Monday, May 13, 2013

Mon May 13th Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns Steve Wolf and Emily Wong. Born on the same day, across the years. The same day which in 1888 saw Princess Isabel of the Empire of Brazil formally abolishing slavery. Also the same day three children had their first Our Lady of Fatima visions. A lot to live up to. You can do it.
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ANGRY BERGS

Tim Blair – Monday, May 13, 2013 (4:43pm)

Gaia angry! Gaia smash!

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BANNED AT THE GRAND

Tim Blair – Monday, May 13, 2013 (4:40pm)

Catherine Deveny claims to have been banned by Mildura’s Grand Hotel, currently offeringexcellent deals for anyone who isn’t Catherine Deveny.
UPDATE. An official response
All Quality Hotels are franchised and are independently owned and operated. Like any small business owner, each operator has the right to make their own decisions.
In this instance, the hotel made a decision based on what they believed to be best for their business and standing in the community. 
Deveny’s answer: 
So Quality Hotels, you are comfortable with The Grand breaking Federal Anti-Discrimination legislation, bringing shame on your name and acting an an inhospitable manner that shows both you and them in a very poor light? 
I’m not sure that anti-discrimination legislation applies to comedians. Legal advice is welcome on this point.

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HAIL THE WHALE

Tim Blair – Monday, May 13, 2013 (11:45am)

Canberra residents are extremely sensitive to any suggestion that they live in a cultureless hell-broth of politically-correct compliance, useless academics and boring, work-shy public servants.
Look at what happened last year when Los Angeles-based Craig Ferguson, whose talk show is barely watched in Australia, made a few jokes about our nation’s capital. “Here’s the thing I know about Canberra,’’ Ferguson said. ‘’Even Australians, diehard patriots of the lucky country, say Canberra is a ****ing dump.”
Ferguson’s guest, Australian actor Guy Pearce, agreed “there’s a lot wrong about Canberra”.
The pair were eventually shamed into apologising, following what passed for Canberra’s version of an armed insurrection (basically a few public servants whining on Twitter). “I’m sorry,” Ferguson said a couple of weeks later. “I meant no offence at all. I love Australia. I’m a big fan of your animals that keep other animals in their pockets.”
Everybody loves our pocket animals. I wonder what Ferguson thinks of our less-attractive creatures. Such as, for example, the unspeakable mega-breasted flying turtle whale that hovered above Canberra on the weekend.

image

This spectacular monster was actually created to celebrate the capital’s centenary, although some failed to detect the link between 100 years of Canberra and a hot air balloon that looks like something Benny Hill might have hallucinated if he’d been an opium-addicted marine biologist.

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An allegation to which I very much want to hear Rolf’s answer

Andrew Bolt May 13 2013 (7:54pm)

I distrust and very much dislike trial by media. Even so, I could not help being moved and persuaded by what I saw tonight on A Current Affair - an interview with Tonya Lee:
A WOMAN who claims to have been sexually assaulted by iconic Australian entertainer Rolf Harris has told Woman’s Day magazine she developed an eating disorder and “several obsessive behaviours” after allegedly being molested by Harris in a London pub in May 1986.
Tonya Lee was a 14-year-old schoolgirl touring the UK with her local Sydney theatre group when the alleged assault took place, sharing graphic details of the encounter with Harris which she claims has scarred her life.
Of course, Harris must be afforded the presumption of innocence. And, like I say, this is trial by media and not the real thing:
Yesterday friends of Harris broke their silence to defend him, saying the claims against him are “utter rubbish"…
Harris’s friend and producer Steve Lima said the allegations were “completely without foundation"…
Harris, who has lived in the UK for more than 50 years and is married to Welsh sculptress and jeweller Alwen Hughes, has not issued any formal statements over the allegations, but denies any wrongdoing. 

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On 2GB tonight - and watch out for the referendum

Andrew Bolt May 13 2013 (6:58pm)

On with Steve Price from 8pm. Listen live here. Talkback:  131 873. 
Senator Cory Bernardi on why he’s against the referendum the Gillard Government is springing on us on September 14 - one I’m surprised the Liberals aren’t fighting.


Listen to all past shows here.   

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Greens MP wants spending cuts. (No, just kidding)

Andrew Bolt May 13 2013 (6:06pm)

For just a second, I thought Greens MP Adam Bandt had finally asked a serious question in the hope of getting a serious answer. From his latest mail-out:
Subject: What would you cut?
Hi Andrew,
We’re told to expect more cuts in tomorrow’s budget. What would you cut?
But read on and the fraud becomes clear: Bandt doesn’t want cuts at all. He wants higher taxes:
The old parties tell us that we must accept cuts to essential services like schools, health, research and foreign aid.
But we think there are better ways to balance the budget than cutting university funding and student scholarships or making life harder for single parents and job seekers.
What you would ditch from the budget to raise revenue?
We could have a proper mining tax, require the big banks to pay a public support levy, cut polluting fossil fuel subsidies or implement Barack Obama’s millionaire tax here in Australia.
We want to know what you think. What you would ditch from the budget to raise revenue?
Check that last sentence, when Bandt finally gets to his true message.
Then ask: why has he headed his email “What would you cut?” rather than “What would you tax?”
UPDATE
The Liberals meanwhile release a little book of big waste:

The Coalition has today released a book listing the top 50 examples of Labor waste and mismanagement since the overnight coup that installed Julia Gillard as Prime Minister.
The little book of big Labor waste shows that waste and mismanagement was not just a feature of the Rudd Labor Government; it is also a hallmark of the Gillard Labor Government.
At the top of the list is the $6.6 billion blow out in the immigration portfolio thanks to Labor’s failed border protection policies.  This is closely followed by the $3.2 billion blow out in the NBN roll-out.  These policy failures alone add up to over $9 billion!
Some of the wilder examples:
Labor is spending $69.5 million advertising the carbon tax, a tax Julia Gillard emphatically ruled out introducing before the last election.
During Senate Estimates, it was also revealed that Labor had spent about $100,000 building three fake kitchens as part of its TV ad campaign, despite a real kitchen costing about $15,000.
And:
Labor donated $10 million of taxpayers’ money to trade unions to train upcoming union leaders in its 2011-12 budget. This followed Kevin Rudd’s $10 million union donation in the 2010-11 budget. Unions have now been fully compensated for their $20 million donation to Labor at the 2007 election.
And Labor even handed a grant to basket weavers via the Department of Climate Change:

Labor has handed out a $72,000 grant to the Auburn Community Development Network to host an ‘enviro tea salon’. Thanks to the funding, participants can now take part in “a weaving workshop” using “native Lemandra grass”. Participants will be “...encouraged to share their energy efficiency tips in exchange for a free seedling, re-potted into a recycled coffee cup sourced from local businesses.”
The hypocrisy:
Public Servants from the Department of Climate Change spent $3.1 million on overseas travel in 2010. This equates to about $250,000 a month. 86 staff travelled first or business class during 2010, taking more than 250 individual trips to cities such as Paris, London, New York, and Madrid. Reasons for travel included “energy efficient discussions”.
The ineptitude:

Labor’s $16 million Teach Next scheme, designed to fast track bankers, accountants and engineers in classrooms to stem the shortage of maths and science teachers, has been an expensive failure. The program has only recruited 14 participants since Julia Gillard made the announcement during the 2010 election. This represents $1.1 million per recruit.
Do their money men treat our money so lightly in other things, too?

Taxpayers are forking out $110,000 to supply milk to the Treasury, a Government Contract shows. Treasury received more than 350 litres of milk each week for the 900 bureaucrats to enjoy with their tea and coffee.

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Gillard’s record: children playing with adults’ money

Andrew Bolt May 13 2013 (12:55pm)

Maurice Newman, former chairman of the Australian Securities Exchange and the ABC, delivers a devastating indictment of Labor’s incompetence and sheer waste:

AFTER the noise of the September 14 poll abates, a more sober assessment of the Rudd and Gillard governments will begin. It is unlikely to be kind.
On the economic front it will take years before the full structural impact of waste and policy mistakes work their way through…
The aplomb with which the Finance Minister advertised a $5 billion revision to numbers barely a week old, and Julia Gillard’s parable of a fictional John, point to an administration careless with other people’s money and oblivious to family budgeting.
So if Labor won’t entertain serious spending cuts, returning to surplus will have to rely on the Micawber principle - sooner or later, something will turn up. This is not policy; it’s gambling.,,
One can only marvel at the political capital Labor has squandered. The carbon tax is unravelling less than 12 months after implementation, a hugely expensive National Broadband Network relies on compulsion for take-up, a bitterly fought mining tax yields a fraction of projected revenue, an attack on the media is aborted and the Gonski recommendations, which weaken the universities that better educated school students will attend, have generated little public support…
By any objective measure this is a terrible record… Indeed, their policies appear to be more the channelling of frustrated undergraduate dreams than the measured decisions of grown-ups.
(Thanks to reader Anna.) 

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With Obama re-elected, the Left concede his White House lied on Benghazi

Andrew Bolt May 13 2013 (11:45am)


Even the New Yorker concedes after the election what no media organisation of the Left would concede before it - the White House didn’t tell the truth about the Benghazi attack:

It’s a cliché, of course, but it really is true: in Washington, every scandal has a crime and a coverup. The ongoing debate about the attack on the United States facility in Benghazi where four Americans were killed, and the Obama Administration’s response to it, is no exception. For a long time, it seemed like the idea of a coverup was just a Republican obsession. But now there is something to it.
On Friday, ABC News’s Jonathan Karl revealed the details of the editing process for the C.I.A.’s talking points about the attack, including the edits themselves and some of the reasons a State Department spokeswoman gave for requesting those edits. It’s striking to see the twelve different iterations that the talking points went through before they were released to Congress and to United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, who used them in Sunday show appearances that became a central focus of Republicans’ criticism of the Administration’s public response to the attacks. Over the course of about twenty-four hours, the remarks evolved from something specific and fairly detailed into a bland, vague mush.
From the very beginning of the editing process, the talking points contained the erroneous assertion that the attack was “spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved.” That’s an important fact, because the right has always criticized the Administration based on the suggestion that the C.I.A. and the State Department, contrary to what they said, knew that the attack was not spontaneous and not an outgrowth of a demonstration. But everything else about the changes that were made is problematic. The initial draft revealed by Karl mentions “at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi” before the one in which four Americans were killed. That’s not in the final version. Nor is this: “[W]e do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qa’ida participated in the attack.” That was replaced by the more tepid “There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.”
Even Maureen Dowd writes after the election what was derided as paranoid Right-wing spin before it:
The administration’s behavior before and during the attack in Benghazi, in which four Americans died, was unworthy of the greatest power on earth.
... in this hottest of hot spots, the State Department’s minimum security requirements were not met, requests for more security were rejected, and contingency plans were not drawn up, despite the portentous date of 9/11 and cascading warnings from the C.I.A.... The hierarchies at State and Defense had a plodding response, failing to make any superhuman effort as the siege waxed and waned over eight hours.
In an emotional Senate hearing on Wednesday, Stevens’s second-in-command, Gregory Hicks, who was frantically trying to help from 600 miles away in Tripoli, described how his pleas were denied by military brass, who said they could not scramble planes and who gave a “stand-down” order to four Special Forces officers in Tripoli who were eager to race to Benghazi.
“My reaction was that, O.K., we’re on our own,” Hicks said quietly....
The defense secretary at the time, Leon Panetta, insisted, “We quickly responded.” But they responded that they would not respond…
In the midst of a re-election campaign, Obama aides wanted to promote the mythology that the president who killed Osama was vanquishing terror. So they deemed it problematic to mention any possible Qaeda involvement in the Benghazi attack.
Looking ahead to 2016, Hillaryland needed to shore up the mythology that Clinton was a stellar secretary of state. Prepared talking points about the attack included mentions of Al Qaeda and Ansar al-Sharia, a Libyan militant group, but the State Department got those references struck. Foggy Bottom’s spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, a former Cheney aide, quashed a we-told-you-so paragraph written by the C.I.A. that said the spy agency had “produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to Al Qaeda in Benghazi and eastern Libya,” and had warned about five other attacks “against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British ambassador’s convoy.”
Which means Hillary Clinton lied over the coffin of Ambassador Stevens (from 16:30) when she blamed his death on protests against an anti-American video:

Joy Overbeck:
Evidence is mounting that Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens, staffer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods could be alive to celebrate this Mother’s Day with their moms if Clinton and others in the Obama administration had heeded Stevens’s pleas to beef up security at Benghazi.  Or if they had sent a fighter plane roaring overhead or special ops team to respond to the desperate signals for help that the men under attack repeatedly sent out.
There was plenty of warning that the Americans there were in big trouble.  The British had closed down their embassy in June after their ambassador barely survived an assassination attempt.  The Red Cross vacated its Benghazi offices following two vicious attacks in two months.  After bombs blew a huge hole in the Benghazi compound wall, everyone knew that the situation was coming to a boil.  In all, the Regional Security Office reported 50 security incidents in Benghazi between June 2011 and July 2012.
No wonder Ambassador Stevens kept begging for more security ...  Yet in her testimony before Congress, Clinton said she had no knowledge that security had been chopped drastically a month before the attack, nor was she aware of any pleas from her good friend the ambassador for security to be increased.  But a few weeks ago, Rep. Issa (R-CA) revealed documents signed by Clinton denying Stevens’s request for increased security prior to the 9/11 attacks… And that 2 a.m. phone call Greg Hicks reported having with Clinton as the Benghazi battle was raging makes clear that she knew, even as her employees were being murdered, that the assault was a pre-planned jihadist attack that had nothing to do with a YouTube video nobody had seen.
Yet Mrs. Clinton stood at a podium in the Andrews Air Force Base hangar before four flag-draped coffins and solemnly told their families that “an awful internet video that we had nothing to do with” was responsible for their loved ones’ slaughter.  Media reported that “her voice broke” and “she fought back tears” as she rolled out what she knew to be a shameless lie.  Then Hillary and Barack hugged the bereaved as some of the Benghazi moms cried on their shoulders.

Mark Steyn:

As Mr. Hicks testified, his superiors in Washington knew early that night that a well-executed terrorist attack with the possible participation of al-Qaeda elements was under way. Instead of responding, the most powerful figures in the government decided that an unseen YouTube video better served their political needs. And, in the most revealing glimpse of the administration’s depravity, the president and secretary of state peddled the lie even in their mawkish eulogies to their buddy “Chris” and three other dead Americans. They lied to the victims’ coffins and then strolled over to lie to the bereaved, Hillary telling the Woods family that “we’re going to have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the video.” And she did. The government dispatched more firepower to arrest Nakoula Basseley Nakoula in Los Angeles than it did to protect its mission in Benghazi.
UPDATE
Judge Jeanine Pirro shreds the lies of Barack Obama and his cronies, and notes they demoted the whisteblower who tried to get help for Stevens:

(Thanks to readers Kathleen and doc molloy.) 

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Sheedy: immigration officials are recruiting soccer fans

Andrew Bolt May 13 2013 (10:00am)

Kevin Sheedy, coach of the AFL’s Greater Western Sydney, explains why he’s not getting the fans that the soccer league’s Western Sydney Wanderers is, with its strong Croation base:
Sheedy said the club didn’t have anyone from the “immigration department” handling their fan recruitment as, apparently, Western Sydney Wanderers do.
“It’s a pity because that’s how many turned up after a pretty solid performance against Essendon last week,” he said.
“So, it’s just going to go and tell everybody how tough it’s going to be to build this club. It’s as simple as that.
We don’t have the recruiting officer called the immigration department recruiting fans for Western Sydney Wanderers – we don’t have that on our side.
“We’re actually going to start up a whole new ball park and go and find fans because that’s what happens when you bring a lot of people through, channel into a country and put them into the west of Sydney and they build a club like that one year and all of a sudden they’ve got 10,000 fans and probably 20,000 going to a game.”
An alternative explanation - or at least additional:

The Giants have got within 30 points of only one team this year - the Swans in round one. Even the hopeless Demons beat them by 41 and the Gold Coast by 44.
Yesterday finished up 187 to 46. It was nothing but an embarrassment.
UPDATE
Reader max:

It’s well known within soccer circles that WSW has very few Croatian supporters. Neither the Croatian community supports the club, and nor do many fans of Sydney United (the Croatian club). There are far more Italians and Arabs who make up the supporter based than any other ethnic group (if you want to actually categorise their supporters).
Reader Jimbo:
Further proof of the AFL balls up to put a side in Western Sydney, when they had a ready made support and strong corporate sponsor base in Tassie. Demetriou and his mob should have listened.
Reader Aussieboy:
Strong Croatian base for WSW? Sorry Sheedy but your insecurities are misdirected. I stand and sing with WSW active support and I can count on my fingers the amount of people with a Croatian background, compared to all the other fans, most of whom were born here. If you are that desperate then go for it and get an immigration officer to do some recruiting, that way you can back up your statement as having credibility rather than just an insecure xenophobic petulant excuse for trying to promote a sport which few in N.S.W are interested in. You said you had a 15 year plan so what is the basis for this statement anyway? Are you covertly admitting something?

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No confidence in no confidence motion

Andrew Bolt May 13 2013 (9:22am)

Not really sure what the point would be in proposing a motion that would fail anyway, serving only to distract attention from a Budget disaster:
A KEY Coalition strategist has ignited doubts about Tony Abbott’s threatened no-confidence motion in the government, pointing out that independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott are likely to back the government.
The leader of opposition business in the House of Representatives, Christopher Pyne, yesterday declined to discuss the timing of the no-confidence motion..
Asked to clarify whether this left open the possibility that the motion would not be put this week, or not at all, Mr Pyne said: “We will not be flagging our tactics in advance.”
UPDATE
Might bring the election forward a whole two months - but the Liberals might think that worth the effort if it prevents Labor changing leaders:
TONY Abbott has said the Coalition would move a no-confidence motion in the government “in the next sitting fortnight”, which begins on May 27. 

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10 signs the warming scare is dead

Andrew Bolt May 13 2013 (9:19am)

Global warming - dud predictions, Global warming - general
image
AND so the great global warming scare dies. Around Australia, bruised taxpayers will ask each other: “What the hell was that about?”
The 10 signs of the death of the scare are unmistakable. Now it’s time to hold the guilty to account. 

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Speak not of the evil:  Aboriginal violence then and now

Andrew Bolt May 13 2013 (8:59am)

Tony Thomas on an important topic which lawyers warned me was dangerous to write about under the draconian Racial Discrimination Act, on the grounds it could offend certain people:
It is not polite to say that pre-contact Aboriginal society was abusive to women and generally violent. This would undercut the long-standing official view that current violence in Aboriginal communities reflects colonial dispossession and on-going victimhood.
For example, a fact sheet from the federal government’s Closing the Gap Clearing House says that, as is typical for Indigenous populations elsewhere, Aboriginal disadvantage “is a consequence of the historical and continuing impact?of colonialism and dispossession, which has left many (Aboriginals) impoverished, marginalised, discriminated against, in a state of poor physical and mental health, and with inequitable access to necessary public and private services.”
Aboriginal lawyer Dr Hannah McGlade in “Our Greatest Challenge” similarly blames colonialism: “The linking of Aboriginal culture to family violence and child sexual assault diminishes the grave harm inflicted on Aboriginal people through colonialism…the way in which colonization systematically deprived Aboriginal people of basic human rights.”
But feminist author Stephanie Jarrett, in her introduction to “Liberating Aboriginal People from Violence, says, “It is important to acknowledge [the] link between today’s Aboriginal violence and violent, pre-contact tradition, because until policymakers are honest in their assessment of the causes, Aboriginal people can never be liberated from violence...Deep cultural change is necessary, away from traditional norms and practices of violence.”


Bess Nungarrayi Price, in her foreword to Jarrett’s book, says, “My own body is scarred by domestic violence...We Aboriginal people have to acknowledge the truth. We can’t blame all of our problems on the white man...This is our problem that we can fix ourselves…"…
Paleopathologist Stephen Webb in 1995 published his analysis of 4500 individuals’ bones from mainland Australia going back 50,000 years. (Priceless bone collections at the time were being officially handed over to Aboriginal communities for re-burial, which stopped follow-up studies).[15] Webb found highly disproportionate rates of injuries and fractures to women’s skulls, with the injuries suggesting deliberate attack and often attacks from behind, perhaps in domestic squabbles. In the tropics, for example, female head-injury frequency was about 20-33%, versus 6.5-26% for males.
The most extreme results were on the south coast, from Swanport and Adelaide, with female cranial trauma rates as high as 40-44%—two to four times the rate of male cranial trauma. In desert and south coast areas, 5-6% of female skulls had three separate head injuries, and 11-12% had two injuries.
Web could not rule out women-on-women attacks but thought them less probable.
Read on. This is a critical issue - as are the restrictions on free speech which makes such frank talk dangerous.
Thomas cites accounts of abuse of women and girls which are utterly horrific, and cannot be simply blamed on colonialism and dispossession.  He warns in the last article of his series that the violence, too rarely confronted, is continuing. 

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“Asylum seekers” in Bali. I can’t call them illegal immigrants

Andrew Bolt May 13 2013 (8:38am)

Boat people policy
Bali is so nice that Australians go there for holidays. But other people - which the Press Council warns journalists not to call illegal immigrants - think Bali is a place they should leave to seek asylum in Australia instead:

...95 asylum-seekers were detained by Bali police early yesterday in what appeared to be a sting operation.
The asylum-seekers, who according to a Bali police officer were Syrian, Afghan, Turkish and Iranian, were stopped about 5am, shortly after boarding their boat.
En route to Australia, most of the asylum-seekers were last night refusing to disembark the boat, which was moored at Tanjung Benoa in Kuta.
If we’re taking people from even Turkey now - people too fussy to settle for Bali - we really are being played for mugs.
Time the Press Council freed journalists to speak the truth, instead of prosecuting their politics through New Speak.
UPDATE
I’d get off the boat, too, if offered a Bali hotel:
A LARGE group of asylum seekers intercepted as they left Bali’s main port for Australia have been placed in temporary accommodation on the resort island

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Vanstone: Liberals were too soft on spending, too

Andrew Bolt May 13 2013 (8:31am)

An admission from former Howard Government Minister Amanda Vanstone:
It is probably fair to criticise the Howard government for having encouraged an almost addiction to middle-class welfare. Certainly, the superannuation incentives turned out to be far more generous than necessary. It can also be said that entitlements were inevitably going to need some pruning.
She’s right about the handouts, although I’d single out the baby bonus. But back then the Howard Government at least paid for handouts with earned money, not borrowed.
And it rarely broke an explicit promise without taking it to an election first, for all the left’s wittering then about “non-core promises”. In contrast:
Look at this government’s broken promises: the 2013 surplus, company tax cuts, the interest-earned tax discount, the standard work-related expenses deduction, the increase to family tax benefits. And now the 2015 Household Assistance Package tax cuts are gone. Then there is the promise of 500,000 new jobs and the promise to keep debt under control.
UPDATE
Henry Ergas isn’t quite buying this line, promoted hard by Labor - and the ABC’s Emma Alberici:

“IMAGINE a wage earner, John.” But not Julia Gillard’s avatar. Rather, the John who was elected prime minister on March 11, 1996. Inheriting a budget deficit of 2.1 per cent of GDP, he promises a surplus: a year later, he delivers it.
John then runs nine more budget surpluses, reduces income tax five years in a row, pays off his predecessor’s $96 billion in debt and accumulates assets, with net debt becoming minus $44bn.
Nor is that all. Average real male earnings in 1995-96 were only 2 per cent higher than in 1982. In John’s period as PM, they rose 47 per cent. That didn’t stop jobs growth, however, with unemployment falling to its lowest level since 1974…
In the early 1970s, fewer than 5 per cent of the working-age population received social security benefits. That proportion rose steadily to 26 per cent in 1996. Under John’s government, however, it fell to 16 per cent, while the share of households mainly dependent on government benefits nearly halved to 12 per cent…
Alberici castigates Howard for “fiscal profligacy”. She might have noted that the ratio of government spending to GDP fell under Howard; or that had Labor maintained Howard’s spending share, public debt would be $115bn lower. But she doesn’t.
Instead, Alberici cites a study she incorrectly attributes (twice) to the International Monetary Fund as finding the Howard government profligate. But Alberici cannot have read that study; had she done so, she would realise the study finds no such thing (see my blog for details).
UPDATE
Troy Bramston is right. The Liberals’ policy promises so far include billions of dud promises and madly generous handouts:

The biggest turkey is the Coalition’s $3.2 billion Direct Action climate change policy, probably the worst piece of public policy ever presented to voters by a major party.
Bramston is right to say this is an expensive way to cut emissions. He’s very wrong to assume any such cuts are worth making.
The opposition’s $4.3bn paid parental leave scheme not only failed to win over business, which will pay for it, but has many critics inside the Coalition. Funding paid parental leave for six months at up to $150,000 a year is costly and overly generous to higher-income earners. The promise to cut taxes is mentioned dozens of times in Abbott’s pamphlet, yet it is promising a 1.5 per cent levy on more than 3000 companies to fund its PPL…
The opposition’s PPL scheme also makes a mockery of Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey’s repeated call to “end the culture of entitlement”. He wants governments to “rein in their excesses and learn to live within their means”. Shadow cabinet didn’t get the memo…
Hockey wanted to support the government’s plan to cut the baby bonus from $5000 to $3000 from the second child onwards, saving $514 million. Abbott overruled him.
The Coalition opposed means-testing the private health insurance rebate, which mostly helps higher-income earners, a small measure to reduce middle-class welfare. 

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Gillard walks even further from another costly Rudd plan

Andrew Bolt May 13 2013 (8:08am)

Kevin Rudd once had hopes of being a UN grandee, or of at least buying us a seat on the UN Security Council. Money seemed no object, and I was astonished that no hardheads in Labor were asking about a dramatic increase in spending that didn’t seem to come with many checks on what good was actually being done:

But on Rudd went: “Right now, we have effectively doubled the quantum of money we invest in foreign aid over the last four to five years, in your name we are now investing $4.5 billion a year.
“If we reach our 0.5 target by 2015, and we’re on track to do that, that number will rise to (between) $8 billion to $8.5 billion, thereby making this country’s foreign aid budget the sixth or seventh largest in the world ...”
Stranger and stranger. More than $8 billion a year? That is a hell of a lot of money for one small country to be suddenly splashing about.
Why precisely must we be the sixth - or seventh - biggest donor when the 50 bigger countries by population include the US, France, Japan, Russia, Italy, Canada, Spain, Britain, Germany, South Korea, Brazil and China?
But Rudd’s big spending and vainglorious trumpeting of UN targets has been dumped by Labor now that the money is gone:

FOREIGN Minister Bob Carr has confirmed Australia’s foreign aid will take a hit in tomorrow’s budget as the government scrambles to deal with a lower than expected revenue base.
Speaking this morning Senator Carr said the millennium goal target to lift aid spending would again be pushed back to 2016-17.
“That will be delayed for another year and while that is disappointing it simply reflects the reality that you can’t borrow money to spend on aid,” Senator Carr told ABC radio…
The move is expected to save the government’s coffers up to $3 billion.
“Foreign aid” now includes spending more on Australian officials working in Australia to process people in Australia who the Press Council says I cannot call “illegal immigrants”:

This financial year around $375 million of the $5.2 billion foreign aid budget was spend on processing asylum-seekers who arrived on Australian soil.

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Oakes dumps Swan

Andrew Bolt May 13 2013 (7:38am)


I have noted before Laurie Oakes seeming to go soft on Julia Gillard’s broken promises and deceits, and to fall for Wayne Swan’s spin, not least on Budget deficits. He has urged us to give Swan more credit:

Swan acknowledges many people are doing it tough.
But our situation is a far cry from that in Europe and the US. We should be talking ourselves up, not down.
Yesterday all that came to a screaming halt when Laurie Oakes turned on Wayne Swan:

OAKES: You are set to trump Tony Abbott on the funding for WestConnex, the Sydney transport scheme ... It’s obviously buying votes in Sydney’s west. Can you afford to do much vote-buying in this budget? It doesn’t sound like it.
Swan: Well, I think what we have to continue to do is what we have always done ...
Oakes: ... Your budget speech last year - would you agree in retrospect it makes hilarious reading?
Swan: Well, it’s certainly true ...
Oakes: ... You said for example, “The deficit years of the global recession are behind us, the surplus years are here”. Now, that’ll have people laughing in the aisles
Swan: ... There is no credible economic forecaster who predicted this nature of revenue write-down for this year ...
Oakes: Joe Hockey predicted it.
Swan: Well, Joe Hockey’s always, always out there preaching doom and gloom.
Oakes: He’s been proved right.
Swan: No, he hasn’t been proven right ...
Oakes: We read in the newspapers that in the budget you’ll set out a plan to get back into surplus by 2016-17. Is that right?
Swan: Well, we’ll set out our plan ...
Oakes: Why would anyone believe you after the fiasco of last year’s budget? ... Are you going to get up tomorrow and start your speech saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, circumstances can change, so what I’m saying tonight can be taken with a grain of salt”? ... Another part of your speech that reads like stand-up comedy from last year, you were boasting about spreading the benefits of the mining boom via your mining tax. That tax produced no money, people see that as another bungle ... The opposition says you’ve created a $5 billion black hole because you forecast a slowing down of asylum-seeker boat arrivals when in fact records are being broken by the day ... That’s cooking the books?
Swan: The figures will be there on budget night, Laurie. I’m not going into them today.
Oakes: Why not?
Swan: Because they’ll be there on budget night.
Oakes: You would argue that last year’s budget is now a nonsense when you look at it in retrospect. It’s not evidence of government incompetence?
Swan: What I would argue is ... the global economy has taken an axe to our revenues ...

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Tea Party targetted for treatment by tax officials

Andrew Bolt May 13 2013 (7:27am)

Feeling part of a collective, at war with evil, can seem to licence many to do wrong themselves. Take officials of the US Internal Revenue Service:

The IRS said Friday that it was sorry for what it called the “inappropriate” targeting of the conservative groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. The agency blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware.
But according to a draft of a watchdog’s report obtained Saturday by The Associated Press that seemingly contradicts public statements by the IRS commissioner, senior IRS officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011…
Lois G. Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt organizations, said last week that the practice was initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati and was not motivated by political bias.
But on June 29, 2011, Lerner learned at a meeting that groups were being targeted, according to the watchdog’s report. At the meeting, she was told that groups with “Tea Party,” `’Patriot” or “9/12 Project” in their names were being flagged for additional and often burdensome scrutiny, the report says.
The 9/12 Project is a group started by conservative TV personality Glenn Beck. 

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Some parental care of Hawke may be needed

Andrew Bolt May 13 2013 (7:19am)

Paul Sheehan writes a damning profile of Alex Hawke, the Liberal MP who is right about Tony Abbott’s parental leave scheme, but very wrong on how he prosecutes his case - and his career.  

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CARBON DIOXDIE LEVELS - AN ALL TIME HIGH ??
It’s being reported in the media around the world that “Carbon dioxide levels have reached an all-time high.”

But take a look at the graph below – the black line shows carbon dioxide levels over the past 600 million years.

The facts are, that at 0.04% (400ppm) we are just above a 250-million-year low - and the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have been much higher than today for most of the past 600 million years.
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"Oi, watch it Earth girl!" Happy birthday to Catherine Tate!
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Nestled behind a waterfall in western New York state is an eternal flame whose beauty is only surpassed by its mystery. Perhaps lit by Native Americans hundreds or thousands of years ago, it is fed by a new type of geologic process that hasn't been recorded before in nature, researchers said. http://bit.ly/17RQOk9
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Pain changes you. Like a gale force wind, it drives you backward or forward, depending on how you set your sail.

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Happy Mother's Day!

Seen here is JOHN WAYNE with his mother and younger brother, Robert.

Photo taken from John Wayne: The Legend and the Man. http://bit.ly/13ooiab
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Movie of the Week: Rooster Cogburn

http://independentfilmnewsandmedia.com/movie-of-the-week-rooster-cogburn/

Rooster Cogburn, originally promoted as Rooster Cogburn (… and the Lady), is a 1975 film sequel to the 1969 Western film True Grit. The film stars John Wayne, in his penultimate film, who reprises his role as U.S. Marshal Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn. Katharine Hepburn co-stars as spinster Eula Goodnight, who teams up with Rooster to recover a stolen shipment of nitroglycerin and find her father’s killer.
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Your Help Is On The Way. by 
Madu Odiokwu Pastorvin
With us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.(2 Chronicles 32:8, NKJV)
Father,I thank You for being my help. I know that You are with me even in the hard times; even when I can’t see a way out. I trust that You are working behind the scenes in my life and will bring me through to victory in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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A mother's relentless love and unwavering prayers has saved more lives and done more good on earth than any other human activity.

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Happy Mother's Day. Here's a pic with my first-born...12 years ago. She's now taller than me! 

Celebrate life. Cherish every second. Michelle Malkin
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“The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”—a phrase so simple, yet so profound in its expression of a mother’s importance. Mothers have been entrusted with the responsibility of raising life’s most precious resource—our children.

I appreciate my mom and the example of love and grace she has been throughout the years. Thank you, Mom!

Todd and I also appreciate the honor of being the parents of five wonderful kids and two amazing little grandkids who have enriched our life together in more ways than I could have ever imagined. Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper, and Trig are my life, and being joined now by Tripp Easton and Kyla Grace, I know that no matter what is going on in the world around me, they are the ones who keep me grounded. They are my daily reminders of what really matters.

Even as we celebrate Mother’s Day with family today, please stop to think of the many mothers who are separated from loved ones serving in the military and keeping us safe. I've been there, and especially today my heart goes out to those Blue Star moms who are missing their sons and daughters, while being so very proud. More than ever my heart extends to the precious Gold Star moms who are spending today holding on to memories of a child who paid the ultimate price. Whether it's been far away in specified combat zones, or attacks globally throughout the ongoing battle to defend our republic, or nearer home as the result of terrorist acts like Ft. Hood, the sacrifice of our military personnel and their families has not been in vain, and we will never forget.

Moms, whatever your plans today, know that you are appreciated year-round. One day is not enough to capture the essence of who you are, what you do, and the difference you make.

Driving in our truck this morning up towards Mt. McKinley, hauling kids and trailering snowmachines to launch on a trek to look for bear before the spring snow melts, I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day, and God bless you!

- Sarah Palin

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Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay.
That is beautiful .. but I love a human woman .. I suspect I make her toe nails dig into the dirt, rage which gives her wings and reasons to argue more .. ed
She is also in my head .. and she told me I love lots of people. Everyone. And I probably do make them feel that way at times. But I am grateful for the love God has given me. - ed
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Mother's Day....if raised too alone: A Beautiful Poem for you
If 
your mother
was caustic,
toxic,
abusive,
vindictive,
twisted,
dangerous:

If she was irresistibly drawn
to making much too clear
that her unhappiness—
her pain,
her dysfunction,
her drama—
was more precious to her
than you could ever be,
so that as a child

you
had to live your life
frightfully and desperately
scrounging
for whatever
fundamentally unacceptable
version of love
you could squeeze from her,

then this Mother’s Day,

while others
(as you imagine; as we all imagine)
are basking in the warmth
of their exemplary mothers,
you close your eyes,
and say a prayer

for two mothers:

the one you never had,
and the one she never had.
And then say a loving prayer
for yourself,
for the child
raised too alone.

And then open your eyes—

and there is the world,
beautiful again.
you are still here,
and you are not done yet.

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Joshua 1:9 I will be strong and courageous. I will not be terrified or discouraged for the Lord my God is with me wherever I go.
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Beloved, be encouraged to know that our Lord Jesus is serving you tirelessly with compassion and power. He wants to wipe away your tears, heal your body and provide for you today! 

Click below to watch a short clip of this encouraging message. Be sure to click 'Like' and share this with your friends! Amen!
http://bit.ly/17JgfED
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If a job interview, dinner date or family trip doesn’t work out, don’t despair. God may be protecting you from future harm, danger or destruction that only He can see. He loves you and knows what’s best for you—now and in the years to come.
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Dear beloved Mothers,

There is just something so special about being a mom! God created you to be a beautiful reflection of His very nature. Your grace and poise, compassion and care, beauty and strength—all remind us of the perfect loveliness of Christ Jesus.

We've all heard the expression, "A mother's work is never done," and I admire how hard you work for your family. But even as you labor outwardly to bless others, I pray you will live at rest inwardly, receiving the love and blessings of our Lord Jesus.

Whatever is on your heart this Mother's Day, tell it to Him. He is your good success. He is your wisdom. He is your strength. Everything that you need has already been freely provided for in Him, because of His finished work on the cross.

Have a blessed Mother's Day!

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God's Word says that He will never leave you nor forsake you (Heb 13:5). He is with you today to help you confidently face every circumstance!
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May 13Rotuma Day in Fiji
Isabel the Redeemer

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