. President.
 
UPDATE
Peggy Noonan: 
Romney’s crowds are building—28,000 in Morrisville, Pa., last night; 30,000 in West Chester, Ohio, Friday It isn’t only a triumph of advance planning: People came, they got through security and waited for hours in the cold. His rallies look like rallies now, not enactments. In some new way he’s caught his stride. He looks happy and grateful. His closing speech has been positive, future-looking, sweetly patriotic. His closing ads are sharp—the one about what’s going on at the rallies is moving.
All the vibrations are right. A person who is helping him who is not a longtime Romneyite told me, yesterday: “I joined because I was anti Obama—I’m a patriot, I’ll join up But now I am pro-Romney.” Why? “I’ve spent time with him and I care about him and admire him. He’s a genuinely good man.” Looking at the crowds on TV, hearing them chant “Three more days” and “Two more days"—it feels like a lot of Republicans have gone from anti-Obama to pro-Romney.
Something old is roaring back. One of the Romney campaign’s surrogates, who appeared at a rally with him the other night, spoke of the intensity and joy of the crowd “I worked the rope line, people wouldn’t let go of my hand.” It startled him. A former political figure who’s been in Ohio told me this morning something is moving with evangelicals, other church-going Protestants and religious Catholics. He said what’s happening with them is quiet, unreported and spreading: They really want Romney now, they’ll go out and vote, the election has taken on a new importance to them.
There is no denying the Republicans have the passion now, the enthusiasm. The Democrats do not. Independents are breaking for Romney. And there’s the thing about the yard signs. In Florida a few weeks ago I saw Romney signs, not Obama ones. From Ohio I hear the same. From tony Northwest Washington, D.C., I hear the same.
Is it possible this whole thing is playing out before our eyes and we’re not really noticing because we’re too busy looking at data on paper instead of what’s in front of us? Maybe that’s the real distortion of the polls this year: They left us discounting the world around us. 


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