Monday, February 18, 2013

Mon 18th Feb Todays News


Happy birthday and many happy returns Alex Beer. Your birthday is celebrated in Iran as "Women's Day." I don't know how to exploit that, but I've got top people working on it
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February 18Family Day in various regions of Canada (2013);Washington's Birthday/Presidents' Day in the United States (2013)
Vasil Levski

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Events

[edit]Births

[edit]Deaths

[edit]Holidays and observances


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No-one can take Labor seriously

Piers Akerman – Monday, February 18, 2013 (3:50am)

Does anyone out there still take Labor seriously?
This is a legitimate question.
Yesterday on the Insiders TV program, host Barrie Cassidy earnestly asked Climate Change Minister Greg Combet a number of questions and received a number of mind-numbingly stupid answers.
Combet had not adapted his usual rambunctious, ranting, trade union boss, bully boy, thug persona, he was hushed, almost funeral, and he was trying to sound temperate.
But when he started citing US President Obama’s recent State of the Union address with its dire warnings about climate change (spare me, the world has been cooling for the past 16 years according to the most reliable records), it was really too much.
Further, the White House repeatedly said last November that a carbon tax was not on the cards.
Still, that did not stop Combet from claiming the US would be following his leaderene Julia Gillard down the carbon dioxide taxing path and Cassidy didn’t bother questioning him.
Perhaps he wasn’t listening.
Perhaps, like the rest of the nation he has stopped listening to Labor.
The only people who still blindly chant the Gillard Labor mantra these days are those like Combet who are handcuffed to the Gillard bandwagon, and some in the media, like my fellow panellist Mike Seccombe.
The numbers are rapidly dwindling though as reality is catching up with this farce.
More and more of the once rusted-on media fans Labor used to captivate are now shuffling their feet and trying to crabwalk away from the impending train smash.
Union boss Paul Howes is still on the cart however and yesterday he attempted to defend the trade union movement despite the growing number of charges which have been laid against a fast swelling number of former trade union bosses.
While Labor power broker Eddie Obeid might be able to tell the troops he was all for ripping off the rich and the state, the union bosses have been helping themselves to the hard-earned contributions of some of the poorest workers in the nation.
According to Howes however, we should all be thinking of what the unions have done for Australians in the past.
Like try and block the war effort against the Japanese, perhaps, Paul?
He would have a shred of credibility if he were exhorting his AWU predecessors Bill Ludwig and Bill Shorten to make statements to the Victorian police about the AWU scandal.
But he has been silent about that. He hasn’t found time between his numerous media gigs to see what he can do to assist the police with the records that might help them.
Gillard was herself busy yesterday reannouncing an old policy which had been given the once-over lightly treatment. It was a transparent con. Like so much of what Labor has done
to distract attention from its woes in recent days.
Till Labor starts working for the Australian people instead of against them, it will have no credibility.
Does anyone believe Labor now?
No.

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BAD SIGN

Tim Blair – Monday, February 18, 2013 (2:40pm)

A slight understatement
It was a bad sign for the government in an election year, the pollster John Stirton said. 
He just might be right
Labor’s primary vote stands at just 30 per cent, according to a Herald/Nielsen poll published in Fairfax newspapers …
Support for the Coalition has risen 4 points, taking its primary vote to 47 per cent - its highest level since just after the carbon tax began in July 2012.
On a two-party-preferred basis, Labor’s support is at 45 per cent, well behind the 55 per cent for the Coalition.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has also overtaken Julia Gillard in the preferred prime minister stakes, with his support leaping by 9 percentage points to 49 per cent compared with Ms Gillard on 45. 
Of historical interest: Rudd’s numbers. Today’s poll has everyone talking. Here’s Simon Crean: 
“It’s a wake-up call isn’t it? You can’t gild the lily … It shows what happens when you’ve got theinternals detracting from you, plus everything that’s happening in New South Wales … the dissension can cause difficulties for us, not just in terms of the polls … it just detracts from us being able to get a consistency of message across.” 
If only there were some place, perhaps a building in Canberra, where a government – maybe assisted by one or two volunteers in a media department or something – could possibly reach out to Australians. Stephen Conroy: 
“There’s a lot of backgrounding, a lot of careless chatter going on. If we spend our time talking about ourselves ... we will ultimately end up paying the price in the polls as we have done today … If you’re self-indulgent, the Australian people will mark you down.” 
Self-indulgent, you say? Julia Gillard: 
“I just don’t commentate on opinion polls. If I spent my time worrying about and commentating on opinion polls, then I wouldn’t have time to get my job done. Each and every day I just let thatwash through.” 
I thought that was the First Hairdresser’s job. Paul Howes: 
“I want to see some news outlet do a poll of all Australians about how much people care about polls. Because it kind of seems to me that this nation’s suffering from poll fatigue. We can’t go for more than one week without Newspoll doing a poll, AC Nielsen doing a poll, Essential doing a poll, UMR doing a poll or having Roy Morgan doing a poll, and everyone getting overly excited about it.” 
Such as Howes himself in 2010, when he helped bring down Kevin Rudd, a move he now regrets: 
‘’I regret that I was one of the people that used to engage in this constant useless chatter on various opinion and chat shows around the country. I am sick of it, I am not doing it any more.’’ 
He said this on a chat show. Craig Emerson: 
‘’A government that doesn’t show unity of purpose will fall in the polls.” 
Yes, Doc. Yes, it will. Greg Combet: 
“There is no sugar-coating it, it’s a bad poll today, there’s no doubt about it.” 
Nothing gets past this bloke. Bill Shorten: 
“What people want us to do is move beyond the gossip of personalities into the substance of what the Government’s doing for me and my family. 
To be fair, Bill, the government is paying you $300,000 per year. That not enough?

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AN EARL IN HIS PRIME

Tim Blair – Monday, February 18, 2013 (2:37pm)

Please do enjoy A Sense of History.

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THEY LIKE TO WAIT

Tim Blair – Monday, February 18, 2013 (2:33pm)

Sydney hipsters examined.

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CARBON TAX ABOLISHED

Tim Blair – Monday, February 18, 2013 (12:40pm)

According to Paul Howes: 
I don’t think it’s a carbon tax … we don’t have a carbon tax. 
(Via Mark S.)
UPDATE. Howes in 2011
I was very concerned about the impact of the carbon tax on manufacturing, and that’s why we pushed for and secured a substantive compensation package which will in essence shield the manufacturing industry … 
And in 2012
“We’ve always made it clear that the carbon tax isn’t something we asked for - but it’s a reality,” Mr Howes said. 
Apparently not.

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CLOWN ZONE

Tim Blair – Monday, February 18, 2013 (10:50am)

For as long as anyone can remember, there have been two primary categories in Australian media. You had politics, which featured earnest people in suits who were inevitably worried about something or other, and you had sport, where all the fun and drama was.
Australia’s polarity is now reversed. Sport is currently an off-the-field activity conducted between the government and authorities of various codes, which is why you’re reading about it on the front pages. It’s almost as dull as the Olympics.
Meanwhile politics is a full-contact free-for-all, and that’s only within the Labor party. Canberra’s press gallery really ought to be housed in a sports-style press box, such is the level of amusement emerging from the capital. 

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Gillard ignores poll, but Crean insists it’s a wakeup. For her?

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY182013(6:54pm)

Normally Ministers agree to a common line before responding to bad news. So this gap in the responses of Julia Gillard and one of her chief backers should deeply concern the Prime Minister:
“If I spent time worrying about them and commentating on opinion polls then I wouldn’t have the time to get my job done.
“So each and every day I just let that wash through and I focus on what I need to do as prime minister.”
In contrast:
CABINET minister Simon Crean says a new opinion poll showing Tony Abbott ahead of Julia Gillard as preferred prime minister is a “wake-up call” for the party.
I wonder who Crean, from the Victorian Right faction, would support as Labor’s next leader if it can’t be him. Which it now can’t be.
It wouldn’t be Kevin Rudd, of course, after Crean’s assault on him. It certainly couldn’t now be the car wreck called Wayne Swan. It would most likely have to be someone approved of by the now dominant grouping, the more than 15 MPs controlled or strongly influenced by the AWU, once led by Bill Shorten.
...once led by Bill Shorten.
Hmm. Tony Abbott may have more good news ahead.
(Thanks to reader Alan RM Jones.)
UPDATE
In the days before the strike on Mr Rudd on June 23, 2010, his deputy prime minister told some members of the caucus she believed the Rudd government was heading for electoral disaster and gave them copies of the polling to drive the point home.
The polling, which the Herald has seen, included a comparison between her and Mr Rudd that showed Ms Gillard favourably. In contrasting word-clouds of voters’ most common, one-word descriptions, the dominant words for Mr Rudd were “arrogant” and “weak”. The dominant words for Ms Gillard were “strong” and “capable.”
Party polling is supposed to be kept confidential between the federal secretariat, which organises the research and polling program, and the leader’s office.
Ms Gillard told Four Corners: “The truth is I made a decision to run for prime minister on the day I walked into Kevin Rudd’s office and asked him for a ballot. I did not make that decision at any time earlier.”
And asked about the internal polling, Ms Gillard said: “I don’t have any specific recall of pages of party polling at that time.”

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On 2GB, February 18

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY182013(5:19pm)

On with Steve Price from 8pm. Listen live here. Talkback:  131 873
Steve hears a leadership rumor. And I’ll report on my private lunch with Geert Wilders today.
Last week’s shows can be heard here.  

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For once, Gillard is the answer

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY182013(5:10pm)

It’s not often I’d ask such a question and produce this correct answer. But do we believe the Prime Minister when she says we have a carbon tax: 
Oh, look, I’m happy to use the word tax… Well, can I say this is a market-based mechanism to price carbon. It has a fixed price period at the start, a price that will be fixed. That is effectively a tax and I’m happy to say the word tax.
Or do we now believe Paul Howes, head of the Australian Workers Union which helped to install Gillard:
(Thanks to reader Des.)

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How dare the Human Rights Council want us muzzled

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY182013(4:51pm)

 Free speech
I was shocked that the head of the Human Rights Commission on the weekend supported proposed laws against free speech so draconian that even the Gillard Government has had to back off.
Even more incredible was the sole reason Professor Gillian Triggs gave for (reluctantly) supporting the Government scrapping its plan to extend the offences of “offend” and “insult” - already in section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act - to every kind of “protected attribute” from a person’s political opinions to their “social origin”.
Triggs said while she did still want laws against offending people, “the public voice” was against the government’s attack on free speech “at the moment”.
As I said, it is astonishing that the public must now protect possibly its most important freedom against the objections of the Human Rights Council itself. The defender of our rights has become its enemy.
The IPA’s James Paterson has more about Triggs’ outing as an enemy of free speech in the video above, which also includes Triggs’ astonishing admissions.

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Welfare is a “jihad-seekers’ allowance”

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY182013(4:41pm)

I’m happy to be told he speaks for only a minority. But I wonder which other faiths produce a minority so vocal, hate-preaching and rejectionist:
Anjem Choudary [was] secretly filmed him saying Islam will overrun Europe, David Cameron and Barack Obama should be killed and calling the Queen ‘ugly’.
The father-of-four takes home more than £25,000 a year in benefits and lives in a £320,000 house in Leytonstone, East London.
He told a crowd of around 30 fanatics: ‘People will say, ‘Ah, but you are not working’. But the normal situation is for you to take money from the kuffar (non-Muslim).
‘So we take Jihadseeker’s Allowance. You need to get support.’
In another video a grinning Choudary is recorded telling his disciples that it is justifiable to take money from non-believers.
He said: ‘The normal situation is to take money from the kuffar. You work, give us the money, Allahu Akhbar (God is great)...”
Choudary has since claimed he was joking and wants no one killed.
(Thanks to reader Peter.)

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Gittins blames AbbottAbbottAbbott for Swan’s fiasco

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY182013(9:48am)

Who is to blame for designing a tax so badly that it collects next to nothing? Who is to blame for imagining the tax would raise billions, all giddily spent on handouts, before finding there was no money to pay for it all?
Ross Gittins, of the Sydney Morning Herald, says we shouldn’t just blame Treasurer Wayne Swan. The AbbottAbbottAbbott made him do it.

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If you need this much security for criticising Islam…

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY182013(9:02am)

Dutch political leader Geert Wilders, now on a speaking tour of Australia, on why he came to fear Islam:
In the Islamic world, I was always struck by two things. I was impressed by the kindness and helpfulness of many people. But there was also their fear. Islamic societies are ruled by terror. Muslims are good people, but they live under the yoke of Islamic sharia. If they leave Islam, or even just mildly criticise it, they sign their own death verdict.
I returned to The Netherlands and became a politician. I used to live in the Kanaleneiland district of Utrecht. During my years there, the district was transformed into a dangerous neighbourhood for non-Muslims. I have been robbed. On several occasions I had to run for safety. The same transformation happened in several cities in The Netherlands and other European countries where Islam settled. Europe is going through an Islamification process, which makes our continent less free and less safe.
Contrary to what many Westerners think, Islam, rather than a religion, is a totalitarian political ideology. It is an ideology because it aims for an Islamic state and wants to impose sharia on all of us. It is totalitarian because it is not voluntary: once you are in, you cannot get out. Unlike genuine religions, Islam also makes demands on non-Muslims. We, too, are marked for death if we criticise it.
For nine years I have been living under constant police protection. I live in a government safe house. I am driven every day to my office in an armoured police car. I have even lived in army barracks and prison cells just to be safe from assassins. I am threatened because I am a a critic of Islam.
Some critics will scoff, knowing that to do so puts them in no danger at all. It will make them seem more tolerant, and enable them to walk down the street in danger of nothing but praise from the like-minded.
Wilders’ life, though, is proof of at least part of his message. Here are just some of the security guidelines distributed to journalists covering the visit here of an elected Dutch political leader simply expressing a point of view:
To facilitate the required level of security and to ensure an enjoyable time for us all, you are kindly requested to familiarise yourself with the following notes and the T&Cs* applicable to the evening events. We understand that this are not everyday requirements, but are essential for the security of Mr Wilders and his staff.
1.) For most media opportunities we will send to you the location details the night before the event. The venue information is privileged and confidential and must not be made available for publication or made available to a third party prior to or during the event....
2.) Besides your ‘tools of trade’ only one small handbag is permitted into the venues… If you refuse to be screened, security will refuse entry.

4.) Immediately upon arrival on location please approach one of our security operatives. Kindly identify yourself with photo ID and the confirmed media accreditation and you will be given a location pass, please wear this visibly and return this to security when you leave the venue…
8.) Do not assume patrons and members have given permission to be filmed. Aside from Mr Wilders and our board members speaking from the podium, any other face on your recording must be pixelated, or the relevant frames deleted before broadcasting; unless you have received written permission from this person.
9.) As a security requirement, officers providing close personal protection for Mr Wilders will not allow persons to directly approach Mr Wilders without prior arrangement…
10.) All of the meetings/press conferences will be taken indoors in secure locations.  We understand the desire to get ‘shots outside/movement shots’, but for security reasons this will not be possible.
If criticising Islam requires this much protection, there must be something to criticise. 

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A meteorite tax would make more sense

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY182013(8:57am)

A METEORITE last weekend hurt more Russians - about 1000 - than have ever been proved injured by global warming.
This doesn’t just suggest we are more likely to be killed by a rock from outer space than by carbon dioxide from a power station.
It also says we might be safer if we used the billions we now spend to cut emissions to build rockets instead.

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Get back up there, Demetriou, and say you were conned

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY182013(8:48am)

image
ANDREW Demetriou, get back on that stage. Fix the damage done to your game and say you were conned.
Say we were all conned when huff-puffing politicians two weeks ago suggested Australian sport was riddled with drugs, criminals and allegations of match-fixing.

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Arthur and Martha are now Labor MPs

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY182013(8:41am)

The Gillard Government is so split that MPs aren’t simply contradicting each other butthemselves:
Simon Crean, Sky News, Friday: 

IN the meantime we’re seeking to address the design flaw in—well, we’re seeking to actually now change the design (of the MRRT) . . .
Ben Packham in The Australian, Friday: 
“I DIDN’T say it was being redesigned. Go back and have a look at the transcript. Let’s get your facts right,” (Simon Crean) told reporters.

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Guardian sends lifeboat to our Leftist journalists

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY182013(8:29am)

AS other media outlets lay off journalists by the dozen, Guardian Australia editor-in-chief Katharine Viner has been shopping for talent, armed with a generous chequebook and a wish list of high-profile bylines,
...last week the fledgling enterprise scored a PR coup when it announced the poaching of two of Fairfax Media’s well-respected political correspondents: Lenore Taylor, the Walkley-winning former Sydney Morning Herald chief political correspondent, and Katharine Murphy, formerly national affairs correspondent for Melbourne’s The Age…
Viner ...is ... known to be having discussions with former Fairfax columnist and author David Marr and approaching the ABC’s Annabel Crabb…
Also confirmed to be joining the start-up in a behind-the-scenes role is Paul Chadwick, formerly the ABC’s director of editorial policies, who becomes a non-executive director of the Australian entity.
A similar attempt by a foreign conservative media outfit to gather local conservatives for an Australian venture would: 
a. quickly run out of names.
b. be attacked as a sinister attempt by foreigners to poison debate here.
c. incite demands by Greens for an inquiry into media ownership.

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The tiniest crack in the ABC groupthink

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY182013(7:21am)

Number of weeks since Nice Mr Scott promised greater diversity on the ABC ...  Total:  331 Weeks
Number of conservative presenters/producers/paid regular commentators/editors on prominent ABC Radio/ABC TV/ABC Online outlets ...  Total: Absolutely Zip
For instance:
So in an hour and a half across several ABC Radio outlets, only critics of the Vatican were heard discussing Benedict XVI’s papacy.  The prevailing ABC group-think did not lead to a realisation that there are some Catholics who support the Church’s teachings and some non-Catholics who admire Pope Benedict XVI.
But there is one exception, and for those growing familiar with his name it’s not surprising. Here is Scott Stephens, ABC Online’s religion and ethics editor, who - in between his interesting tweeting - had time to correct the Sydney Morning Herald’s excitable Peter FitzSimons on Benedict XVI’s handling of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church:
Scott Stephens:  Wow. I’ve heard Peter Fitzsimons say some pretty stupid things about the Pope but I think that just about takes the cake. And I’m sure that we could find some better, some more intelligent certainly some better informed people to assess the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI apart from someone like Christopher Hitchens. Some really awful and ill-informed and derogatory things – [Interrupted]
Peter FitzSimons: [interjecting] go on get to it, what? What? Spread ‘em out.
Scott Stephens: What, what? For instance, I’m not sure if Paul Collins would agree but it seems to me from the research that I’ve done – from the immense reading that I’ve done on this topic – that there’s no one in the life of the Church today that can claim to have done more to eradicate the cancer of sexual abuse – and that’s Pope Benedict’s own phrase “The Cancer of Sexual Abuse”, from the life of the Church and the whole culture of cover-up and craven and cowardly bishops from the life of the Church than Joseph Ratzinger – in his initial role as prefect and his subsequent role as Benedict XVI.
Peter Fitzsimons: So was Hitchens wrong? Was Hitchens wrong in what was published in the Sydney Morning Herald?
Scott Stephens: Absolutely
Peter Fitzsimons: So Hitchens was wrong.
Scott Stephens: Absolutely, my God. Absolutely. As wrong as someone like Richard Dawkins who described Pope Benedict as this leering old villain whose first instinct when he heard of children with their pants down was to cover up the crime and as wrong as someone like Geoffrey Robertson QC who described the Pope as -
Peter Fitzsimons: [interjecting] If I may -
Scott Stephens: - No hang on, as the global CEO over a global paedophile trafficking network.
Peter Fitzsimons: Okay,
Scott Stephens: This is quite preposterous.
image
For those interested in Stephens, a disillusioned Leftist, here is a disgraceful apology run five years ago by the Jesuit-run Eureka Street, which removed of Stephens’ articles from its on-line archive or otherwise impeccably Leftist articles:
On Thursday, Eureka Street published a commentary by Scott Stephens on the Parliamentary Apology to Stolen Generations. The article has been withdrawn. It argued that the Prime Minister’s motivation was self-serving, and his action empty rhetoric. Eureka Street, the Australian Jesuits and Jesuit Communications do not necessarily support the views expressed in our published articles. The publishers specifically disagree with the substance of this article. We apologise to those who were hurt or offended by allegations contained in it.

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More class war, as the government robs business to pay bureaucrats

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY182013(7:09am)

Michael Gordon says some MPs blame the politics of division for their catastrophic poll numbers:
Labor’s malaise, however, runs deeper than the events that contributed to it, and includes deep misgivings about a strategy that relies too heavily on division and playing the class warfare card.
Yet no sooner said than there’s another class war appeal to excuse raiding big employers for more cash to fund yet more bureaucracies and job-killing red-tape regimes: 
PRIME Minister Julia Gillard will paint herself as a leader able to make tough choices on Monday in a speech saying only Labor would be prepared to take $1 billion from Australia’s richest companies in order to fund a jobs plan for smaller ones.
Her industry and innovation statement released on Sunday will save $1 billion over four years by preventing companies with a yearly turnover of $20 billion from accessing the generous research and development tax incentive…
The savings will be used to build 10 innovation precincts modelled on those in California’s Silicon Valley and Italy’s Biella textile district. Each will help direct a total of $236 million in Australian Research Council grants…
Corporations running investment projects worth more than $500 million will be required to produce plans showing how they will give local companies a chance to win contracts.
Note the assumption here: that Government knows better than businesses themselves how to invest their own money in their future. Private investment becomes government grants.
UPDATE
THE federal government’s plan to develop innovation precincts is a great idea but whether it will work is a mystery, says one of Australia’s foremost innovation authorities, Terry Cutler.
“This is great in theory, but it’s a strategy without an implementation plan,” Dr Cutler said.
“I’ve been doing research into such precincts for about five years. I’m a big fan of them.
“But there is no evidence anywhere that can tell us which ones work and why....”
South Australia has been named as hosting one of the first two manufacturing precincts, but a spokesman for Manufacturing, Innovation and Trade minister Tom Kenyon said there had been no consultation with the state government.
He did not know where it would be built or if it would be incorporated into an existing hub.
Another warning sign:
UPDATE
More of that politics of division, this time attacking the very people creating jobs for union members: 
AUSTRALIAN Workers Union boss Paul Howes has sought to rally unions to oppose mining industry leaders he claims are ”corporate robber barons” selling workers down the river…
Mr Howes, the union’s national secretary, will use his opening address to 300 delegates to ridicule former Rio Tinto chief Tom Albanese, Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer as “titans of industry, who can’t even make a profit in the middle of a resources boom”.
Howes seems very confused:
BILLIONAIRE Gina Rinehart’s company Hancock Prospecting posted a massive $1.2 billion profit in 2010/11, almost doubling its previous profit, documents filed on Christmas Eve show.
What I think Howes meant to ridicule was the Prime Minister he installed - a woman who cannot even make a surplus in the middle of a resources boom.

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Rudderless Labor on the rocks: 44 to 56

Andrew BoltFEBRUARY182013(12:53am)

 Politics - polls
The Coalition will be hoping Labor doesn’t now stampede to Kevin Rudd after tonight’s disastrous Nielsen Poll:
Labor’s support, which had climbed into the mid-30s, has now collapsed, plunging it back towards landslide-losing territory were an election held now.
Its primary vote stands at just 30 per cent, a dip of 5 points since the last survey in December and a mere 4 points above its nadir of 26 per cent in May 2012…
On a two-party-preferred basis, Labor’s support languishes at 45 per cent to 55 per cent for the Coalition, according to voter feedback on the direction of second preferences.
That’s the measure that counts, of course, but after repeating Labor spin so furiously for a year about the significance of Tony Abbott’s unpopularity, I’m sure we can expect the media to give us another forest of articles about Gillard this time being the truly unpopular one:
Crucially, in terms of Ms Gillard’s command of the Labor leadership, Mr Abbott has overtaken her in the preferred prime minister stakes with his support leaping by 9 percentage points to 49 per cent compared with Ms Gillard on 45 - down 5 points.
The pollster explains: 
‘’I think the most likely thing is that the combined effect of Craig Thomson and Eddie Obeid created an atmosphere of crisis,’’ says Nielsen’s John Stirton.
And while Labor lost its opportunity, Tony Abbott took his. ‘’I think the results probably reflect Abbott’s change of approach,’’ becoming less aggressive and more positive, says Stirton. ‘’There have been far fewer shots of him on the evening news in his shrill, hectoring mode. He’s been more moderate and bipartisan – it took him a long time to learn, but the voters rather like that.’’
Unmentioned is that Gillard has proved catastrophically bad. That election announcement. Those resignations just afterwards. That budget blowout. That mining tax. That broken promise of a surplus. Those boats. That shrillness. That.... 
UPDATE
Despite that orchestrated campaign by Labor and its media and activist allies to paint Tony Abbott as a woman hater, thug, bully and sexist... 
An exclusive Galaxy poll of 800 female voters conducted for News Ltd found 38 per cent of women believed the Prime Minister was the leader they would most likely trust.
UPDATE
The take of SBS host Jenny Brockie: 
image
That AbbottAbbottAbbott is always in the picture, even when Julie Gillard is burning Rome.
(Thanks to reader Andy.)

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I wanted to know, still, can't help but think it needs a satisfied burp at the end .. possibly man morphing into baby .. also, a disclaimer .. no actor was hurt in filming this .. that is right ??!! - ed

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A nice lightning strike from May 19th
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If you have never tried our Bushmans Loaf you are missing something very special, baked to our own recipe and served with our whipped butter...deliccccous
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In Christ, you were created to be at rest. Your life is not about doing and striving; your life is about receiving. God wants to do everything through you and for you, and it will be so much more than what you can do through your own efforts.
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Attending the soil turning at the Aboriginal Child and Family Centre -Yenu Allowah with Andrew Rohan MP representing the Minister Victor Dominello - Dai Le
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Hanging kids in the classroom to remind them who is the boss .. ed
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4 TMN
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POLL SPELLS DANGER FOR Pickering's ALP

Abbott now preferred PM? Women now prefer Abbott? Abbott up four points, Gillard down five? What the...?

McTernan’s dumb tactics have proved disastrous and a gross underestimation of Aussie nous. 

The Left of the media is now looking for a place to hide as things worsen daily for this woefully inept government.

The budget is blowing out even further while Wayne Swan is back home in Russia extolling the virtues of deficit spending.

Gillard is running out of billion dollar “initiatives” and panic sweeps an enervated Caucus.

Abbott even feels secure enough to promote his policy nasties:

Public Service to be slashed by 20,000, taxes to be imposed across the board, many of Gillard’s “initiatives” on hold, not to mention Abbott’s IR reforms, a Royal Commission into the unions and penalties for union fraud to be on a parity with corporation crime.

Abbott has a newfound policy fearlessness.

But he is fully aware of the storm clouds gathering above such a potentially lop-sided Parliament.

Polls of this proportion, if accurate, spell danger for any incoming government. It is impossible to manage 100 ambitious egos of any political colour.

Queensland’s Campbell Newman left Labor with a mere handful of seats at last year’s election massacre and the result has not been good for either side.

It is impossible for Newman to keep 78 Members entertained and they are leaking badly to Katter’s little goup.

In Abbott’s case it could be an unwieldy 100, mostly discontents, with little chance of joining the inner sanctum and no chance of the dream of a Ministry.

Abbott would be battling to know them by their first names.

Newbies in government always have their pet projects but they can never be realised under the conditions of an electoral bloodbath. They become lost in major policy.

Disgruntled, they form outer groups and often break away causing the ruling Party grief on the way.

Conversely, the decimated losing Party has little to choose from.

Few will have the ability to hold down a shadow portfolio let alone justify the position of alternative Prime Minister.

It can be a long way back for the vanquished.

Labor and the unions will pay dearly for the Gillard experiment and there is further damage in store.

It is not just the polls. Caucus is excreting bricks in sheer fear of the coming AWU fallout.

The Teflon has eroded from their fallible princess and something must be done to keep the damage to disastrous.

They could start by deporting John McTernan.

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The Daleks invaded London this morning - as scenes from the iconic 1964 Dalek invasion were recreated for upcoming drama 'An Adventure in Space and Time'. Check out this special behind-the-scenes video report with Mark Gatiss (who thankfully wasn't exterminated!):http://bit.ly/XYHV2S
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I would like to say that I rely completely on the security forces of the State of Israel. They operate with endless dedication and commitment to ensure that we will be able to live in this country
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In Israel, Sunday is the first day of the week, and our soldiers are heading back to base after a restful weekend.
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Beautifully Captured......from Norway!
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Nur wenige Personen haben die Chormusik so entscheidend geprägt, wie Eric Ericson. Nun ist der große Chorleiter im Alter von 94 Jahren gestorben. Das Wirken von Eric Ericson bleibt unvergessen und wird von den unzähligen Personen, für die er ein menschliches und musikalisches Vorbild war, fortgesetzt.
Danke, Eric Ericson!
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Go mom!
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Today is Get a Different Name Day! Marion Robert Morrison is better known by his stage name JOHN WAYNE. In 1911, a local fireman at the station on Marion's route to school in Glendale started calling him "Little Duke" because he never went anywhere without his huge Airedale Terrier, Duke. He preferred "Duke" to "Marion," and the name stuck for the rest of his life.
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Lac des Taillères
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From the dress rehearsal of Carmina Burana Feb. 8, 2013 at the Pala Mandela in Florence, Italy. This is me swinging upside down (about 4.5meters or 15ft. in the air) while singing "Amor Volat" soooo much fun! (Nice to be able to use some of my old gymnast skills) :) - Angel Blue
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McClure's Beach
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Third! They are fighting fiercely for the award. But at the moment Gillard is the one to beat. Whitlam doesn't seem to have enough in the tank to overtake her. Meanwhile, Rudd is handicapped because she was his deputy. Many suspect Swan is the worst treasurer ever, but Keating seems to be his equal in ability. - ed
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