Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wed Jun 26th Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns Binh NguyenMichelle ChengLinh DuongJessica Chong and Don Kramer. Born on the same day, across the years. Your day is the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, and it is fitting that the ALP have a leadership tussle to decide who is PM of Australia, although I really feel there should be an election soon. In 1886, French chemist Henri Moissan reported he was able to successfully isolate elemental fluorine, for which he later won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In 1906, The 1906 French Grand Prix, the first Grand Prix motor racing competition, was held outside Le Mans. In 1907, Organised by Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, among others, Bolshevik revolutionaries in Tiflis, Georgia, robbed a bank stagecoach, getting away with 341,000 rubles. In 1963, U.S. President John F. Kennedy gave his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech (technically, it translates to be "I am a donut" the Berliner cream puff being popular), underlining the support of the United States for democratic West Germany shortly after Soviet-supported East Germany erected the Berlin Wall. In 2003, The U.S. Supreme Court delivered its decision in Lawrence v. Texas, striking down sodomy laws in the United States. What your day holds for you is not known to me, but this day illustrates your fierce competitiveness and drive, allowing you to break down all sorts of barriers for booty. And when you speak, you are devastatingly honest, isolating the element leaving drinking water clean. Enjoy it.

Forget the knitted roo, Rudd may be bounding back

Piers Akerman – Wednesday, June 26, 2013 (12:01am)

NOW we know for certain that the real, real Julia Gillard is an absolute phony.
The real, real Julia Gillard, the screaming fishwife of Parliamentary Question Time, the fearless heroine of the Women for Gillard campaign, the hater of men in blue ties, is nothing more than the puppet of 457 public relations adviser John McTernan.
McTernan, last time we met, was a man.
So, how does this all look?
The ferocious role model for fearless independent women is nothing more than the creation of a wee bloke who can affect a Scottish accent and swing a sporran around his kilt with the best caber-tossers in the world.
Gillard spent five hours in the photo studio primping for the now famous photograph which is meant to depict her knitting a toy kangaroo for the next Royal baby.
With this stroke of PR genius, she has mocked the Republicans whose cause she championed during the Republic referendum, she had stuck her finger up the nose of all the cool inner-urban Lefties who shudder when they see a woman doing something as old-fashioned and as homely as knitting, and she has demonstrated that far from running the nation, she is prepared to give her time to the women’s magazine that gave her a rail’s run before the 2010 election.
The only saving grace is that she told a reporter present that she felt slightly absurd during the photo shoot.
What thoughtful politician would not have second thoughts about posing in an armchair with the family dog and a pair of knitting needles when every fibre of the body has been devoted to attacking that image?
Gillard was absent from Question Time yesterday, attending the memorial for Hazel Hawke.
In her absence, her Treasurer Wayne Swan was forced to withdraw his attempt to smear Opposition leader Tony Abbott with a four-year-old claim that Abbott had slept through a division after having a fairly liquid dinner with a number of other senior Liberals.
Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor was also forced to withdraw the grossly offensive claim that Abbott did not care about drowned people smuggler clients.
It doesn’t get much worse in politics.
But it may.
Many in Canberra still believe that former PM Kevin Rudd’s forces will still drag him to challenge and that he will have replaced Gillard by end of play Thursday.
That will make the display of a knitted kangaroo look like a very small error of judgement indeed. 



Tim Blair – Wednesday, June 26, 2013 (4:56pm)

It’s all on the line in tonight’s loser-leaves-town Red vs Blue cage match: 
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has called a leadership ballot for 7pm tonight and has pledged to retire from politics if she loses.
Ms Gillard has laid down the challenge to Kevin Rudd to have the courage to challenge her and meet the same condition, that if he loses, he should resign from Parliament.
“This is it, tonight is the night, this is it,” the PM said. 
Two enter.


Only one can emerge.
UPDATE. Julia: ‘’I believe anybody who enters the ballot tonight should do it on the following condition. If you win you are Labor leader. If you lose, you retire from politics.’’
Kevin: “If I lose, of course I will announce that I will not contest the next election.”
UPDATE II. PWAF texts: “Kevin 07pm!” Could be. Sportsbet currently has Rudd as $1.33 favourite with Gillard the $3.00 outsider.
UPDATE III. Big call from a Tweeter (link deleted due to visual issues): 
If Gillard loses it will be a direct result of those ******* knitting photos 
UPDATE IV. Doom clown:


UPDATE V. Lanai Scarr reports
A key Rudd backer just told me that there was no petition. 
If this is the case, and Rudd wins, he’s pulled off one of the greatest scams in Australian political history.
UPDATE VI. Bill Shorten TURNS AGAINST Julia Gillard. He’s just announced he’ll vote for Rudd. Whoa!
UPDATE VII. The ABC’s Leigh Sales just said that there would be no speculation until official word emerged from the caucus meeting. “This is too important to be left to rumour and innuendo,” said Sales. Behind her was the world’s largest graphic: “RUDD PM”, with a gigantic image of Kevin’s face:


UPDATE IX. Waiting.
UPDATE X. Rudd wins 57-45. Gillard out of politics.



Tim Blair – Wednesday, June 26, 2013 (2:53pm)

Join our sisters and stand together for gender justice! Sign on in comments as a Conservative for Julia Gillard. We demand that Julia continue leading the Labor party all the way until September 14.
Sign now. For the sake of democracy, and to reject horrible sexism. Don’t let women be banished from the centre of Australia’s political life.



Tim Blair – Wednesday, June 26, 2013 (12:50pm)

*UPDATE IV*. Leadership ballot tonight at 7pm. Says the Prime Minister: “[url=]Tonight is the night[/url and this is it.”
Ruddlers make their move
Kevin Rudd’s supporters have started circulating a caucus petition to allow a challenge to Julia Gillard for the prime ministership.
Rudd’s forces have launched the process in the confident expectation that Mr Rudd is prepared to stand, and that he has a majority. 
But Julia fights back
Union officials have begun threatening Labor MPs that if they vote against Julia Gillard in a leadership spill they will be stripped of their preselection. 
We are rapidly approaching peak popcorn.
UPDATE. The Telegraph‘s Simon Benson
Kevin Rudd will challenge Julia Gillard for the Labor leadership tomorrow morning.
A petition for a ballot circulated among Labor MPs is believed to now have the required numbers for a spill of the PM …
A source close to Ms Gillard confirmed that the petition would be successful.
“There is a petition, it will have the required signatures, there will be a ballot tomorrow and he (Kevin Rudd) will win,” the source said. 
UPDATE II. Naturally, Kevni is wearing a blue tie today. Join the dots:


UPDATE III. The Guardian: “Happy times in blue tie central.” Rudd must be the only Queenslander who wears blue every day.



Tim Blair – Wednesday, June 26, 2013 (9:44am)

Tony Windsor, independent member for New England, joins Rob Oakeshott in retirement
Mr Windsor’s staff looked on and were emotional.
“I thank my supporters for the extraordinary efforts and fun we’ve had,” he said.
“I think I’ve achieved what I set out to achieve.” 
UPDATE. Mike Carlton, shortly prior to Windsor’s announcement: 
Let’s hope Tony Windsor hangs on in. It would be a delight to see him beat that oafish carpetbagger Barnaby Joyce. 
UPDATE II. Independents’ Day rolls on
Key independent Bob Katter says he would give a vote of confidence in a Rudd led government should the former PM be catapulted into the nation’s top job by the end of the week …
Mr Katter said “no one is driving the bus” in Labor. 
It’s difficult to drive a bus when there are so many people under it.



Tim Blair – Wednesday, June 26, 2013 (6:26am)

There’s a further dimension to Julia Gillard’s manufacture of a miniature merino marsupial. Our Prime Minister is probably the first world leader in history to be photographed with a dog while knitting a woollen kangaroo as her hair is gently tousled by a man holding a wind machine:


I say “probably” because there’s really no guessing what Pierre Trudeau got up to. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’sGeneral Pattern denies any knitting responsibility: 
Ms Gillard’s chief press officer John McTernan, one of six prime ministerial staffers who attended the five-hour photoshoot on May 25, was quoted by the magazine saying that the idea “was a no-brainer”. However, reported yesterday that “sources from the PM’s office rejected the account given of Mr McTernan’s involvement in the decision to do the story …”
But an email from a staffer in Mr McTernan’s office, sent to the Weekly during negotiations over the photo and accompanying story, appears to clearly indicate the idea first emerged from the government’s media department, headed by Mr McTernan. 
Confusion continues
“The concept of the photo shoot was not dictated by the Prime Minister’s office,” [McTernan] said. “The Women’s Weekly arranged the photo shoot, including requesting the Prime Minister knit and that her dog, Reuben, attend.”
“That is absolutely false,” said the magazine’s associate editor Caroline Overington, who wrote the accompanying article in the magazine. 
Not since the Paddington Bear scandal of 1984 has Australia been so gripped by something involving the Labor party and soft childhood toys. But now we turn from the serious issue of kangaroo design to the relatively trivial topic ofnational leadership
Julia Gillard will deny her MPs a secret vote in a special caucus meeting expected to be called as early as today to spill the Labor leadership – an unprecedented move to protect her position.
In a warning to Kevin Rudd’s supporters that they would have to blast her out of office, the PM’s office yesterday suggested any vote to remove her would have to be by a show of hands. 
Do they count for double if the hands are holding knitting needles? 
MPs last night were outraged the PM’s office was trying to intimidate them, claiming it could be the catalyst that brings on a showdown within the next 36 hours.
They pointed out that every leadership ballot since 1954 had been conducted using a secret ballot, with the leader agreeing to declare their position vacant. 
Despite appearances, the PM seems not so attached to quaint old customs.



Tim Blair – Wednesday, June 26, 2013 (4:57am)

Rob Oakeshott’s complete assessment of Australia’s 43rd parliament lasts for 14 minutes – three minutes shorterthan Oakeshott’s ridiculous 2010 speech announcing his Labor alignment. Highlights from ramblin’ Rob: 
I think there is a bit of a perfect storm of events over the last few years that have allowed ugly Australia off its leash …
I think we’ve all met ugly Australia over the last three years. People who would normally be considered on the fringe of the public square have well and truly made themselves into the centre of the public square … I do think it’s something we’ve got to identity and as a nation deal with. 
We’ll deal with it on September 14, when certain fringe-dwelling independents who made it to the centre can expect to be banished. Don’t hate us because we’re beautiful in our ugliness, man! Oakeshott continues: 
We’ve seen climate scientists being abused. What sort of country is that? 
I have a sudden urge to stand up and sing the national anthem.
UPDATE. Oakeshott quits
“Now is the moment,” he said. “I have done everything I said I was going to do – and done the best I can. Now it’s up to others to try and do better.
“There is absolutely no fear whatsoever of the ballot box. It’s not an issue of running and losing. If anything it’s a respect for winning that makes me make a call now.” 
What a very odd fellow.
UPDATE II. Readers got it right back in February:




Tim Blair – Wednesday, June 26, 2013 (4:51am)

Remarkably, Nicholas Stuart has written three books about Kevin Rudd – one for each 311 days of Rudd’s brief Prime Ministership. Just as well he didn’t focus on John Howard (13.7 books, at the Stuart ratio) or Robert Menzies (21 books). Or even Julia Gillard (3.8 books, if she makes it to September 14). The more Stuart writes about Rudd, the less he likes him: 
He can’t get on with people. He’s at his warmest when we’re watching him on television. In the flesh he’s a (very) disappointing imitation of the man he wants to be. 
Yet Rudd is again said to be closing in
The prime ministership is now within Kevin Rudd’s grasp if he is prepared to seize it. 
I blame Julia’s kangaroo.



Tim Blair – Wednesday, June 26, 2013 (4:27am)

Never saw anything like this during the Queensland floods: 
An Indian television journalist reporting on the deadly floods that have swept northern India has defended his decision to file a report while perched on a survivor’s shoulders.
Narayan Pargaien, who works for the local News Express channel, told Indian media website that the criticism he has faced since the video was posted online was unfair.

The reporter claimed that the slight man who carried him, who can be seen wobbling under the strain while standing in ankle-high water, had hoisted him onto his shoulders as a sign of respect.
The man “wanted to show me some respect, as it was the first time someone of my level had visited his house …” 
That’ll calm everybody down.



Tim Blair – Wednesday, June 26, 2013 (4:07am)

“People smugglers?” asks a concerned leftist. “I like to think of them as Better Life Facilitators.” Adorable! It turns out that people smugglers also enjoy creative language
A former Indonesian policeman has been caught by a hidden camera revealing in detail the criminal people-smuggling syndicate he helped to run …
The man, Freddy Ambon, is one of Indonesia’s most active people smugglers and boasts of sending multiple boats a month to Christmas Island.
He talks about a boat he helped arrange last year that sank killing 96 people …
On the video, Freddy is heard boasting about how he sends the asylum seekers, whom he calls “goats”, from two locations with the help of corrupt policemen, described as ‘’my men’’. 
Nice people.



Tim Blair – Wednesday, June 26, 2013 (3:48am)

Anti-Zionist Antony Loewenstein once found himself in downtown Jenin, where his anti-Zionism failed to ward off a local welcoming committee
A number of children started to follow me and to throw large stones in my direction. I shouted at them to stop but to no avail … I picked up my pace but the kids wouldn’t let me out of their sight. 
He’s safer at the ABC. But another Jewish anti-Zionist isn’t even safe in the peaceful and multicultural Netherlands
A friend of the rabbi told Channel 2, “As he was walking down the street, a car stopped next to him, and a man who appeared to be a Muslim immigrant came out. The immigrant started shouting anti-Jewish slurs at the rabbi. Rabbi Antebi is anti-Zionist, he does not advocate for war in the Middle East but he was identified as a Zionist. The Muslim started yelling at him and threatening him, and the rabbi noticed that the immigrant was going to attack him.”
At this point, the friend said, Rabbi Antebi asked passersby to help him, but was ignored.
“He tried to escape, and the Muslim began to run after him, caught him and started kicking him in the stomach and lungs,” said the friend. 
They’ll kick your lungs out, Jim!



Tim Blair – Wednesday, June 26, 2013 (3:18am)

There is no tastier bacon than forbidden bacon:


The Liberals attack

Andrew Bolt June 26 2013 (8:05pm)


Beware the blue ties of June

Andrew Bolt June 26 2013 (8:00pm)

Julia Gillard, June 11:

I invite you to imagine it, a prime minister, a man with a blue tie...
Kevin Rudd today:



The men who lost their credibility tonight

Andrew Bolt June 26 2013 (7:35pm)

AWU secretary Paul Howes, June 2011:

I’m 100 per cent positive, I’ll bet my house on it, that Julia Gillard will lead Labor to the next election.
Workplace Minister Bill Shorten, as reported by AAP at 3:13pm today - three hours before he announced he was backing Kevin Rudd:

LABOR powerbroker Bill Shorten has not switched support to Kevin Rudd.
A spokesman for the minister told AAP on Wednesday: “The minister’s position has not changed and he will not be adding to the media speculation on this matter.”
Kevin Rudd in March 2013:

There are no circumstances under which I will return to the leadership of the Australian Labor Party in the future.
Some scapegoating of Julia Gillard’s communications director, John McTernan:

The jeering starts.
Labor MP Steve Gibbons:


Gillard calls ballot for 7pm. UPDATE: Kevin Rudd wins 57-45

Andrew Bolt June 26 2013 (1:33pm)

Rudd supporters are circulating a petition for a leadership ballot which now seems likely to be held at 9am tomorrow.
The question is: even if it succeeds will Kevin Rudd actually stand? This is not the way he wanted - or needs to - win.
Phillip Coorey tweets that both sides claim they have Bill Shorten’s support.

ABC journalist Latika Bourke says she can’t find “a single Labor MP who has seen or signed” a petition said to be circulating to gather supporters for Kevin Rudd, ahead of a rumoured leadership spill.
Simon Benson, close to the Rudd camp, says there will be the votes for the petition and Rudd will win.
Bill Shorten denies he’s changed his support for Gillard.
The Foreign Minister refuses to express support for the Prime Minister who gave him his Senate seat and his dream job:

Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr has just finished addressing the National Press Club. He too found himself inundated with leadership questions.
Senator Carr repeatedly offered “no comment” when asked if he still supported Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Climate Change Minister Greg Combet says “no way” would he sign the petition for a leadership spill.
Question Time about to start. Rudd is in the chamber early. This could be wild.
First question from Tony Abbott is gentle. Will the Prime Minister rule out extending the carbon tax to the family car and the farming sector. Answer: yes to the first and no to the second.
Eventually Abbott asks that given the paralysis of the government, will she call the election for August 3?
Gillard gives a merry laugh and says she’ll keep on doing the job. She talks about her education changes.
Gillard calls a leadership ballot for 7pm tonight. Says she will stand. Says no one has told her they will stand against her.
Rudd calls press conference. Says he will stand. Says people are scared of Abbott. “People are afraid, very afraid” he’ll bring in WorkChoices.
Bill Shorten last week said he supported Julia Gillard. He now says he doesn’t. She is finished.
Is Women for Gillard, launched 15 days ago, the shortest-lived political movement in Australian history?
Kevin Rudd is said to have won. His revenge is complete.
Simon Benson reports we will have a dash to an August election. The first date for a normal election with half-Senate election is August 3. Graham Richardson says he’s heard it’s for August 24.
What are Rudd’s policies? Labor has voted for a man who can now say Labor is exactly what he says it is.
Anthony Albanese is said to be Deputy Prime Minister. Good. A man who can talk to people of all sides.
Rudd wins: 57 to 45. Not a huge win.
Wayne Swan, Stephen Conroy, Craig Emerson and Joe Ludwig resign.
Penny Wong replaces Conroy as Senate leader. 


Gosh. More ice where we were told would be none

Andrew Bolt June 26 2013 (10:04am)

Global warming - dud predictions
The BBC in 2007:
Arctic summers ice-free ‘by 2013’

Scientists in the US have presented one of the most dramatic forecasts yet for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice. Their latest modelling studies indicate northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years.
Professor Wieslaw Maslowski told an American Geophysical Union meeting that previous projections had underestimated the processes now driving ice loss.


Arctic Ice Grows 15% Since Last Year To Ten Year High
More data.
(Thanks to reader Jamie S.)   


Oakeshott resigns before he’s thrown out. UPDATE: Windsor, too

Andrew Bolt June 26 2013 (9:03am)

The old spend-more-time-with-the-family line from a man staring humiliating defeat in the face:
FEDERAL independent MP Rob Oakeshott, whose crucial support helped Labor form the minority government after the 2010 election, has announced he is quitting politics.
The federal member for Lyne has told his local newspaper he will not contest the September 14 election, saying he wants to spend more time with his family and had achieved his goals in parliament.
How to trash your reputation: tell your traditionally Nationals electorate that rather than be the independent you promised, you’ll prop up a Labor prime minister. Then stick with her when she reveals herself to be the worst Prime Minister in memory.
What Oakeshott threw away:

What a strange measure of success of this Parliament - not quality of legislation but sheer quantity:
A record 500 pieces of legislative reform were signed off on and, just as importantly to Mr Oakeshott, government legislation rejected also set a new record.
“That’s healthy – that means members have worked harder than ever before.”
“Independent” Tony Windsor is also quitting rather than face defeat. He cites “health issues”.
That leaves Barnaby Joyce with a clear run for a seat he is now certain to win.
So the two independents now pay for betraying their electorates. And neither with the courage to test their judgement with an election.
Windsor’s final act of vengeance is to try to block Rudd, promising a vote of no confidence if he replaces Gillard:

News has confirmed federal independent MP Tony Windsor met with Prime Minister Julia Gillard last night to confirm he would not support a return of Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister.
Windsor is crying at his press conference as he thanks his wife.
The decision of the two independents hands to the Coalition two seats. Even if Gillard got the same vote in September than she did in 2010, she would be out of office. 


Is this man a Labor leader?

Andrew Bolt June 26 2013 (8:15am)

Sounds like a modern Labor leader - vain, selfish and performing media stunts on the shoulders of a party up to its neck in the mud:

An Indian television journalist reporting on the deadly floods that have swept northern India has defended his decision to file a report while perched on a survivor’s shoulders.
Narayan Pargaien, who works for the local News Express channel, ...  claimed that the slight man who carried him, who can be seen wobbling under the strain while standing in ankle-high water, had hoisted him onto his shoulders as a sign of respect.

The man “wanted to show me some respect, as it was the first time someone of my level had visited his house...”


Rudd backers organise a ballot, but Gillard plays the union card

Andrew Bolt June 26 2013 (7:54am)

The Rudd plotters plot for a petition calling for a leadership spill:

It is understood that ALP senators Kim Carr (Victoria) and Mark Furner (Queensland) and Victorian MP Alan Griffin began sounding out colleagues last night - using a “the king is back” pitch - with a view to collecting the names of at least 55 MPs wanting a Rudd return.
Team Rudd was co-ordinating its efforts from former immigration minister Chris Bowen’s office.
Julia Gillard uses the faceless men in a bid to scare her MPs into backing her:
JULIA Gillard will deny her MPs a secret vote in a special caucus meeting expected to be called as early as today to spill the Labor leadership - an unprecedented move to protect her position…
Senior members of Ms Gillard’s office yesterday suggested the PM would not declare the leadership vacant as is convention - and which allows for a secret ballot - but would force MPs to show their hands in an open vote to bring a spill on themselves.
The extraordinary act of defiance by the PM has been interpreted as a tactical manoeuvre that would expose them to possible retribution from their affiliated unions.
Question: do Labor MPs fear the unions even more than they fear defeat? Would they rather lose their seat than their preselection?
At least the rest of us now know the unions run this show in their own interests.
But if all this speculation comes to pass, we also know Rudd will be denied the leadership-by-acclamation he needs, and will take back a bitterly divided party. I don’t see why he’d want the job under those circumstances.
As Peter Hartcher puts it:
The prime ministership is now within Kevin Rudd’s grasp if he is prepared to seize it. But it’s not available on the terms he has been demanding.
The plotters cannot give Rudd the leadership in a way that makes him competitive against Tony Abbott:

Senior sources close to Mr Rudd told The West Australian they were “confident” that Mr Rudd had majority support in the 102-strong Labor caucus.
But their task will be to assure Mr Rudd he doesn’t necessarily need the “significant majority” he has said would be a prerequisite for his return.
“There’s a reason for that,” Mr Rudd said in March after being a no-show in the last leadership spill, “and that is, our party needs to be united, there is no point in inheriting a disunited party.”
Some Rudd backers say this is a deal-breaker:

But others very close to Mr Rudd have counselled him not to run, believing it is too late to lead Labor to victory. At least two very close and senior MPs are believed to have offered this advice.
Paul Kelly wonders what Rudd would actually do as Prime Minister:
The feature of this crisis is the near total absence of debate about what Rudd will do if returned as PM. It is not canvassed or assessed. His own supporters seem clueless on it. The media ignore it. Does anybody care? Have we become a brainless country?…
It defies prediction but Rudd, surely, would want to end the war over class, gender and foreign workers, restore ties with business, promise changes to the carbon scheme, offer a recast economic policy setting and revise schools policy.
Janet Albrechtsen recommends the nuclear button:

Labor is left with two choices. Make Rudd leader to satiate his desires or expel him from the party. Forget the first. It will only prolong Labor’s pain. That leaves expulsion - perhaps just as unlikely because it will require enormous courage and determination to deal with Rudd in one final, fell swoop. It’s drastic. It’s dramatic. But it is final and effective if Labor wants to rebuild its brand free from Rudd’s crazy narcissism.


Knitting story falls apart as Gillard’s staff run for cover

Andrew Bolt June 26 2013 (7:15am)

Julia Gillard’s staff are focussed on the big issues - defending their own reputations. Communications director John McTernan is denying the Big Knit disaster was his own idea:
Ms Gillard’s communications director, John McTernan, who was quoted as saying the shoot was a “no-brainer”, now claims the office and its media strategy were hijacked by the magazine.
“The concept of the photo shoot was not dictated by the Prime Minister’s office,” he said. “The Women’s Weekly arranged the photo shoot, including requesting the Prime Minister knit and that her dog, Reuben, attend.”
“That is absolutely false,” said the magazine’s associate editor Caroline Overington, who wrote the accompanying article in the magazine.
An email from a staffer in the Prime Minister’s office [Keely O’Brien] reveals the motivation for the shoot. “As I mentioned the PM is putting together a knitting care package for Kate Middleton, who is due in mid-July, and I was thinking this would make a great story for the magazine,” it says. “I’m picturing a story that includes the patterns for the items the PM will knit so your readers can knit their own royal blanket or something similar."…
Mr McTernan told The Australian the office had “no power of veto” and “no creative control” in the shoot. Overington denied this and said the Prime Minister had brought her own make-up artist, stylist and three suitcases “full of clothes” to the shoot, but “ultimately decided to wear the ones we brought”.
One further problem for McTernan was that he was at the scene of the crime. joining a group shot of those who put together the Big Knit. If it wasn’t his idea, then why didn’t he stop it?
But what are we to make of the argument that Gillard had no power of veto over what pose she strikes in a five-hour photo shoot?
What this extraordinary press release from McTernan’s office is really saying is: we know the knitting picture was a complete disaster:


Garrett either doesn’t know or simply cannot explain

Andrew Bolt June 26 2013 (7:01am)

The question about the Gillard Government’s new education spending was simple, but the answers of School Education Minister Peter Garrett became more incomprehensible with each attempt to answer:

LEIGH SALES:  So let’s say a school gets a few hundred thousand dollars or a few million dollars in extra funding, who holds that school accountable for how it spends the money?
PETER GARRETT: Well, the thing I want to make clear, and I want to reflect on what the West Australian Premier said, and in your introduction. Yes, it’s true that we believe that a new schooling resource standard, a new fair funding system needs to be applied to schools in a way that lifts the education potential of kids in those schools, but it is still going to be resources that are delivered entirely through State school systems and Non Government school systems or schools as is the case now.
LEIGH SALES: OK so who holds the school accountable?…
PETER GARRETT: Sorry just let me finish. And those systems in the bilateral agreements that we reached with them and the implementation plans that they put in place and schools, because we want to give school principles more authority, will determine and have the flexibility as they should have to determine how those resources are allocated.
LEIGH SALES: OK that is a really long, complicated answer to a pretty simple question. Who basically checks the schools to hold them accountable for how they spend the money?
PETER GARRETT: You can put that to me in those tones but let me be clear about this. We have 9,500 schools in Australia. We have a complicated education system. This national plan for school improvement is very clear about accountability.
LEIGH SALES: So who holds them accountable?
PETER GARRETT: Let me go through it. We will deliver resources through this national plan, through agreements with States who run their school systems and Non Government school systems as well: The Independent system, the Catholic system. We will agree the implementation plans. The things that we expect to see that money spent on that can lift the performance of kids in those schools. We will also require a national data set of information that enables us to track the progress of kids in those schools.
LEIGH SALES: So who tracks - sorry, if I’m being obtuse, so who tracks the progress? The Federal Government or the State Governments?
PETER GARRETT: Leigh it’s tracked by everybody, just like it is on My School now and that’s the whole point about transparency in this agenda. And that’s why I’m so surprised about what some of the States are putting. Because we’ve got agreement with a State like New South Wales, the largest school system in the country, to invest this extra money in schools. And the reason for that is that we know already how kids are doing in schools. We know it because of My School, we know it because of NAPLAN. We want additional national data that tracks school performance and student improvement to enable us to understand as a nation, as governments, and as school sectors whether that money’s doing the job it’s intended to do. And as well as that, schools themselves will have school improvement plans and they will be required to publish those school improvement plans on an annual basis that will appear on My School as other information does and people can have a look at it and respond.
Er, so who does hold the school responsible. Does Garrett actually know?
We were flabberghasted on 2GB last night.




Prime Minister Julia Gillard's chief Labour rival Kevin Rudd is resisting pressure to make a fresh run for the party's leadership, insisting he will only consider such a move if a cross-factional delegation of Labor members ask Ms Gillard to resign, according to The Australian.
Mr Rudd promised after a failed bid in February 2012 to replace Ms Gillard that he would not mount a further challenge, and is now insisting he plans to stick to that promise, the report added.
“Unlike others who have used the phrase, when I say I will not challenge for the leadership, I mean it,” Mr Rudd told The Daily Telegraph earlier this week. “That means Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or beyond.”

That is principled .. if he doesn't break the promise .. oh .. wait .. - ed


Just a final exams over OMG freedom games games games play play play dessert snack

I felt that way when a ship hauling arms to Syria from the US government sank. - ed
Why arts and science are better together

Certainly it is the case that Science today, in particular Global Warming Science has all the rigour of any impressionist painting. Also, much of what passes as art has all the beauty of a dissected kidney. We have convergence - ed



Last Friday's warmup. The weather was awesome and the fields were empty, plenty of craziness soon followed. #team9lives #9livesparkour#fairfield


My friends disagree with me, but I'm for GM food. Not because it pisses off my friends, but because I believe the possibility of cheaper, better food shouldn't be passed up .. people that are needy shouldn't miss out because of a western equity dispute. - ed

David Daniel Ball Checkmate! .. "Still there"

David Daniel Ball Just say no to Crack Cocaine?

David Daniel Ball Wonder Woman on public transport?

Conservative government works - ed

When Doctor Who did Top Gear — with david tennant and The Doctor.

4 her



Actress Stacey Dash attacked after tweeting that only God can judge Paula Deen ==>



Another work out with Eric Kalemen. My left leg cramped early while I swiftly ambled .. so we were restricted to 100 steps with arm curls, 100 squats and numerous punches ... I lost form .. in 45 minutes .. my mind says "Lets do it" and my body says "I protest"

Listening to the hoohah on Sky about the Caucus Ballot. Combet talked about spending the next 80 days arguing the case for the reforms that they have just railroaded through. Gee, normal process would be to argue the case, before making them law.


Over 20,000 tourists have been turned away from the Eiffel Tower after staff at the iconic landmark called a strike.

In typical French fashion, 300 workers walked off the job over a pay dispute and the rising number of thieves harassing tourists.

Would pickpocketing scare you off from visiting somewhere like Paris?

Remember the story on the woman who racially attacked a young boy on a bus a few weeks back? Well, with the co-operation of police, witnesses and some great sleuthing skills, the alleged perpetrator has been found and charged. #gotchaMore:


"I’m dyslexic and until recently I’d never got through a book. But I read Catching Fire. I loved disappearing into a story." - Jamie OliverDaily Mail.

What was the first #novel you remember#reading?

What is the Golden ratio? Often symbolized using phi, the Golden ratio is a special number found by dividing a line into two parts so that the longer part divided by the smaller part is also equal to the whole length divided by the longer part. Learn more about the Golden ratio:

Historically, the number can be seen in the architecture of many ancient creations, like the Great Pyramids and the Parthenon.



Frosted Brownie Cookies

1 C all purpose flour
1/2 C cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 + 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
5 T coconut oil
5 T butter melted
chocolate & white chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 325F.
In a large bowl, mix together the first six ingredients.
In a separate bowl, mix together the oil, melted butter, and vanilla.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until a thick, fudgy dough is formed and all of the flour is absorbed.
Place the dough in a plastic bag and mush it all together into one big ball using your hands. Freeze for 15 minutes.
Break apart the dough to create small cookie shaped pieces and place on a greased cookie sheet. (Note: Use a conservative amount of dough for each cookie. Their circumference will increase as they bake.)

For “Polka Dot” cookies, press chocolate and white chocolate chips into the tops of each cookie before baking. (For regular chip cookies you can simply fold the chips into the dough before freezing.)

*And for swirl-topped cookies, place 2-3 white & chocolate chocolate chips on top of each cookie after removing from the oven. Let sit for 2-3 minutes. When they have softened, take the tip of a small spoon and very gently press down while making a light swirling motion.

Bake at 325F for 13-15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for an additional 10 minutes before removing from pan.


This is the oldest mask ever discovered, and it is estimated to be 9000 years old.

Amazing shot of lenticular clouds over Lake Crowley, California.



Massive Rogue Wave, Brazil

Flying in to land at Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort

Photo - Ellenor Argyropoulos

Photo taken of me in all of my transparent splendor by Will Carlton while I was teaching the SF Marin Headlands Aperture Academy class how to "Ghostify" people in long exposures. He did a splendid job on me don'tcha think? — at Fort Point, San Francisco.



Sad sarcasm - ed
Take a look at this video from Greta van Susteren about Sudan. We need to appreciate faith-based private charities like Samaritan's Purse that offer hope. They continue to engage in tough, thankless tasks to provide for those who face seemingly insurmountable challenges. Thank God for these charitable people who have such big hearts to serve, and remember we can all help by contributing time and money to worthy private organizations that successfully help mankind.

- Sarah Palin


Pastor Rick Warren
Incompatibility in marriage is really immaturity and selfishness. Mature people value differences and grow, learning real love.


Ayana Resort and Spa, Bali


Bernard Gaynor gives a remarkable insight into a Gillard piece of legislation we don't know about and Abbott was too frightened to object to. Now we know why she tried to goad him into the abortion debate.


The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance – Trailer
- Film Clip -

I thought that there would be a lot of easy access places to view the St. Louis skyline since it is so iconic… truth be told, I had to go to the dangerous urban area across the river, then trespass across a train yard and go over a fence to get this shot. Another photographer saw me and followed. Turned into a good hour of waiting for the sun to set and sharing life stories before shooting. While I was touring with Yahoo on their Project Weather, I was mostly by myself, so these moments of meeting other photographers were greatly enjoyed. — in Saint Louis, MO.

Grow Food, Not Lawns Social Media Campaign 





4 her



Tiffani was once a honor roll student. Now, her parents say she is terrorizing the family – but why? #DrPhil


James Calore
Statistically speaking, 2% of killer whales were wrongly accused.


I wonder if Winston Churchill may have been talking about the Doctor when he said this?

I think we should see more of Winston Churchill in Doctor Who

#DoctorWho #Winstonchurchill #quotes

yes #Eminem also used this quote but Winston Churchill used it first.


O Lord my God.In every need let me come to You with humble trust saying, Jesus help me.In all my doubts, perplexities, and temptations, Jesus help me.In hours of loneliness, weariness, and trials, Jesus help me.In the failure of my plans and hopes, in disappointments, troubles, and sorrows, Jesus help me.When others fail me and Your grace alone can assist me, help me.When I throw myself on Your tender love as a father and savior, Jesus help me.When my heart is cast down by failure at seeing no good come from my efforts, Jesus help me.When I feel impatient and my cross irritates me, Jesus help me.When I am ill and my head and hands cannot work and I am lonely, Jesus help me. Always, in spite of weakness, falls, and shortcomings of every kind, Jesus help me and never forsake me,in Your name that is above every name i pray.Amen.



Dean Hamstead
This Rudd/Gillard thing shouldnt be as exciting as it is. After all, its basically choosing which animal poo tastes best.

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In just one year Patriot Voices has grown from a startup grassroots operation struggling against the Obama political tidal wave to one of the most potent movements in the nation.
However, in order to continue to grow and hold the politicians responsible in Washington, we need to raise $100,000 by Sunday night!
You see, Patriot Voices' credibility and political clout are on the line.
In this day and age, the media, the pundits, the politicians, and even some big donors judge your "political power" based on how committed your grassroots base is.
So this money bomb fundraiser is Patriot Voices' time to shine.
Everyone in Washington knows we have an army of supporters across the country ready to stand up for conservative principles at a moment's notice.   Your phone calls and emails and personal visits have made a real impression on the political establishment.
However, with the 2014 elections approaching and so many critical issues being considered by Congress right now, we need to prove that we can take our game to the next level.
We need to show the establishment that our band of ordinary Americans can raise $100,000 by the end of this week!
As you can plainly see, we have a way to go to reach our goal.  That's where you come in.  You've been an integral part of our team since the inception of Patriot Voices.  
You've stood with us as we exposed Democrats trying to weasel out of following ObamaCare.  You've stood with us in stopping a harmful United Nations' treaty that would takeover decisions we make for our special needs kids.  You've stood with us in calling for a Balanced Budget Amendment.  And you've stood with us as we're trying to restore the American dream. 
The liberals in the bureaucracy, on Capitol Hill and at the White House are watching us closely and hoping we don't meet this $100,000 goal.  But I am confident we will with your help.
Thank you,
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Rick Santorum 
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Hi everyone! Here's the newsletter for June 25th. Enjoy!

From the Blog

Sens. Reid and Heller stuff immigration bill with Vegas pork

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Dupes on a plane: Reporters covering Snowden stuck flying from Moscow to Cuba for no particular reason

In Moscow, an unknown number of reporters covering the Edward Snowden story boarded a flight to Cuba because Edward Snowden had reserved a seat on the flight...

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