Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thu 31st Jan Todays News


BETTING IS BAAAD

Tim Blair – Thursday, January 31, 2013 (4:27pm)

Wowser duo Nick Xenophon and Andrew Wilkie want to ruin our election year fun: 
Mr Xenophon said election betting prompted acceptance of gambling.
“We’re calling for a ban on election betting,’’ he told AAP on Thursday.
“At the very least, the major parties should immediately say their party officials, candidates and those with insider knowledge, including pollsters, are not allowed to bet.”
If that can’t be achieved, Senator Xenophon said there should be a register of bets because the risk of insider trading was enormous.
Mr Wilkie said gambling on elections was improper and should be outlawed.
“I have been dismayed by the high visibility of betting odds in the election coverage so far this year,” he said in a statement. 
“I have been dismayed by the high visibility of betting odds in the election coverage so far this year.” Fixed that for you, Andrew.
(Via the IPA’s James Paterson)
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Explorer 1 satellite

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Events

[edit]Births

[edit]Deaths

[edit]Holidays and observances


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THOMSON ARRESTED

Tim Blair – Thursday, January 31, 2013 (1:34pm)

Suspended Labor MP Craig Thomson has been arrested by NSW police.
(No comments allowed on this post)
UPDATE. The ABC’s Lyndal Curtis asks
Does this mean the Coalition will now refrain from commenting on Mr Thomson, given the possibility of impending court proceedings? 
Curtis followed a similar line, repeatedly, during an interview today on ABC 24.

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ROXON ROLLS

Tim Blair – Thursday, January 31, 2013 (4:42am)

Labor’s fringe reconsiders: 
Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has rolled back Labor’s proposed anti-discrimination reformsto remove the prohibition on causing offence, which has been criticised by the media, judicial figures and the human rights lobby as an attack on free speech.
Ms Roxon will today announce that her department is drafting a series of options for the new laws that includes the removal of the section that prohibits conduct that offends, insults or intimidates. 
Elections change everything.

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STABILIDY AND CERDAINDY

Tim Blair – Thursday, January 31, 2013 (4:37am)

The eternal election begins: 
Ms Gillard claimed she was acting in the national interest by providing much-needed stability and certainty to voters, businesses and investors.
But government sources suggested last night the move may have also provided an insurance policy for Labor against by-elections caused by any possible resignations which could bring down the government. 
image
With the election date set in stone, the government could legally argue for a delay for any by-election to coincide with the poll date, thwarting the potential fallout of an early resignation by Peter Slipper. 
Slipper is just one Labor problem: 
Senior members of the government last night confirmed the move was also partially designed to head off any further challenge to her leadership from Kevin Rudd. 
Labor’s internal divisions explain why the election date was concealed from Cabinet: 
She kept it a secret from her Cabinet, which met on Tuesday night and was given no hint of what was planned.
Leader of the House Anthony Albanese, Labor Party national secretary George Wright and a handful of trusted staff are believed to have been the only ones in the loop. 
Well, not the only ones: 
The independents and The Greens were also given advance warning but the Labor caucus had to wait to find out along with the rest of the country, leaving many in shock. 
Last week ALP minders were defending an ALP candidate from ALP members. Now a Labor Prime Minister hides election information from Labor ministers. Solidarity, comrades.

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YOUNG AND NAIVE

Tim Blair – Thursday, January 31, 2013 (4:27am)

Check out the head tilt on bolshie student Julia.

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DAN BEATS MAN

Tim Blair – Thursday, January 31, 2013 (3:22am)


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Thomson arrested

Andrew BoltJANUARY312013(7:22pm)

Craig Thomson, the suspended Labor MP who props up the Gillard Government, is arrested by police.
UPDATE 
Members of the NSW fraud squad today executed an arrest warrant on behalf of the Victorian Fraud and extortion squad.

Victorian detectives flew to Sydney this morning where they accompanied NSW police to Mr Thomson’s Central Coast electoral office.

The Victorian police have spent almost 18 months investigating claims that Mr Thomson improperly used Health Services Union funds to spend on prostitutes, air travel, entertainment and cash withdrawals in excess of $100,000.
Thomson insists on his innocence.
Julia Gillard, the Prime Minister who stood by him for so long, this week declared there would be no election until September 14. That may make it easier to stall on a by-election for Thomson’s seat, should that become necessary.
“An arrest warrant had been issued for the 48-year-old man by Victorian authorities following investigations into allegations of fraud committed against the Health Services Union,’’ a police statement said.

“He was taken to Wyong Police Station where he is expected to be charged by virtue of the arrest warrant with a fraud offence.

“It is expected he will go before Wyong Local Court where a further 149 fraud charges are to be laid.’’
Craig Thomson’s new solicitor, Chris McArdle, has issued his first defamation threat over the suggestion that his embattled client used union funds to pay for prostitutes.

‘’Our client has never used other people’s money or his own money to pay people for sex with him. Anyone who says the opposite will be sued,’’ Mr McArdle said.
Still 227 days until the election.
(No more comments, please.)
UPDATE
UPDATE
Ouch:
INDEPENDENT MP Craig Thomson has been bailed on fraud charges on condition he doesn’t attempt to contact any person he allegedly sought sexual services from.

The bail condition was one of three read out to Mr Thomson by magistrate Susan McIntyre when he appeared at Wyong Court this afternoon on fraud charges.

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US economy shrinks

Andrew BoltJANUARY312013(1:55pm)

Shock growth figures from the US:
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the economy contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter. That’s a sharp slowdown from the 3.1 percent growth rate in the July-September quarter.
Too late to get a fresh economic team on the job. Obama has four more years to keep this going.

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How NSW Labor heavies helped themselves

Andrew BoltJANUARY312013(12:37pm)

NSW Labor became the greatest ATM in the world for the Obeid family:

ICAC is investigating claims that Mr Macdonald rigged a 2008 tender process for coal exploration licences in the Bylong Valley.
A NSW Labor minister and his cronies seem - or are alleged - to have effectively transferred tens of millions of dollars from NSW taxpayers and landowners to a NSW Labor crony.
It is utterly revolting.

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Surprised he hasn’t yet blamed racists

Andrew BoltJANUARY312013(11:33am)

Anthony Mundine, beaten by Daniel Geale, shows all the sportsmanship for which he is so famous:
I knew that, I said before the fight that the only way they were going to beat me is if they rob me, but I didn’t think it was going to be so obvious and I didn’t think it was going to be so blatant.
Sonny Bill Williams may have an appointment soon with a defamation lawyer: 
Williams, who posted a photo on Twitter of himself and Quade Cooper with Mundine said: “Hanging out with @Anthony_Mundine celebrating a victory. We don’t pay attention to corrupt judges!”

However Williams stepped back from his comment this morning, tweeting “Sorry about the tweet last night. Emotions were running high just very disappointed for my brother and that’s how I saw the fight.”

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More boat people missing

Andrew BoltJANUARY312013(11:11am)

 Boat people policy
Yet more boat people apparently lured to their deaths: 
AN Indonesian crewman from an asylum-seeker boat has been found alive, washed up on Christmas Island, after surviving for days at sea on a raft made from inner tubes.
Three Burmese men who were with the man on the raft are still missing...

A massive search for the missing men began after a Royal Australian Navy crew found a vessel carrying about 16 Burmese asylum-seekers last Friday about 20 nautical miles from Christmas island… 

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Bradbury invents a class war

Andrew BoltJANUARY312013(10:42am)

When you’re down to class war talk, you’ve got nothing to sell but envy and division:
Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury, who holds the Western Sydney seat of Lindsay, sought to portray the opposition as being out of touch with everyday Australians.

“Frankly, I think we’re getting sick of hearing the likes of Joe Hockey and other North Shore types talking about what’s going on in western Sydney,” he told ABC radio.
Truth is, Bradbury is simply inventing a class division with Hockey.
Around 170 years ago, my great-grandfather’s grandfather, Walter Bradbury, settled in the Penrith area. He had travelled to the new colony on convict escort duty as a member of the 80th Regiment of Foot, Staffordshire Volunteers… A century after Walter Bradbury’s arrival, my mother and her parents, Anthony and Paola Tedesco, came to these shores from war-torn Malta in search of new opportunities.
[His grandfather] was an Armenian trader and landowner based in Syria… He moved to Jerusalem and took a job with the British government. In 1917 he helped oversee the reconstruction of Beersheba after it was taken from the Turks following the charge of the Australian Light Horse Brigade.

Joseph left Jerusalem before his son was born, and [Hockey’s father] Richard spent his first years in an orphanage. Like his father, Richard served the British in Palestine. Fudging his age, he enlisted in the army at 16, and was a warrant officer working in intelligence by 18.

Richard came to Australia in 1948 seeking a better life. Early on he was a Labor Party foot-soldier.
David is a graduate of the University of Sydney, holding an Arts Degree and an Honours Degree in Law… Prior to his election to Federal Parliament, David was a Senior Associate practising in taxation law with the corporate law firm Blake Dawson.
Joe attended the University of Sydney where he completed degrees in Arts and Law and became involved in student politics… After university Joe worked as a finance and banking lawyer.
Bradbury should drop that class warfare. It’s a con. The only real or relevant difference between these two lawyers lies in their ideas. And character. 

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For sale: one national defence force

Andrew BoltJANUARY312013(10:25am)

The cuts: 
The Australian defence budget was cut by almost 5 per cent in 2010-11 and then in last year’s budget it was cut again by 10.47 per cent. This reduced our defence spending to 1.56 per cent of GDP, the lowest it has been since 1938. Further cuts can be expected in this year’s white paper.
The sale:
AUSTRALIANS will soon be able to own, and use, a slice of military history, as a huge sale of second-hand vehicles kicks off the largest disposal of defence equipment since World War II

THE DEFENCE GARAGE SALE
12,000 vehicles (3300 Land Rovers variants, 2500 light trailers, 2430 medium trucks)
Up to 24 ships; (Landing ships HMAS Manoora and Kanimbla, supply ship, frigates, barges)
70 combat aircraft; (F/A-18 Hornet fighters)
110 other aircraft; (C-130 Hercules, King Air)
* 120 helicopters; (Sea King, Seahawk, Blackhawk)
* 600 armoured vehicles; (Armoured personnel carriers)

* A range of communications systems, weapons and explosive ordnance (M2A2 Howitzers, 30 calibre machine guns, Hamel guns, M60D Machine guns, SLRs, torpedos).

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Our life of Pi: 227 days trapped with an angry redhead

Andrew BoltJANUARY312013(10:05am)

Fiction:
‘Life of Pi’ follows the story of a young man stranded at sea for 227 days with a Bengal tiger ... 
Fact:
Julia Gillard has now burdened us with a 227-day election campaign...
(Thanks to reader Phil.)

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A desperate move, but September too far away

Andrew BoltJANUARY312013(9:45am)

JULIA Gillard may seem smart to call an election for September 14. But the Prime Minister is also desperate. 
There is no way Gillard would have called an unprecedented eight-month election campaign if she’d thought Labor could win a snap election before then.
Talk - fed by Gillard’s spinners - of a Labor recovery over the past few months is plainly false.
Two polls this week confirmed Labor was still mired in the death zone. Essential Media says Labor is 46 to 54 per cent behind, two-party preferred.
A mega poll by JSW Research of marginal seats says it’s even worse, with Labor at risk of losing 18 seats.
Gillard is in awful strife, and has little to hope for with Parliament resuming next week.

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Gillard’s gamble attacked - by Labor

Andrew BoltJANUARY312013(8:56am)

LABOR MPs loyal to Kevin Rudd yesterday labelled Julia Gillard’s decision to call an election date almost eight months out “incomprehensible”.

MPs given no warning the September 14 date had been set, although the Greens and independents were informed, were seething yesterday.
One warned that if Ms Gillard’s polling slipped back once voters were focused on a polling date, she would be vulnerable to a move to replace her with Mr Rudd…

Mr Rudd declared yesterday he would campaign in every state to help Labor, but he did not reveal his thoughts on Ms Gillard’s announcement of an election date so early in the year.

A LABOR backbencher will not take part on the Federal Election day because it falls on the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.
Victorian Michael Danby said Labor had to make special voting arrangements for the nation’s 107,000-strong Jewish community or lose support from voters.

The September 14 election falls on Yom Kippur and critics have lined up to take issue with Julia Gillard’s timing.
I HAVE run up the white flag. I am obviously past it because I simply don’t understand Labor politics any more…

In the hours after the announcement so many senior Labor figures rang me to express their bewilderment, dismay and disgust that at least I had one consolation - I was not alone in my ignorance and lack of understanding. I was in the best of company…
Tony Abbott can now plan his campaign with a certainty that no opposition leader in our history has ever had. The spending of every dollar, the appearances in every marginal seat, the fundraising, the advertisements, the timing of every policy release (they may lack detail but they will be called “policies") - this is a gift to the opposition the like of which we have never seen before…

I just can’t follow why this Labor government and this Prime Minister does what it does. It is a mystery to me and to millions of Australians as well.
BRIAN Loughnane must be the happiest man in Australia.

By announcing an election for September 14, Julia Gillard has ceded one of her biggest advantages to the Liberal Party’s federal campaign director.
UPDATE
Turns out Gillard’s move is in part to help defend her from other Labor MPs and fellow travellers:
Ms Gillard claimed she was acting in the national interest by providing much-needed stability and certainty to voters, businesses and investors.

But government sources suggested last night the move may have also providedan insurance policy for Labor against by-elections caused by any possible resignations which could bring down the government.
With the election date set in stone, the government could legally argue for a delay for any by-election to coincide with the poll date, thwarting the potential fallout of an early resignation by Peter Slipper…

Senior members of the government last night confirmed the move was also partially designed to head off any further challenge to her leadership from Kevin Rudd.
UPDATE
Not so, insists Gillard:
Nothing about this decision is in any way related to that [Kevin Rudd]. We decided that last year.
The PM explains why she announced the election date so early: 

I DO not do so to start the nation’s longest election campaign. Quite the opposite, it should be clear to all which are the days of governing and which are the days of campaigning.

Nobody bought that. The Australian’s website yesterday: 
DESPITE her denial, Julia Gillard has indeed called the world’s longest election campaign by nominating September 14 as polling day. 
The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald websites:
GILLARD launches longest election campaign.
The website of radio 3AW: 
GILLARD launches the longest election campaign in Australian political history.
The Conversation website: 
GREGORY Melleuish, associate professor in the school of history and politics at University of Wollongong, said the move would deliver “the longest election campaign in the nation’s history”.
ABC election analyst Antony Green on The Drum website: 


IN announcing the date of the 2013 federal election as September 14 ... Gillard has given the longest notice of an election, certainly since 1943, but probably since Federation.

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Smile for the cameras, Craig

Andrew BoltJANUARY312013(8:37am)

I suspect we’ll hear a lot more about this scandal in election year: 
FAIR Work Australia’s legal battle against former Labor MP Craig Thomson over alleged misuse of union funds has yielded its first CCTV evidence, with the Westin hotel chain ready to release screen shots taken from security cameras in one of its hotels.

A Federal Court registrar yesterday allowed FWA’s lawyers to inspect the footage, taken from the chain’s back-up system, and also granted them access to a partially redacted document provided by a company director linked to an escort agency.
FWA’s legal case also expanded into the heart of the NSW Labor Party, with details emerging of a subpoena for a document related to Mr Thomson’s 2007 bid for the NSW seat of Dobell and payments to the NSW ALP from the Health Services Union, which Mr Thomson then led…

The case against Mr Thomson will reappear in court tomorrow for its first directions hearing. 
UPDATE:
Gillard’s 227-day election campaign seems to be getting off to a rocky start: 

Senior legal sources believe the Victorian fraud squad - which has spent more than a year investigating the former Health Services Union boss - could announce criminal charges before the end of the week…

It is understood Victorian detectives - who have been investigating allegations that Mr Thomson spent thousands of dollars in union funds on prostitutes and other personal items - have concluded their long-running inquiry.
(Thanks to reader Peter.)

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Gillard complains she hasn’t yet got enough of our money

Andrew BoltJANUARY312013(7:51am)


Conventional economic forecasts are also being severely tested by the persistence of relatively low government revenue.
What we know for a fact is this: in Australia, revenue to government for every unit of GDP has been at its lowest since the recession of the early 1990s.
In other words, for a given amount of economic income generated, less money is finishing in the public purse, to be used for the Australian people…
While within our medium-term fiscal strategy, spending is tightly constrained, the amount of tax collected from all sources – particularly from company tax – is significantly lower than independent forecasters or the Treasury have anticipated.
Compared to the public revenue which was forecast on the eve of the global financial crisis in 2008, what has actually been collected in tax since is far lower – on average, lower by more than thirty billion dollars every year.
Even compared to what was forecast once the worst of the global financial crisis had passed, annual revenue is tens of billions of dollars below what was expected…
Put another way, we are in an era when new structural calls on the Budget need to be associated with new structural savings.
Check the Budget forecasts over the years: 
image
Henry Ergas:

In 2008-09 and 2009-10, Labor massively increased government spending, taking it to a higher share of GDP than at any time since 1993-94. That surge was meant to be wound back once the economy recovered; but though growth was well above trend by 2011-12, the increase was never reversed, with new spending programs being ramped up as stimulus measures were phased out.
As a result, since Labor was elected, per capita government expenditure has increased by 3 per cent a year in real terms, more than double the rate at which it grew under John Howard.

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Gillard’s wicked law would put her boyfriend in the dock

Andrew BoltJANUARY312013(7:40am)

The tape doesn’t lie. When Tim Mathieson told his harmless joke, most people in his audience laughed.
Yet what the Prime Minister’s partner and his audience thought funny, the Prime Minister plans to make illegal.
That is how sinister Julia Gillard’s proposed Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination bill truly is.
That should wipe the smile not just from Mathieson’s face, but yours.
No one’s free speech is safe. No one’s jokes are, either. 
No, Mathieson’s joke was not particularly good, but it was told without malice and in a good cause.
Speaking at The Lodge at a function for the Prime Minister’s XI cricket match , he’d urged the men in the room to get checked out for prostate cancer.
“The digital examination is the only true way to get a correct reading on your prostate, so make sure you go and do that, and perhaps look for a small, Asian, female doctor is probably the best way,” he said.
The “small, Asian female” reference is curious and, to the very sensitive, might signify a certain patronising or even racist attitude.
Gillard herself criticised Mathieson, saying he “could have picked his words a lot better”, and made him say sorry for a joke he called “offendable”.
Mind you, she had no choice but to shop her own boyfriend after being so deliberately and cynically hypersensitive to sexism – especially to the purely imagined sexism of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
“Misogyny,” she shrieked at Abbott last year for no particular reason other than political advantage.
And when Abbott chanced mid-tirade to check his watch, Gillard seized on that, too:  “Now looking at his watch because, apparently, a woman has spoken for too long.”
Can you imagine what Gillard would have said if Abbott, not Mathieson, had joked of wanting a “small, Asian, female doctor” to probe his backside?
We would have heard the trumped-up outrage 24-7 for a month.
But since it was just her Tim, Gillard satisfied herself with sniffing his joke was in “poor taste”.
And so it might have stopped, as just an example of Gillard’s hypocrisy.
But Gillard has not simply declared her boyfriend’s joke to be bad taste.
Her proposed new laws to regulate speech would make that joke unlawful. 

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Roxon forced to loosen muzzle - but not remove it

Andrew BoltJANUARY312013(7:08am)

Nicola Roxon is forced into an embarrassing retreat: 
ATTORNEY-GENERAL Nicola Roxon has rolled back Labor’s proposed anti-discrimination reforms to remove the prohibition on causing offence, which has been criticised by the media, judicial figures and the human rights lobby as an attack on free speech.

Ms Roxon will today announce that her department is drafting a series of options for the new laws that includes the removal of the section that prohibits conduct that offends, insults or intimidates
It is understood the draft legislation will still contain the provisions in the existing Racial Discrimination Act that impose liability for actions that offend or insult.

This is good, but far from enough. The whole elephantine exposure bill must be be junked. It is a minefield. That Labor should suggest such a muzzle for the country is truly shameful.
UPDATE
“Poorly drafted”? No, it was the intention, not the wording, that was most sinister, or Roxon would have junked this junk months ago: 
ATTORNEY-General Nicola Roxon has admitted her proposed anti-discrimination laws were poorly drafted, confirming the government has dropped controversial provisions that would have prohibited offensive conduct.

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Like minds

Andrew BoltJANUARY312013(7:02am)

Twitter helpfully suggests a few likenesses with the Twitter account of Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young: 
image
An ALP/ABC/SBS/Greens same-same? Twitter is acute. 

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Gillard not announced yesterday the election for September 14th
( Yom Kippur ) then Thomson's arrest would have force a bi election. This way Gillard gets eight more months of prime ministership plus her $600k life time annual pension.

Now if only Gillard could run the country as shrewdly as she has led her manipulative selfish life style.>===

This morning I met with commuters at Tuggerah. People are sick of the cost of living pressures and want rid of the carbon tax. A Liberal Coalition Government will help Central Coast households get ahead by freeing them from the burdens of the carbon tax to reduce cost of living pressures especially on rising electricity and gas prices. Karen McNamara, Liberal Candidate for Dobell
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Looks like some sort of Tim Burton-esque nightmare, right? This is the Brahmin moth (Brahmaea wallichii), found in India, China, and Japan. The moth has a wingspan of around 6 inches.
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How about one of our juicy burgers for dinner tonight, this is the one I had last night in our Wentworthville store, delicious with an ice cold Big Bloke. Outback Steakhouse Australia
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Follow Joseph Prince on Twitter to receive powerful and liberating inspirations on Grace for your busy schedules!https://twitter.com/JosephPrince
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Long-forgotten remains of a giant dolphin-shaped crocodilian "super-predator" have now been discovered in a museum drawer in Scotland, researchers say. http://oak.ctx.ly/r/23v9
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After Twitchy’s report, MSNBC is reportedly ‘reviewing’ video of Newtown dad’s testimony ==> http://twitchy.com/2013/01/30/after-twitchys-report-msnbc-is-reportedly-reviewing-video-of-newtown-dads-testimony/
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DAY 1

Off to a flying start - thanks to everyone in our signage team for getting scores of corflute signs out before sunrise today on all the major roads around Hughes - Sutherland, Bankstown and Liverpool
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We even played out when it was freezing cold.
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San Francisco Celebrating New Year's Eve 2013 — at San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
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it went to the other side to get stuff Phil Box got us.
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"Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure"
In 2009, I lost to Anthony Mundine via a split decision. I had two options. I could have called it quits and give up my career. Or I could have used it as a source of motivation to push myself even harder, so that I can exact my revenge. I chose the second option, and all the blood, sweat and tears have paid off. This goes to all you guys out there. No matter what you do, whether it be school, college, sports, being a music artist etc, don't be afraid to fail. Instead use it as a lesson, learn from your mistakes and be the best that you can.
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FLYING START - 1 DAY DOWN, 225 TO GO !!!

It's game on, and great to get a run on Channel 9 News tonight, and also a further follow up radio interview with Steve Price on 2GB later. 

We'll continue to take it up to Labor, and spread our message of hope, reward and opportunity for every single one of the next 225 days, right up to 6pm when the polls close on 14th Sept.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1To7WD4KS4&feature=youtu.be

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Watching Kathy Jackson on Paul Murray. As I have been saying all my working life: Unions and Labor are the most corrupt people this country has ever seen. Kathy Jackson is very rare: She is not afraid to expose the stuff that has been part and parcel of union/ALP activities since the early days of the ALP. And as we know it is more likely than not, that Gillard - and her comrades (in true socialist/communist style) has been just as sleazy and corrupt as Thomson, Williams and probably most Labor people with some power. Kathy Jackson makes a very good point about US unions not having any political affiliation with the left of US politics - The Democrats. How refeshing. Although, of course I realise unions in the US often have other "'arrangements" with organised crime and other nefarious people - at least they do not Run The Government!

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./\_¸_/\.
(=•_•= )
ღ♥*♥ღ.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
..(")_(") (¸.•* (¸.•*¨*•♥♥.
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Yeah we did it!! And grappled after!! :)
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And now the hard part... Letting is set without eating it all! Lol


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VIC POLICE CLOSE IN ON GILLARD

Information out of Melbourne is that more than a dozen detectives on an unlimited budget are on the brink of laying charges in the AWU Wilson/Gillard fraud case.

One reliable source has said two major law firms should expect raids within days and explanations will be demanded regarding instances of missing documents.

More than 50 people have been, or are yet to be, interviewed including Bill the Greek Bullshit Artist Telikostoglou, (as Julia Gillard affectionately refers to him as). He missed his flight from Athens but is now expected in Melbourne next week.

Another reliable source has said to me, “We expect to have this all wrapped up in a few weeks, hopefully no later than March, and there will be people charged.

"We are treating this matter extremely seriously and no stone will be unturned in ensuring the alleged culprits face justice.”

There was no indication given as to who would be charged but the level of urgency and thoroughness indicated to me (and I say indicated) there is little doubt Julia Gillard is viewed as a major player and very much a person of interest.

Ralph Blewitt, Bob Kernohan and others, including Nick Styant-Browne, have been busy giving statements and disclosing further information to police in a veritable revolving door of witnesses coming and going at StKilda headquarters.

In a future article (Part X of the Gillard files) I will give what I believe are the four main areas where Gillard is in serious trouble and will need to explain herself.

But in the meantime, as cricket commentator Bill Lawrie says, “It’s all happening!”

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A FAST NEWS DAY MEANS NO-ONE GETS HEARD

It’s a Sheraton smorgasbord and I can’t decide on what to devour for fear of leaving no room for something better. So I’ll just pick at lots of little things.

• Gillard’s glasses: I thought initially they were hiding an eye tuck, but not certain. Anyway she had the same glasses for reading her speech at the Press Club as she had for inspecting the floods. Mmmm, that tends to imply they are not prescription, just for show... the feminist executive look maybe.

• The election date: She had her reasons but none that could assist her except, if there is a by-election needed, it will be now be held concurrently with the general election. But she also wanted to grab the agenda from Abbott and show a nervous Caucus that she wasn’t going anywhere. That didn’t work and a silly move really. It will suit Abbott.

• Abbott’s performance: Not too bad. But I’m still worried about his parental leave policy. Eighteen months paid leave is overkill and will not assist mums to be. A woman planning pregnancy would be crazy not to first apply for a job with a thriving company. The trouble is would the thriving company take the risk? Don’t think so. Employment officers could become averse to ripe ovaries.

• Dumping the “school kids’ bonus” is a good thing (although it will hurt me) because it’s no more than a deposit in a recipient’s bank account. The money will simply be used when needed. It could just as easily be called the “car registration bonus” or the “new lawnmower bonus”. It’s just another poorly directed Gillard give-away to convince you to like her. But Abbott did brighten up when the news came through that...

• Craig Thomson was charged: We knew it was coming and it won’t make any difference to Gillard’s numbers. It could be two years before he even gets the smell of the jail time that would prevent him sitting in Parliament. There are charges also imminent in the AWU matter but if you think someone will step aside while under a cloud of fraud charges, think again.

• That leaked email: This is a strange one because the email had the subject matter blacked out. Why would that be if it didn’t emanate from Abbott’s own office? Someone wanted to only let the cat half out of the bag. Mmmm.

• Isobel Redmond quits: Well, the SA Lib Leader was on borrowed time anyway and Alexander Downer is overly coy about replacing her. But somehow I was never able to get a hard-on over SA politics.

There’s much, much more. NBN ordered to disclose costs. Mundine cries into his prayer mat. Tim Flannery’s comedic weather forecasting. Huge fire north of Melbourne. Queensland floods.

Blimey, can’t even play golf, the course is still under water.


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