Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Headlines Wednesday 30th June 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
William Lygon, 7th Earl Beauchamp KG, KCMG, PC (20 February 1872 – 14 November 1938), styled Viscount Elmley until 1891, was a British Liberal politician. He was Governor of New South Wales between 1899 and 1901, a member of the Liberal administrations of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and H. H. Asquith between 1905 and 1915 and leader of the Liberal Party in the House of Lords between 1924 and 1931. When political enemies threatened to make public his homosexuality he resigned from office to go into exile. Lord Beauchamp is generally supposed to have been the model for Lord Marchmain in Evelyn Waugh's novel, Brideshead Revisited.
=== Bible Quote ===
“The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands.”- Psalm 138:8
=== Headlines ===
Jayant Patel has finally been convicted over the deaths of his patients but judge sounds an ominous warning

Congressman to Minuteman: 'Who Are You Going to Kill?'
Democrat Pete Stark is caught on YouTube clashing with a Minuteman over illegal immigration, mocking the idea that borders are not secure when asked about government's lack of activity on security.

Russian Beauty... Beastly Intentions?
While a 28-year-old accused Russian spy was hobnobbing with Manhattan's social elite, prosecutors say she worked as an agent for the Russian government

Kagan: Gun Ruling a 'Binding' Precedent
In grilling on Capitol Hill, court pick defends 5-4 ruling, saying that judges should respect prior decisions

Mass. School Won't Recite Pledge
Arlington school committee rejects request to allow students to voluntarily recite the Pledge of Allegiance because educators are worried it would be hard finding teachers to recite it

Kevin Rudd's nice little earner
DEPOSED Prime Minister will receive allowances of about $600k a year for the rest of his life.

Doctors slug patients for running late
DOCTORS are charging patients up to $50 for being only 10 minutes late for appointments.

Would you like bruises with that? MP Paul Gibson bashed in McDonald's carpark
A LABOR MP was king-hit, thrown against a car and bashed in the carpark of a suburban McDonald's. The New South Wales MP claimed his American assailant repeatedly told him "this is how we do it in America" during Sunday's attack outside the fast-food restaurant in Thornleigh, in Sydney's north. Paul Gibson, who reported the incident to police, said he was lucky to survive the attack, which knocked him out. "How he didn't kill me I don't know," he said, adding that he and a female companion were parking after a function when he gave the man sitting in the next car a "friendly toot". The man then got out and guided Mr Gibson in. The MP for Blacktown said the man then accused him of running over his foot, before king-hitting him.

Police chief Simon Overland's Underbelly gripe - he wasn't in it
VICTORIA Police Chief Commissioner Simon Overland "cracked the sads" because his character was not included in the television crime drama Underbelly, according to secret telephone taps recorded by the Office of Police Integrity. The disclosure comes as the Victorian Opposition steps up pressure on the State Government to answer claims that it illegally received information that was secretly taped by the OPI during a failed investigation into the then police assistant commissioner Noel Ashby. According to OPI records obtained by The Australian, the claims about Mr Overland and Underbelly were made in a conversation between Mr Ashby and the then police union chief Paul Mullett on July 3, 2007. The two men were discussing why Mr Overland - then an assistant commissioner - seemed to be "tense at the moment". The OPI summary of that call, which was taped as part of the corruption probe Operation Diana, states: "NA (Noel Ashby) says it's because he's cracked the sads at the draft script of the Underbelly program because he's not cast in it.

'My porn work linked to Jen's overdose'
JENNIFER Capriati's ex says her overdose is linked to her injuries and his return to the porn industry.

Rescuers notch up $375,000 in fines
LEAD-foot emergency workers manage to clock up thousands in fines in tax-payer funded vehicles while on non-urgent business.

Man charged over grandmother's murder
A MAN has been charged over the murder of a grandmother who was found in a wardrobe.

Brothers Luke and Sam Willis shot trying to end row
TWO brothers shot dead in a neighbourhood dispute were on their way to make peace when they were killed, friends claimed yesterday. Ben Howarth, a childhood friend of Luke and Sam Willis, fought back tears outside Newcastle Local Court as he explained that his two mates simply had wanted to speak to back fence neighbour Christopher Angelo Philippou to settle a long-running dispute. "Luke was going away and he wanted to make sure Sam was going to be OK before he went, so they went around there to talk to the guy," Mr Howarth said. Luke, 28, was shot twice and Sam, 22, was shot once with a .38 revolver. Both men died on the grass verge in front of Philippou's house in Windeyer St in Newcastle. Philippou, 53, did not appear in court yesterday and has not entered pleas to two counts of murder.

Gas, electricity, water and rates to increase in price
GAS prices will rise by up to 8 per cent tomorrow. Electricity surges as much as 13 per cent. Water in Sydney will be 7 per cent more expensive, a rise that will seem reasonable in some pockets of country NSW. And councils are seeking up to 12 per cent extra in rates. Happy new financial year everybody. - thank you Gillard, Keneally and ALP - ed.

$550,000 settlement in wrongful rape case
THE Victorian government has paid $550,000 in compensation to an innocent man falsely jailed for rape. Somali-born Farah Jama served 15 months in prison for an alleged 2006 rape after he was convicted solely on contaminated DNA evidence. The 22-year-old's legal team reached the settlement with the state government just over a month since a government report completely exonerated Mr Jama of any wrongdoing. "He is just keen to get on with his life," his lawyer Kimani Boden said today following the settlement. "Obviously, he's still receiving counselling and so on but now, for the first time, he's looking to the future. He's going to go back to school." Mr Jama was convicted of raping a 40-year-old woman at a Melbourne nightclub in 2008 despite having an alibi and no witnesses to the alleged crime.

Gillard does not support legalising gay marriage
PRIME Minister Julia Gillard says she does not support legalising gay marriage in Australia. Labor policy on gay marriage will remain the same under her prime ministership, Ms Gillard told Austereo show this morning. "We believe the Marriage Act is appropriate in its current form, that is recognising that marriage is between a man and a woman, but we have as a government taken steps to equalise treatment for gay couples," Ms Gillard said. Asked if that was also her personal view, Ms Gillard said it was. - so she is an atheist, but won't let gay couples get married because she wants a Christian vote? I am a Christian and have no problems with gay marriage. And I won't vote for her. - ed.
=== Journalists Corner ===
Fixing the Economy ... Next Year?
Why is Obama waiting before taking action, and does it make economic sense? Don't miss our early prime lineup.
Stossel Supporting Uncle Sam?
Does John Stossel want MORE government action against illegals? He joins Bill to explain. Plus, why Sir Paul McCartney won't apologize for making fun of George W. Bush!
Guest: John Bolton
As global leaders choose different paths to cut the deficit, does Obama have the right strategy to put our nation back on track? Former UN Ambassador John Bolton weighs in.
On Fox News Insider
You Decide: Who is the Biggest Fox Fan?
Video: GE CEO Passes Out at Biden Speech
Glenn Beck on an "Internet Kill Switch"

=== Comments ===
Everyone Must Go, If We Want to Win In Afghanistan
By Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney
Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and numerous other Democratic political leaders chastised General David Petraeus during his Iraq surge testimony in September 2007. A full-page placed by in The New York Times labeled General Petraeus "General Betray Us" and was not condemned by any of them.

Now President Obama has latched on to Gen. Petraeus as a lifeline to save his Afghanistan war strategy. What a paradox. A better name for Obama's new view of Gen. Petraeus might be "General Save Us." Will Gen. Petraeus be able to pull off this challenge with the current Counterinsurgency (COIN) Strategy and the dangerous Rules of Engagement (ROE) that General McCrystal had instituted in his year in his role as ISAF and U.S. Forces Afghanistan commander? Unfortunately, I don't think so. That is, unless both the strategy is changed and the rules of engagement are dramatically altered and new leadership is provided to both the Defense and State departments.

First to the State Department: Ambassadors Eikenberry and Holbrooke have long outlived their effectiveness. They are a drag on success in this difficult war. They must go.

Next, to the Department of Defense: This a war is not an "Overseas Contigency Operation (OCO)" as President Obama’s administration calls it. We have lost 89 ISAF soldiers and 53 US soldiers this month with 2 days left to go.

Mr. President, we are in a violent war against radical Islam and your denial of this fact will ensure our defeat.

You and your administration cannot even define the ideology we are fighting against. John Brennan, your National Security adviser for counterterrorism, thinks "jihad" means "holy struggle" not a war against infidels.

Your Secretary of Defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have accepted these ridiculous new definitions of the threat. (more at the link)
Rioting in Canada
The G-20 economic summit was held in Toronto over the weekend and, predictably, political criminals took to the streets.

Canadian authorities say more than 900 people were arrested, perhaps millions of dollars in damage and about 20,000 police officers were on hand to confront the rioters, costing Canada close to a billion dollars.
This kind of display raises questions about what would happen worldwide if economies fail like they have in Greece and Hungary. It doesn't take a prophet to predict anarchy in the streets and massive death and destruction.
If the worldwide economy continues to decline, mindless violence will rise. Count on it.
And so the leaders of the strongest nations in the world met to discuss the enormous debts countries are running up, including the United States. The consensus in Europe is to cut spending drastically, but that is not President Obama's position. Urged on by the uber-liberal New York Times and other progressive media, the president wants to continue his stimulus spending to juice the economy.
But he is running into strong opposition from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who see disaster ahead if countries continue to borrow and spend.
STEPHEN HARPER, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: Advanced countries must send a clear message that as our stimulus plans expire, we will focus on getting our fiscal houses in order.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: What we have to recognize is that the recovery is still fragile, that we still have more work to do to make this recovery durable.
The president is not wrong. The recovery is fragile, but one of the reasons for that is countries are going bankrupt. There is no confidence in progressive economics. Mr. Obama apparently has a blind spot here. Continued deficit spending will be far worse than cuts in entitlements.
I mean, come on, Mr. President. Can you not see what's happening in California, in Greece, all over the world? There's not enough money to pay people's personal bills. It's just not there.
Finally, getting back to the violent protests in Canada. There was actual sympathy for them in some far-left precincts, some people saying the police overreacted in certain situations.
I'm sure that's true. When you're in the middle of a violent riot, there may very well be some overreaction.
What the Russian Spy Story Tells Us
By Judith Miller & Doug Schoen
Maybe Russia’s leaders forgot to push the “reset” button.

Just days after President Obama treated Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to cheeseburgers at Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington, Virginia, hailing the improved relationship with Moscow as one of his administration’s most important achievements, the Justice Department unveiled the existence of a vast Russian spy network that has been operating in cities across the United States since the mid-1990’s.

The amazing story of Moscow’s dogged quest for wide-ranging information about American life and government policy – from “intell” about American nuclear weapons, the Congress, and the CIA’s leadership to Washington’s attitude toward Iran, Afghanistan, the strategic arms reduction talks, and even the gold markets – is spelled out in some 55 pages of two federal complaints unveiled Monday when the Justice Department announced the arrest of 10 Russian foreign agents in the U.S.

The agents, seemingly ordinary people operating under “deep cover,” were sent here years ago to blend in, become “Americanized,” and pretend to be ordinary American couples, raising children, doing their day jobs.

The FBI traces their activities in such far-flung cities as Yonkers, New York, Boston, Seattle, Hoboken and Montclair, New Jersey, and of course, Arlington, Va. and Washington, D.C. (more at the link)
Tim Blair
On one of the coldest nights of the year, global warming crusader Kevin Rudd and wife Therese leave The Lodge:
Rudd’s farewell:
“My last message to the Australian people from this residence is very simple: all I’d say … is one word and that is ‘Thank you for the opportunity to serve Australia’.”
He never could use just one word.
Tim Blair
Look at the man. He’s a Freudian delight. He crawls with clues. His fixation on the little rolling balls. The chattering in second-hand phrases and slogans … speaking of Captain Queeg, here’s Charles Johnson explaining why he banned Iowahawk:
LGF readers noticed one day last year that Iowahawk had suddenly delinked LGF, without a word to me about it, even though I had promoted his site for years and posted more than a hundred links to his satire pieces.

When some LGF readers contacted him (on their own, not at my suggestion) to ask why he had delinked me, he emailed back snarky sarcastic comments that made it pretty clear it was done with malice, as part of a general campaign to delink LGF on the right wing blogs because I just wasn’t hatin’ President Obama enough for them.

So sure, I banned Iowahawk – after it was completely clear that he had turned on me.
Why, Iowahawk was exhibiting disloyalty. He probably even ate the strawberries:

I wonder if those little silver balls also come in green. Johnson’s recent campaign of change has lately manifested itself in feelings of sympathy for Palesquishian activist Rachel Corrie:
Hmm. From where might Johnson’s readers have gotten the idea that such, er, flattering commentary was ever permitted? From where, Charles?
Tim Blair
The Independent reports:
Scientists ‘expect climate tipping point’ by 2200
Tipping points were previously expected in 1999, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019. People viewing matters from an ecosocialist perspective still hope to witness the holy tipping point “within a mere decade”.
Tim Blair
From Michael Rittenhouse, a moment of G20 citizen justice:

Toronto’s police would never be so insensitive.
Gillard says no to gay marriage
Andrew Bolt
It’s enough she’s an athiest without risking the Christian vote even further:
Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she does not support legalising gay marriage in Australia.
Labor policy on gay marriage will remain the same under her prime ministership, Ms Gillard told Austereo show today.

“We believe the marriage act is appropriate in its current form, that is recognising that marriage is between a man and a woman, but we have as a government taken steps to equalise treatment for gay couples,” Ms Gillard said.

Asked if that was also her personal view, Ms Gillard said it was.

A very good piece by Malcolm Turnbull on the fall of Kevin Rudd - compassionate, yet implacable. Aposite poetry, too.

(Thanks to reader David.)
No wonder so many agents were on her tail
Andrew Bolt
It seems like a spy ring the war forgot:
PORTRAYED as a flame-haired, green-eyed femme fatale, a Russian businesswoman has emerged as a tabloid darling in an alleged Cold War-style spy ring.

Anna Chapman’s Facebook photo was plastered on the front-page of the New York Daily News following her arrest along with 10 other alleged members of a sophisticated network of US-based Russian sleeper agents.

Dubbed the “Red Head” by the New York Post, 28-year-old Chapman is alleged to have passed on information to a Russian official during scenes that could have come straight out of a John Le Carre novel.
It’s said the FBI monitored the spy ring for up to a decade before winding it up. No wonder;
Your cash, Gillard’s PR
Andrew Bolt
Julia Gillard may have cancelled the taxpayer-funded mining ads to get some good PR, but she’s ramped up other taxpayer-funded political advertising. Reader lustjavachat complains:
I was assaulted last night to 5 NBN ads and 3 health ads, in the space of 2.5 hrs
Your money, embezzled by the government for party purposes. If Gillard thinks the mining ads were inappropriate, why not these, too?
Meet New Zealand’s ETS: costly, corrupted and useless
Andrew Bolt
New Zealand discovers what a useless and corrupt rort an emissions trading scheme really is:
New Zealand’s failure to cut greenhouse gas emissions has left taxpayers staring down the barrel of a Kyoto Protocol liability of at least $1 billion and possibly more than $5 billion, according to a book analysing National’s emissions trading system.

The authors of The Carbon Challenge - Victoria University researcher and economist Geoff Bertram and climate-change analyst and researcher Simon Terry - also describe the Government’s current ETS as “technically obsolete” and “beyond rescue” as a sustainable framework for tackling climate change.

They say the scheme will not make any inroads into cutting New Zealand’s gross emissions levels.

On top of that, the ETS was so unfair in the way it distributed benefits to high emitters with political influence, while placing a regressive quasi-tax burden on households, that there was a risk it could undermine the public’s willingness to support a stronger regime in the future.

Such was the scale of subsidies that only one in every five dollars charged under the ETS would become available to the Government to pay off the Kyoto liability. Households already bore half the total costs resulting from the ETS during its first five years while accounting for just a fifth of all emissions,
This is the kind of thing the Gillard Government still is promising us.

(Thanks to reader Gerald.)


Scientists now say the tipping point will be in 2200. Tim Blair adds this to the expanding list of tipping points, including several we’ve reached already without the world falling in.


Marc Morano on the ever vanishing tipping point:
HOURS: Flashback March 2009: ‘We have hours’ to prevent climate disaster -- Declares Elizabeth May of Canadian Green Party

Days: Flashback Oct. 2009: UK’s Gordon Brown warns of global warming ‘catastrophe’; Only ‘50 days to save world’

Months: Prince Charles claimed a 96-month tipping point in July 2009

Years: Flashback Oct .2009: WWF: ‘Five years to save world’

Millennium: Flashback June 2010: 1000 years delay: Green Guru James Lovelock: Climate change may not happen as fast as we thought, and we may have 1,000 years to sort it out’
(Thanks to reader Malcolm.)
Are these men the Gillard Government’s Khemlanis?
Andrew Bolt
Australia’s bid to host the World Cup was always a very, very long shot, and not worth the $45 million the Labor handed over. And now see where your cash went:
TWO controversial European lobbyists hired to help bring the football World Cup to Australia stand to receive up to $11.37 million in fees and bonuses - one-quarter of the taxpayer-funded bid - according to secret Football Federation Australia files.

The files include a spreadsheet that suggests the federal government was not told specific details about how taxpayers’ money was to be spent on the lobbyists and grants to overseas football bodies headed by powerful FIFA officials.

An investigation into Australia’s World Cup bid can also reveal how the FFA:
Bought Paspaley pearl necklaces for the wives of many of the 24 FIFA executive committee members who in December will decide which countries will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Pearl cufflinks were also handed out, taking the total value of the gifts to an estimated $50,000.
Offered an all-expenses paid trip to the South American FIFA executive committee member Rafael Salguero and his wife to Australia this year to mark his birthday.

Paid for a Caribbean football team linked to the FIFA vice-president Jack Warner to travel to Cyprus last year.
An FFA document contains two budget balance sheets outlining how the $45.6 million World Cup bid government grant is to be spent.

SBS soccer guru Les Murray on ABC radio calls the story a “disgrace”, says there’s no evidence the two lobbyists are guilty of any misdeed and vouches for Peter Hargitay’s integrity.
Nicer saleswoman, same junk
Andrew Bolt
IT’S happening all over again, but even worse this time with Julia Gillard.

Look at the media’s rapturous hype. Look at her spin.

Look at the complete absence of detail on what Gillard will actually do. How familiar it all is.

Just add the stupidity of Gillard’s noisiest fans and - bingo - our next Prime Minister need only dash to the polls in August to win an election without having to change a single one of Kevin Rudd’s catastrophic policies.

Correction: her catastrophic policies, too. Wasn’t she deputy prime minister when she ticked off on all of them?

Let’s start with the hype.

Bottom line: Labor, for the first time in its history, shafted its prime minister because - the plotters said - this “good Government had lost its way” and seemed likely to lose the next election to Tony Abbott’s Coalition.

Not once since then has Gillard or her conspirators detailed just how the Government “lost its way”, because that might involve them listing decisions they themselves argued for.

Consider: Gillard herself had demanded Rudd shelve his dumb emissions trading scheme - a backflip that overnight turned him into a joke.

Consider: Wayne Swan, now promoted to Deputy Prime Minister, himself argued for the “super profits” tax that prompted a revolt by miners and a capital strike that finally killed Rudd politically.

No wonder these two won’t say how the Government “lost its way”, since their bloody fingerprints are all over the map.

But never mind, many in the media seem to have bought the spin. Or, rather, they’ve bought Gillard, who is charming, warm and a far better manager of people than the maniacally self-absorbed Rudd ever could be.

Oh, and did anyone mention she’s our first female Prime Minister?

But this is, essentially, all that’s been achieved. A nicer person has been brought in to sell the same overpriced junk she helped Rudd build.

Yet see how commentators are helping her to do it, attributing to her triumphs she’s never recorded.
Why fight this just war when we’re led by losers?
Andrew Bolt
NO doubt we must win in Afghanistan. But should we send more soldiers to die in a war we’re actually losing?

The case for winning in Afghanistan is simple. First, to abandon the country, almost certainly to the Taliban, would be a shameful betrayal of the Afghans.

The Taliban are totalitarians who only last month hanged an eight-year-old boy as a spy, and who kill teachers simply for daring to educate girls.

Quit, and who would ever believe the West’s promise to liberate them, too?

What’s more, retreat will again surrender to Islamist extremists the country from which they launched the September 11 attacks. It would encourage jihadists everywhere. Neighbouring Pakistan, nuclear-armed, could well fall next.

But where is the strategy to win?

Australia has now lost 16 soldiers, including five just this month. More than 100 coalition soldiers have been lost in June, the highest monthly toll since the 2001 liberation.

Yet how closer are we to a free, safe and democratic Afghanistan?

CIA chief Leon Panetta this week conceded progress had been “harder and slower” than expected, and “we are seeing an increase in violence”.

A leaked assessment from General Stanley McChrystal, who, until his sacking by US President Barack Obama last week, led the 120,000 coalition soldiers, warns that only five of 116 assessed areas in Afghanistan are “secure”, and more than 40 are “dangerous” or “unsecure”.

Just five areas were under the “full authority” of the central government, which was “ineffective or discredited”.

McChrystal also noted “waning” political support from coalition members. Canada is pulling out, as are the Dutch. But worse are the divisions among the Americans.
Twiggy dares Gillard to be better than Rudd
Andrew Bolt
Beat Rudd’s offer, Twiggy tells Julia:
KEVIN Rudd secretly negotiated a super-tax deal with billionaire miner Andrew Forrest in his last days as prime minister. And the mining industry has now called on Julia Gillard to come up with a even better tax proposal.

In an extraordinary turn of events, Mr Forrest yesterday revealed a far-reaching secret compromise deal he said he had negotiated with the former prime minister.

The proposal included lifting the rate at which the 40 per cent resource super-profits tax kicked in, from 6 per cent to 15 per cent; immediate write-offs for new capital and moving the taxing point for minerals to where they were dug out of the ground, rather than after processing.

It also dealt with BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto’s main concern of retrospectivity by doubling the value of existing capital and allowing full transferability of liability across projects within a tax-paying group.

The mining magnate ... said Ms Gillard needed to ensure she achieved a “substantially improved” position in talks on the tax.
What Forrest has done is robbed Gillard of some glory for any deal she now strikes, and cast doubt on her case for removing Rudd.
Labor faces utter humiliation in NSW
Andrew Bolt
If the NSW Labor Government have done voters a favor and called an early election, it surely couldn’t have done worse than it has by clinging on:

Primary support for the NSW Labor government has plummeted six percentage points to a record low of 25 per cent, according to the poll, which was conducted exclusively for The Australian during last month and this month.

No government of any state has performed worse on this measure in the history of Newspoll…

In two-party-preferred terms, the Coalition leads Labor by a massive 22 points, 61 per cent to 39 per cent. This is the largest two-party-preferred split ever in NSW, and the equal-largest across Australia.

How O’Connor deceived you about the boatload of Vietnamese
Andrew Bolt
My, but news has spread of the soft touch Australia has become under Labor:
The opposition has seized on the arrival of a boatload of Vietnamese asylum seekers at Christmas Island as evidence that word is spreading about weak Australian border protection.

The boat, carrying men, women and children who crewed it themselves, was intercepted west of Lacepede Islands on June 18.
The boat had 28 people on board. And the press release then of Immigration Minister Bendan O’Connor seems deliberately deceptive, designed to mask the truth of the inconvenient origin of these arrivals:
While their nationalities are yet to be confirmed, if these asylum seekers are Sri Lankans or Afghans, the processing suspension introduced by the government on April 9, 2010 will apply.
A single glance at the passengers would have told any fool they were neither Sri Lankans or Afghans.

So how dishonest was O’Connor?

(Thanks to reader Rosemary.)
What did Gillard know of these rorts and what did she do?
Andrew Bolt
More waste and Soviet-style intimidation in a program personally overseen by Prime Minister Julia Gillard:
A COUNTRY school in southern NSW was charged $850,000 for a tiny single-room library.

And a school in Sydney’s western suburbs was given a $100,000 electrical upgrade, despite every tradesman on the building site claiming it was unnecessary.

But those complaints about the schools stimulus program - and others raised by 110 other NSW principals - are unlikely to be heard by the $14 million taskforce investigating the scheme because it says it cannot offer those principals “anonymity”.

Cheryl McBride of the Public Schools Principals Forum, who compiled the complaints as part of a survey, said many principals were reluctant to go public with their complaints for fear of reprisals from the NSW Education Department.

“There is a culture of fear, intimidation and bullying in the NSW Department of Education, particularly towards principals who speak out,” Ms McBride said.
(Thanks to reader CA.)
Coincidence: policeman worked at St Kilda Football Club
Andrew Bolt
A coincidence is noted:
THE police watchdog is expected to interview a senior policeman after it was reported yesterday that he worked at St Kilda Football Club when allegations of rape emerged against Stephen Milne in 2004.
A club insider last night told The Age that Senior Sergeant Hans Harms was a trainer at the club for 17 years and had been a key figure in pre-match preparations until he left.

Police yesterday confirmed that when the rape allegations emerged six years ago, Senior Sergeant Harms worked at Brighton police station, which is the office that conducted the investigation, after 3AW revealed the connection....

The ethical standards department last week raided Brighton Police criminal investigation unit’s offices and found evidence missing, including the master tape from records of interviews, witness statements and a police report.

The raid was prompted by allegations from two former police detectives that senior police had pressured them to ease off their investigation into accusations that Milne raped a woman at teammate Leigh Montagna’s house. The potential legal costs were cited as a factor.
Because this is just a coincidence and nothing untoward is alleged against Harms, comments will be banned to prevent any risk of him being defamed.


More headaches for a police commisioner who, I suspect, has become lead in the embattled Brumby Government’s saddlebags:
VICTORIA Police Chief Commissioner Simon Overland “cracked the sads” because his character was not included in the television crime drama Underbelly, according to secret telephone taps recorded by the Office of Police Integrity…

According to OPI records obtained by The Australian, the claims about Mr Overland and Underbelly were made in a conversation between Mr Ashby and the then police union chief Paul Mullett on July 3, 2007.

The two men were discussing why Mr Overland—then an assistant commissioner—seemed to be “tense at the moment”.

The OPI summary of that call, which was taped as part of the corruption probe Operation Diana, states: “NA (Noel Ashby) says it’s because he’s cracked the sads at the draft script of the Underbelly program because he’s not cast in it. The initial script shows VicPol taking their eye off the ball and has been reshaped a bit. NA says Overland raised it carefully today, thinking he should be represented by someone. Mullett says they wouldn’t be able to find anyone ugly enough to act on his behalf. Mullett says Magda Szubanski will be cast to represent the chief commissioner of police (Christine Nixon).”

Overland on radio today denies the allegation, and says all he did was joke about who would portray him.
Sick Greeks refuse medicine
Andrew Bolt
Greek public servants demand the state keep bankrupting itself to keep them in clover:
More than 9,000 protesters marched through Athens today as Greek unions staged their fifth general strike of the year to challenge government plans to cut pension benefits and loosen labor laws.

The walkout halted state services including public transport and tax offices and disrupted some hospitals…

“We are faced with almost the total destruction of Greece’s social security and labor system,” Spyros Papaspyrou, chairman of ADEDY union for civil servants, said by telephone before the march…

Reforms to pensions and the way workers are hired and fired are required by the European Union and International Monetary Fund in return for the 110 billion euros ($135 billion) of emergency loans agreed in May…

“It’s the usual routine,” said Elina Zaroulia, 25, who does fashion public relations for Hugo Boss in Athens and didn’t join strikers today. “Protesters, banners, slogans, but if you work in the private sector you go to work, it’s the way it is and definitely now that it is a time of crisis.”
And once again the Left proves its superior morality by smashing stuff and hurting people:


European stocks tumbled Tuesday, nearing their lows for the year as fears grew that the global recovery is fading.
Gillard uses your cash to raise her own
Andrew Bolt
Kevin Rudd spent taxpayers’ money to make party ads. Julia Gillard spends taxpayers’ money to raise party funds:
TAXPAYERS forked out $13,500 to fly Julia Gillard to Queensland to pay tribute to a party godfather and raise money for Labor with the big end of town.
The new Prime Minister, who has shunned the trappings of office and declined to move into the Lodge, flew to Brisbane on a Government jet for an ALP fundraiser on Tuesday, and will return tonight for an exclusive $5500-a-head dinner with business elite…

Wednesday night’s $5500-a-head dinner will be a snub to Premier Anna Bligh’s ban on pay-per-view access to ministers and will boost the party’s war chest as it prepares for an election.

Ms Bligh banned cash-for-access functions last year after controversy and criticism from then-Integrity Commissioner Gary Crooke, who questioned their ethics…

It is understood several mining industry figures were invited to tonight’s function with Ms Gillard, which comes as she is attempting to negotiate a deal over the Federal Government’s resources super profits tax.
(Thanks to reader CA.)
Morgan poll: Labor losing under Gillard
Andrew Bolt
No problem. Bill Shorten can just sack her, too:
An exclusive Morgan-7News poll shows Labor has gone backwards since Ms Gillard deposed Kevin Rudd from the leadership last Thursday.

The Coalition has an election-winning lead, climbing 4.5 points to 51.5 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.
Labor has dropped 4.5 points to 48.5 per cent.
Actually, I’m not sure this poll is accurate. But it certainly raises the question: if switching to Gillard doesn’t improve Labor’s poll standing, how bad will Gillard look?

(Thaks to readers janama and DJC.)


Reader TQS warns:
Not wanting to spoil the party, but Morgan’s phone polls seem to consistently favour the Coalition, even compared to their own face to face polls.

The link to the full detailed poll is here: Check out the past three phone polls, as compared to the past three face to face polls (last one is the current phone poll compared to the last face to their face poll under Rudd). The figures are two-party preferred calculated on voters preferences as electors say they will vote:

May 12/13, 2010 (Phone): ALP 48.5 LIB/NAT 51.5

May 15/16, 2010 (Face:: ALP 50 LIB/NAT 50

May 26/27, 2010 (Phone): ALP 49.5 LIB/NAT 50.5

May 29/30, 2010 (Face): ALP 52 LIB/NAT 48

June 19/20, 2010 (Face): ALP 53 LIB/NAT 47

June 25-28, 2010 (Phone): ALP 49 LIB/NAT 51

Michael Jackson Moonwalk Tribute Heelys - Manly Warf

It has already been a year... sorry im late.

Slowed down for your pleasure~

8bit Mj track Featured in the game D-Pad Hero!

FB Page
more than a year .. still has the style.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Headlines Tuesday 29th June 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
Executing Necessary Reforms
Well, what a difference a day makes in our nation's capital. To say that this ASSASSINATION of a Prime Minister (even a bad one like Rudd) was bloodless would be like saying that Joseph Stalin never really meant any harm to his Generals who disagreed with his tactics or that Adolf Hitlers 1934 "Night of the Long Knives" was nothing more than a butchers convention. Anyone who truly believes in the Australian Labor Party as being a party for the people and the workers, can now see just what a bunch of heartless, divided, ruthless, selfish and undeniably disloyal mob it has become. - ZEG
- They still haven't changed a policy - ed.
=== Bible Quote ===
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”- 2 Peter 3:9
=== Headlines ===
GOP Raises Concern Over Kagan's 'Liberal Activism'
Obama's Supreme Court nominee pledges during confirmation hearing to uphold the law as some Republicans worry she will bring liberal politics and anti-military bias to the job

McChrystal to Quit After Controversy
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was fired last week as the top U.S. general in the stalemated Afghanistan war, tells the Army that he will retire

Supreme Court Ruling Extends Gun Rights
Federally-protected right to keep and bear arms expands to all 50 states, striking down Chicago ban

Feds Arrest Alleged Russian Secret Agents
Justice Department announces the arrests of 10 Russian intelligence officers for allegedly serving as illegal agents for Russia on 'long-term, deep-cover' assignments in United States

Police are investigating whether role model brothers Luke and Sam Willis were murdered after a row with a neighbour over noise.

Gillard in race to end mining war
ADVERTISING "war" will return if Julia Gillard fails to make genuine changes by Friday, industry warns.

Girl 'murdered over World Cup tears'
MAN "jammed a screw down his crying stepdaughter's throat" so he could watch a game in peace

Now you'll pay up to queue for flight too
TIGER Airways will charge customers for checking in at the airport, on top of baggage fees.

Why I killed my husband - wife reveals
MOTHER shot abusive husband after he made her choose who in their family she would have to kill.

TV show puts our lives at risk, say police
CHANNEL 9's popular cop show Australian Drug Lords may have thrilled viewers but the revealing series has outraged police who claim it is risking the lives of officers. The show premiered on June 1 with a gritty insight into the arrest of Richard Buttrose, drug dealer to Sydney's socialites. But while the New South Wales Police Force and its media unit had signed off on the series, the first episode was enough to spark complaints from officers that the show compromised the identities of undercover operatives. It is understood those concerns led to last-minute edits on the second episode about Olympic kayaker turned drug dealer Nathan Baggaley.

Aboriginal man 'cooked' in 50C prison van
ELDER died after being transported 360km in faulty prison van as coroner rules police failed man.

Car crashes into neighbour's house
A WOMAN has escaped unharmed after crashing her car into her neighbour's house overnight.

Loophole in MyZone bus ticketing system allows free travel on private routes
BUS commuters are exploiting a loophole in the MyZone ticketing system and travelling on private routes for free. The new TravelTen ticket has been dubbed the Travel20 by savvy passengers, many of them university students. The rort is simple: A ticket is used the maximum 10 times on a STA bus before being sent into service on private routes, which don't have the green validating machines. Drivers on private routes have been instructed to mark each trip off with a pen and have no way of checking if a ticket is legitimate. The practice takes place at transport hubs where thousands of private and STA buses link up, or duplicate routes, every day - including Chatswood, Epping, Parramatta and Wynyard. Private bus staff said they were seeing "five or six rorted tickets every day", and have been told not to challenge passengers about their tickets.

Gunman storms bank and takes hostages
A MAN stormed a bank in southern England, screaming "get down on the floor" before taking employees and customers hostage.
=== Journalists Corner ===
Special Coverage: The Kagan Confirmation Hearings
Don't miss special coverage of Elena Kagan's Supreme Court confirmation hearings. We're on scene with fair and balanced coverage, as Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly host live from DC!
Guest: Marco Rubio
Taking charge! With Governor Crist in command of Florida's oil mess, what's Marco Rubio's plan to energize his base and fuel voters?
Deadly Border Wars!
Protests, boycotts and violence! As Arizona's deadly border wars spiral out of control, where is Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano? And, why is she not on the frontlines of the border battle?
On Fox News Insider
You Decide: Who is the Biggest Fox Fan?
Video: VP Biden Loses His Cool
The Passing of Senator Robert Byrd
=== Comments ===
Court's Gun Decision An Important Win for Americans Who Want to Defend Themselves
By John Lott
With another closely decided 5 to 4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled today that state governments are not able to ban most Americans from owning most types of handguns. The court ruled that firearms are "essential for self-defense." The court found that if the Second Amendment indeed protects an individual right to own a gun, the notion that the government can't ban all handguns is the minimum protection the Constitution can offer.

Yet, just as with abortion, this is the first of what is likely to be a long string of court decisions.

The decision is an important win for Americans who want the right to self-defense, but the decision also indicates how many questions still must be answered.

When the “Heller” decision was handed down in 2008 striking down Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban and gunlock regulations, Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley predicted disaster. He said that overturning the gun ban was "a very frightening decision" and predicted more deaths along with Wild West-style shootouts and that people "are going to take a gun and they are going to end their lives in a family dispute." Washington’s Mayor Adrian Fenty similarly warned: "More handguns in the District of Columbia will only lead to more handgun violence."

Yet, Armageddon never arrived.
Washington’s murder rate has plummeted -- falling by 25 percent in 2009 alone. This compares with a national drop of only 7 percent last year. And D.C.'s drop has continued this year.

Comparing Washington’s crime rates from January 1 to June 17 of this year to the same period in 2008, shows a 34 percent drop in murder. This drop puts D.C.'s murder rate back to where it was before the 1977 handgun ban. Indeed, the murder rate is as low as was before 1967.

Other gun crimes have also fallen in Washington. While robberies without guns fell by 7 percent, robberies with gun fell by over 14 percent. Assaults with weapons other than guns fell by 7, but assaults using guns fell by over 20 percent.

The expected narrowness of the court's decision today had already encouraged Mayor Richard Daley and the city of Chicago to threaten last week to effectively undo the Supreme Court decision with new regulations.

Daley promised to quickly adopt all the regulations that Washington adopted in 2008 after its gun ban was struck down, as well as some additional ones. To get a handgun permit in Washington, applicants must pay fees over $550, make four trips to the police station, and take two different tests.

Taking the court's 2008 decision that all handguns can't be banned, Washington went so far as to still ban all semi-automatic handguns that can hold a clip. Chicago plans on doing the same but adding a requirement that gun owners buy insurance that covers any incidents that might arise from the weapon.

Obviously, if Chicago were to impose any tax on newspapers, the courts would strike it down as an infringement on free speech.

But the new Chicago and Washington gun "fees" will be allowed until the Supreme Court revisits that issue.

Where that line will be drawn on this closely divided court will be influenced by its newest member and the potential new member whose confirmation hearings get underway today.

Neither the latest justice, Sonia Sotomayor nor the next potential justice, Elena Kagan are sympathetic to an individual's right to self-defense.

In Washington, about 1,000 people now have permits to own handguns. With the gunlock law that made it illegal to have a loaded gun now struck down, over 70,000 people have permits for long guns that can now be used protect victims.

Yet, if over 70,000 armed citizens can produce 26 fewer murders and 375 violent crimes, imagine what can be accomplished if even more citizens are allowed to defend themselves.

We can only hope that Chicago will not adopt such high fees and stiff regulations that only allow the wealthiest will have the opportunity to defend themselves.

John R. Lott, Jr. is a contributor. He is an economist and author of "More Guns, Less Crime " the third edition of which was published by the University of Chicago Press in May.
The Obama Administration Is Confusing Me
My newspaper column this week explains why the Obama administration has reached its lowest point. I cite four critical areas where the country is suffering: the economy, Afghanistan, the oil spill and illegal immigration. I don't even mention the crushing deficit that is threatening the U.S. dollar.

Because this is a tough time, I've been studying President Obama and his policy pronouncements. As you may know, we have been fair to the president. We don't nitpick or take things out of context.
But -- but -- I am flat-out confused by what Mr. Obama is doing. Let me cite two examples.
The president is now reversing himself in Afghanistan. He's saying we might not begin pulling out of there next summer; we'll react to the situation on the ground. Well, that is the correct policy. You can't fight a war when the enemy knows the checkout time.
But on the illegal immigration front, things are getting crazy. The feds are now planning to sue the state of Arizona for trying to protect itself. Also, the president has appointed a sanctuary city supporter as a liaison between the feds and the states on the immigration issue.
Harold Hurtt, a former police chief in both Houston and Phoenix is outwardly sympathetic to illegal aliens. As chief, he refused to enforce federal immigration law. Now Hurtt is a federal immigration official? Come on. That's insane.
Also, there are rumors being put out by Republicans that the president is exploring giving amnesty to illegal aliens without congressional approval. "Talking Points" does not believe those rumors.
LET ME REPEAT: I do not believe them.
If President Obama were to sign an executive order giving illegal aliens amnesty, his career would be over and an impeachment movement would explode. However, the hiring of Chief Hurtt proves that the president is extremely left on the immigration issue.
So we have a better policy in Afghanistan and a worse policy in the immigration arena.
Confusion is never good for any country, and all the polls say the folks are losing confidence in Mr. Obama's leadership.
The president needs to become more consistent in how he wants to solve vexing problems. He needs to act quicker. He needs to show more passion, and he needs to be far less liberal.
That's as clear as I can be.
Tim Blair
Former Labor senator Graham Richardson:
You didn’t need a poll to know this tax was going down like a shower of the proverbial. Everybody from Julia Gillard down told Kevin Rudd the resource super profits tax was killing him and the government. But he wouldn’t listen. He never listened. This genius actually believed he was the font of all wisdom.
That’s the first paragraph, and Richo is just getting warmed up: “From lowly backbenchers to cabinet ministers, I have never come across such loathing towards a leader before …”
Tim Blair
Attorney Wendy Murphy, adjunct professor at the New England School of Law in Boston, on the sexual assault claims against Al Gore:
I asked a bunch of women in my community how they felt about the Al Gore news, and they said perplexing victim-blaming things such as “She was in her 50s. Doesn’t he know menopausal women aren’t horny?” And, “How did she not know that a request for a three-hour massage at 10:30 p.m. is code for ‘the guy wants a hooker?” A couple of women cracked jokes: “After she rejected him, did he Tip-per?”

The greenest of the green people I talked to felt betrayed. Gore was their leader and the movement is now, um, stained. The woman even said, according to the transcript of her interview with Portland, Ore., police made public on the Internet, that her “Birkenstock Tribe” friends told her to “suck it up” and not tell anyone or the “world’s going to be destroyed from global warming” …

The most interesting issue for me, however, is the way nobody seems to be calling woman a liar … I believe her account.
Audio of the woman’s claims here. Meanwhile, Gore has emerged to raise funds for the Democrats … and blame Bush for everything.

(Via Instapundit)

UPDATE. ”Pleading for release of his second chakra.”
Tim Blair
John Howard, Paul Keating, Bob Hawke and Malcolm Fraser all quit Parliament when their time as Prime Minister was up (Howard had no choice, of course, having lost his seat to Our Lady of the Furious Eyeballs). But Kevin Rudd – now entering only his fifth full day as an ex-PM – won’t let go:
Kevin Rudd twice asked Julia Gillard to give him a frontbench job – but his political future has been put on ice by the new Prime Minister until after the election …

The Herald Sun understands Mr Rudd made his first pitch for a ministry during a Sunday night telephone call to Ms Gillard, and the former PM asked for another discussion in the morning. But Ms Gillard was unmoved.

“There is nothing about this period of time that is easy or happy for Kevin Rudd,” Ms Gillard said. “It’s obviously a very stressful, difficult time.”

Mr Rudd had wanted to immediately take the Foreign Affairs ministry. Ms Gillard urged him to “spend more time with his family”
Unless he’s possessed of unnatural self-awareness, there is no way Rudd will be thinking clearly at present. We’ve all been in (extremely) minor versions of his current position; it’s difficult enough being fired or overlooked for promotion without that process occurring before national media. And unlike the four previous Prime Ministers, Rudd didn’t have an entire election campaign to consider his options should he be defeated.

To borrow a phrase, Rudd didn’t have an exit strategy. Apparently he’s now working things out on an hour-by-hour basis, which isn’t an executive-level method. The danger for Rudd is that he’ll lock himself into an emotional decision – staying – that he will later regret.

Some will be critical if Rudd reverses his decision. Not me. He should quit, take a year off, avoid media, then launch into business or whatever other field entices. Why stay in Canberra – Canberra, of all Godless places – when Canberra doesn’t want you to stay?

UPDATE. Malcolm Farr:
The mystery of why former prime minister Kevin Rudd has repeated his bid to be in Julia Gillard’s Cabinet has baffled colleagues, who can’t work out why he is staying in Parliament.

One possible explanation is that after 12 years as an ambitious MP, working long days and weeks, Mr Rudd knows no other life.

“He’s been institutionalised,” one Labor figure said.
UPDATE II. The ABC’s Leigh Sales:
Last night on Lateline, I said ‘Julia Rudd’. By the time I came off air, somebody had done this.
Tim Blair
Victory for diversity:
The Supreme Court ruled for the first time that gun possession is fundamental to American freedom, giving federal judges the power to strike down state and local weapons laws for violating the Second Amendment.

In a 5-4 ruling, the court held that the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right that binds states.
Further from Reason. Interestingly, this ruling was brought in response to a 28-year-old handgun ban in Community Organiserville, Illinois.

UPDATE. In other liberty developments, US Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich says what his boss won’t:
This war will end when we – Australians and Americans – are safe from the same terrorists who attacked us before, and when Afghans themselves are safe.

We will know success when Afghanistan is no longer a base for violent hatred and a launching point for terrorist attacks on the innocent.

That is why we must fight.
Read on for Jules Crittenden’s appreciative analysis.

UPDATE II. Instathoughts on the gun ruling from Instapundit.
Tim Blair
Two notable recent front pages from the Illawarra Mercury and the New York Post. Can’t find any online presence for a third, from the Gold Coast Bulletin, which on Saturday ran this front-page contest promo:

According to the page-three story, News Ltd colleague David Lewis brought two of these tuneless doom tubes back from World Cup so they can be inflicted on readers. Or maybe he hasn’t arrived home yet, in which case customs officials are urged to act.

You’d be surprised how popular are vuvuzela giveaways. It’s presumably cheaper and slightly more popular than giving away the Chikungunya virus.

UPDATE. Warning to vuvuzela winners: do not blow too hard. (Via Dan F.)

UPDATE II. Smike emails:
A visitor from South Africa stopped by my liquor operation the other day. We chatted about the vuvuselas. He noted the prevalence of high-burden tuberculosis in his country (fifth highest worldwide) and couldn’t help but wonder what all of that boisterous exhaling in packed venues has done to spread the disease.
It’s not a headache. It’s a tuba.
Kevin knifed, but the ABC downs tools after 5pm
Andrew Bolt
Jonathan Holmes is right ropeable over the slack coverage the ABC gave to Gillard’s Night of the Long Knives, a story it broke and then all but ignored:

But the prize for sheer insouciance surely goes to Radio National’s Late Night Live. Yes, it was live on air from ten to eleven eastern time, and Phillip Adams mentioned the Canberra goings on as the program opened.
But then he turned to…
Phillip Adams: ...the latest news from the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan…
— ABC Radio National, 10.08pm, 23rd June, 2010
which was dissected for twenty minutes.

Afterwhich Adams blithely told his listeners…
Phillip Adams: And yes, the ABC is now reporting that Julia Gillard has challenged Rudd for the Prime Ministership and Rudd said at a press conference moments ago that he will convene a special meeting of caucus in the morning… Music, maestro, and then we’re going to talk to Richard Wrangham about how cooking made us human.

— ABC Radio National, 10.28pm, 23rd June, 2010
So much more vital than the overthrow of the Prime Minister.

If that’s the best you can do, Phillip, why on earth bother to go live at all?
- Adams loves himself too much and would take any opportunity to be live. - ed.
Barnaby pack-attacked
Andrew Bolt
Exactly how many Leftist hosts and guests does the ABC’s Q&A team need to assemble before they’re confident they can make Barnaby Joyce seem outnumbered? Note how easily derogatory argument towards fellow panellists come to some - Christine Wallace and the unctuous Bill Shorten, in particular.

Early warning alert to Labor MPs: in what way would Shorten as PM differ from Rudd?
Gillard has until Friday to deliver more than words
Andrew Bolt
A deadline:
JULIA Gillard is racing to meet a Friday deadline to settle the damaging dispute over the new $12 billion mining tax…

With behind-closed-doors negotiations set to resume between ministers and leading miners after Kevin Rudd’s removal as prime minister, the mining industry is making it clear it still wants evidence of changes to the resource super-profits tax by the end of the week or the moratorium on the “advertising war” will be lifted.
But no details:
Asked yesterday to guarantee a pre-election resolution on the RSPT, Ms Gillard was non-committal… Ms Gillard has given no indication of how she intends to resolve disputes over its rate or implementation details.
Again, a lack of detail about another troubled policy - a potential great tax:
Also yesterday, Ms Gillard left the door open to policy compromise on another of Mr Rudd’s big-ticket issues - climate change… Yesterday, Ms Gillard failed to rule out suggestions that she impose a carbon tax instead of an ETS.
One thing to bear in mind about these discussions. Labor has relentlessly accused Opposition Leader Tony Abbott of having little knowledge of and no interest in economics. But how much has Gillard had?


The new Education Minister seems unconvinced that his predecessor, now the Prime Minister, delivered value for all those $16 billion:
SIMON Crean has vowed to ensure that the embattled Building the Education Revolution program delivers value for money.

The Australian says the deadline is Friday. The Age says it’s a week later:
THE mining industry has warned the new Gillard government that it faces another hostile advertising campaign if agreement on a new tax regime is not reached within two weeks.

Terry McCrann says Gillard badly wants to avoid making any decisions:
Indeed, the more extended and inclusive the negotiations - all the way to the election - the better.

This will enable Gillard to maintain the pose - the complete fiction - of committing to getting the mining industry to pay its fair share, while also promising to get a tax the mining industry is happy or at least can live with.

It’s only when she - and the government - actually decides the change, presumably after the election, do we find out whether it’s a tax that remains damaging to the industry and to the country.

Or she - and the government - effectively walk away from it. At which point they have to walk on one side of the street or the other.

Further while the ‘negotiations’ are in process, and no decision to change the tax has been formally taken, the $12 billion two-year harvest from the existing - Rudd - tax stays in the Budget numbers and the budget in 2012-13 and 2013-14 stays in the black.

Treasurer Wayne Swan claimed yesterday that the return to surplus was “in no way dependent on revenues from the mining tax.”

That claim was arithmetic and basic nonsense. Without the $3 billion projected in 2012-13 the Budget would have a projected $2 billion deficit. Without the $9 billion in 2013-14, the projected deficit would be $3.6 billion.
The Federal Government may be in for a taste of its own medicine after revelations that a Labor Senator sold off her shares in a mining company the day after the super profits tax was announced.

For weeks the Federal Government has tried to get maximum political mileage out of the fact that Opposition frontbencher Peter Dutton bought BHP Billiton shares after Kevin Rudd announced plans for a 40 per cent tax on mining profits.

The Government said it was proof that Mr Dutton believed the tax would not be as bad for the mining industry as the Opposition is making out.

But now ABC Radio’s PM can reveal that Labor Senator Annette Hurley sold mining company shares the day after the tax was announced.
OPPOSITION Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey believes new Prime Minister Julia Gillard is likely to call an election this weekend.

“I expect the election to be called this weekend,” he told ABC local radio.
(Thanks to reader Spin Baby Spin.)
Save the world! Shut up with your sex abuse claims
Andrew Bolt
The sexual assault allegations against Al Gore are a threat to the planet, the accuser is told.


The masseuse on the moment the massage got overheated:
It was “as though he had very suddenly switched personalities,” she recalled, “and began in a pleading tone, pleading for release of his second chakra there.”
A strange choice of love music:
The accuser said Gore maneuvered her into the bedroom. His iPod docking station was there, he told her, and he wanted her to listen to “Dear Mr. President,” a lachrymose attack on George W. Bush by the singer Pink.
Feel your second chakra stir:


Taiwanese television films a brilliant staging of the Attack of the Crazed Sex Poodle:


No sympathy from planet savers:
Finally she got away. Later, she talked to friends, liberals like herself, who advised against telling police. One asked her “to just suck it up; otherwise, the world’s going to be destroyed from global warming.”
(Thanks to reader Chris.)
Hamas claims secret talks with Obama team
Andrew Bolt
If true, another reason to distrust Obama:

A senior Hamas figure said Friday that official and unofficial US sources have asked the Islamist group to refrain from making any statements regarding contacts with Washington, this following reports that a senior American official is due to arrive in an Arab country in the coming days to relay a telegram from the Obama Administration.

The Hamas figure told the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper that the Americans fear discussing the talks publicly would “rouse the Jewish lobby and other pressure groups in the US and cause them to pressure the administration to suspend all talks with Hamas.”

Right attitude, wrong look
Andrew Bolt
I endorse Julia Gillard’s support of Israel, and only wish it were stronger. I also joined her in this leadership dialogue. But I agree that her partner’s employment is inappropriate now that she’s PM:
A FORMER Australian ambassador to Israel has accused Prime Minister Julia Gillard of being silent on the “excesses” of Israel, and has questioned why her partner has been given a job by a prominent Israel lobbyist.

In a letter to The Sydney Morning Herald, Ross Burns, who was ambassador in Tel Aviv between 2001 and 2003, said Ms Gillard had been “remarkably taciturn on the excesses of Israeli actions in the past two years”.

He questioned Ms Gillard’s stance given that she led an Australian delegation to Israel last year for the inaugural meeting of the Australia Israel Leadership Forum…

He also questioned the propriety of Ms Gillard’s partner, Tim Mathieson, being employed as a real estate salesman by the founder of the Australia Israel Forum, Melbourne property developer Albert Dadon.
(Thanks for readers the Other JS and Pira.)


Gillard said on ABC 774 this morning that as Deputy Prime Minister she excused herself on decisions on Israel that might raise this conflict of interest. How could she possibly do the same as Prime Minister? I’m surprised she doesn’t instantly see how inappropriate this arrangement now is.


Reader Keith says the evidence indicates that Mathieson does very much enjoy the hospitality of sports clubs, even when his partner isn’t there to claim a free ticket, too. Sports administrators tell me it’s actually a bit much.
It makes sense if said in a Labor accent
Andrew Bolt
The Canberra Press Gallery worst failing in miniature. Observe....

If Tony Abbott says population growth must be slowed, Michelle Grattan is appalled:
IT is a touch depressing, but unsurprising, that we are back to the worst of the population debate… (T)he Liberals’ small-Australia stance has become another irritant in its relations with big business, which is pro-migration, not just because of its skill needs but also because migration adds to the economic blood supply… The day of reckoning will come when the opposition produces its population and immigration policy. This will be a test for Abbott, because it can’t just be about scoring short-term points - he must demonstrate sound economic credentials.
But when Gillard now says she doesn’t believe in a Big Australia, either, Grattan is impressed:
Julia Gillard is scraping away at more of those barnacles on Labor’s hull before she sails the repainted ship into a campaign.

Her conspicuous rejection of a ‘’big Australia’’ is all about reacting to community fears about high migration. It also can be seen as reaching out to those who are worried about the boat people.
- and when it comes down to it, Gillard doesn't care about the people, only the pork barrels. - ed.
Rudd refuses to go
Andrew Bolt
The lack of awareness is typical, but still stunning:
Kevin Rudd twice asked Julia Gillard to give him a frontbench job – but his political future has been put on ice by the new Prime Minister until after the election …

The Herald Sun understands Mr Rudd made his first pitch for a ministry during a Sunday night telephone call to Ms Gillard, and the former PM asked for another discussion in the morning. But Ms Gillard was unmoved.

“There is nothing about this period of time that is easy or happy for Kevin Rudd,” Ms Gillard said. “It’s obviously a very stressful, difficult time.”

Mr Rudd had wanted to immediately take the Foreign Affairs ministry. Ms Gillard urged him to “spend more time with his family” …

Graham Richardson:

Faction leaders didn’t make caucus members hate Rudd; no, that was all Kevin’s own work.

Hate, by the way, was the right description. From lowly backbenchers to cabinet ministers, I have never come across such loathing towards a leader before, let alone a leader who achieved the biggest swing to Labor since World War II at the 2007 election.

No, what we are is too nagged
Andrew Bolt
We’re too skinny:
SKINNY models will be banished from catwalks and magazines under a massive overhaul of the fashion industry. Diets for rapid weight loss and cosmetic surgery advertisements also will be phased out of magazines and clothing labels will be asked to stock a wide range of sizes in a new industry code of conduct.... Federal Youth Minister Kate Ellis will today unveil a new body image tick of approval, similar to the Heart Foundation’s tick of healthy foods, for the media, advertising and fashion industries to stop the glamorisation of unhealthily thin women which has led to children developing eating disorders.
We’re too fat:
Kate Ellis: ... But equally, one of the things that has been of huge concern to me is when you see how many people we have slipping into obesity statistics ...

Suicide Notice

This is a dramatic piece. Suicide is not recommended ever .. it hurts those that love you and does nothing to those who hurt you. I was asked to do this piece for an iCompositions artist a few years ago, Herrsolerra. They used it, and a few others to make a brilliant piece called 'Final Notice'
The material I use is largely true, it adds to the impact. It has happened to me.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Headlines Monday 28th June 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
Henry Robert Brand, 2nd Viscount Hampden, GCMG (2 May 1841 – 2 November 1906) was Governor of New South Wales from 1895 to 1899.
Brand arrived in Sydney, Australia on 21 November 1895, and served an uneventful term. He was the second-last Governor of New South Wales before the Federation of Australia. He left Sydney quietly and returned to London, where he died in 1906.
=== Bible Quote ===
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”- Matthew 16:25
=== Headlines ===
McCain Disputes Brewer's 'Drug Mule' Claim
Arizona Sen. John McCain distances himself from the state's governor over her remark that most illegal immigrants are being used to transport drugs into the U.S.

Hundreds Busted in Violent G-20 Protests
Toronto cops bust more than 500 rogue protesters after they broke off from peaceful demonstration by G-20 summit

Does Petraeus Need an Afghan Shake-Up?
Senators suggest Obama clean house on civilian side of Afghan war team if Petraeus can't get along with those who rubbed McChrystal the wrong way

VP Caught in Custard Shop 'Smartass' Gaffe
Biden calls Wisconsin custard shop manager a 'smartass' after the man offered the VP free dessert if he can lower taxes

Police have released this picture of a man wanted for questioning over the brutal and shocking stabbing of a bushwalker on a busy and popular tourist trail.

PM to shut out Rudd, plotters
JULIA Gillard is expected to announce her new Cabinet today.

Bodies of young men found in front yard
TWO men aged 21 and 30 have been found shot to death out the front of a suburban property.

'It's a miracle we are all alive' after crash
ONE of seven Aussies injured in Thai boat crash says she had "a bad feeling" before the collision.

Athlete's plan for Brit switch a 'bit rich'
JANA Rawlinson held negotiations to run for Britain because Athletics Australia “doesn’t care” about her.

Move to bring back evictees a bit 'snaky'
MASTERCHEF'S surprise plan to bring back rejected rivals didn't go down well with contestant Claire.

Too young to drink or vote - but not shoot
KIDS as young as 11 are applying for guns licences as pro-shooters claim it "promotes responsibility".

Pregnant women should be tested for smoking
PREGNANT women should be given a breath test to reveal the impact of smoking on their unborn child, health groups say. The carbon monoxide test, commonly used in cessation clinics, would determine if they are smoking, how much, and even the impact of passive smoking. Mothers-to-be in the UK will be urged by midwives to have the test at their first antenatal appointment, to check if they are being honest about their smoking habit. Women who fail the test would be offered professional help to quit, under the guidance by Britain's public health watchdog. But the stance by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has sparked howls of protest from critics who say it is too intrusive, and will erode trust between midwife and patient. Australian health bodies say if done properly it could be an effective and confronting tool to help and encourage mums-to-be to quit.
=== Comments ===
Tide turns against Rudd
Piers Akerman
IN an extraordinary coincidence, as Kevin Rudd was being tipped out of the Prime Minister’s office, an Aboriginal woman denied justice by Queensland’s Goss Labor Government - which Mr Rudd once was said to have run - had more than $120,000 in extraordinary damages tipped into her bank account. - Rudd’s purpose is not really power at all. He is a sanguine personality type which, among the other characteristics noted at the link is typical of the tall story teller who needs lots of attention and praise, and will tell taller stories until they achieve that end. In the form Rudd has it, it is a mental illness.
Gillard is more Choleric, and argumentative. Sanguines are good at parties for humor. Cholerics are usually abrupt and bad at parties, but good at arguing.
Neither Rudd nor Gillard have substance. They want their pork barrels to supply their creditors. Rudd had exhausted the possibilities. Gillard is only good to the next election, and if she wins (not a certainty) will do as you say .. nothing but claim the faults aren’t there.
The coup was predictable and predicted by me and others. I also said that it would be a sign that the ALP are so certain of being wiped out that they will need insulation so as to claim, after the election that they have cleared the dead wood in favor of a new generation. I also said they might retain Rudd too, and my magic powers of prediction fell short there, but I think what I wrote there holds true too. The ALP are expecting defeat and the press corp have not told the public. The polls are far worse than the ALP have admitted, or they wouldn’t be trying this three card trick. Neither Rudd nor Gillard were or are in control.
Notice how strong and masterful Mr Abbott was on Red Kerry’s 7:30 report? Mr Abbott and the Libs need to keep their discipline, while the ALPhave lost theirs.
But for me, Gillard, Sunrise youtube. She failed to keep her election promise on Sunrise and I will hold her to account for that. - ed.

Tim Blair
Catherine Deveny after the election:
On Sunday morning I woke and felt like a woman in love. I felt buzzy and post-coital. Do you reckon Kev got lucky? It was a full moon that night. I bet there are going to be a swag of election babies born in August — all with the middle name Kevin. I’m beside myself that I’ll be living in an Australia with a prime minister called Kev …

I did a victory lap around the People’s Republic of Moreland in my KEVIN07 T-shirt on Sunday morning. It was delicious.
Catherine Deveny after the dismissal:
Let’s remember, and be honest here, none of us voted for Kevin Rudd. We voted to get rid of Howard.
Tim Blair
As some prescient bloke wrote 13 months ago: “Climate change has turned out to be a helpful device to change governments – stitch up the middle-class Prius vote, grab Green preferences, impress stupid university students – but a bitch of a thing to deal with once in government.”

Actually, that was me, getting it right for once. Well, maybe only half-right. As an issue, climate change has now gotten rid of both Kevin Rudd, who was in government, and Malcolm Turnbull, who wasn’t.

Still, that’s two Australian millionaires brought down by their climate fixations. So much for IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri’s 2007 claim that “it is the poorest of the poor in the world, and this includes poor people even in prosperous societies, who are going to be the worst hit.”

Poor Malcolm. Poor Kevin.
Tim Blair
Tonight’s World War II Cup match between England and Germany inspires a cliché riot:
There is no love lost between these two old adversaries, and no quarter will be given when they lock horns in another all-or-nothing encounter.
A wordless opinion is preferable:

At least the Germans never got their hands on cricket.

UPDATE. Germany leads England 2-1 at halftime. Just like 1942! Apparently some type of controversy denied the English a second goal.

UPDATE II. Just saw the replay ... goal.

UPDATE III. Germany 3-1 with 23 minutes to play.

UPDATE IV. Germany 4-1 with 20 minutes to play.
Crean up, Rudd down
Andrew Bolt
Julia Gillard keeps changes to a minimum for an early election, with Simon Crean getting a big promotion and Kevin Rudd a big swerve:
Ms Gillard, announcing the reshuffle in Canberra, said Mr Crean would take over education, employment and workplace relations.

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith will take over Mr Crean’s portfolio of trade.

Ms Gillard said she would appoint former prime minister Kevin Rudd to a senior cabinet position if Labor was re-elected.
Lindsay Tanner, who is retiring, stays in Finance until the election.
Will the media learn from Rudd?
Andrew Bolt
As recently as a year ago, the media pack was almost united on three articles of faith.
First, global warming was an unquestionable crisis.

Second, no political leader could oppose the immediate adoption of emissions trading and be credible.

Third, Kevin Rudd was a brilliant salesman and astute politician who had the next election virtually all sewn up, especially thanks to his global warming policies.
Some examples? Here’s Paul Kelly last year:
I believe that the (Liberal) party room will endorse a series of amendments (to the Government’s emissions trading scheme) which will be the basis for negotiation with the Rudd Government. I mean frankly if they oppose that, that would be signing their own political death warrant… This raises the prospect that the legislation won’t pass and that the election next year will see climate change as a frontline issue. Now this will be a mortal political threat to the Opposition.
Then there’s Michelle Grattan:
This was Michelle Grattan on 25 November 2009: ‘It is in the Liberal party’s interests to vote for the ETS and get the climate change issue as much off the election agenda as possible.’ Earlier, she described resistance to an ETS among Liberal MPs as ‘ill-judged’ because ‘Turnbull’s instinct in wanting to help the government get the legislation through is correct’.
Dissent from any of this was not just rare, but an invitation to retribution. Ask the ABC’s then political editor, Chris Uhlmann, who eight months ago dared to write of Rudd:
There is a view that he [Rudd] has the face and a bearing of a parson, and the heart and soul of a dictator. He has cowed his party, his caucus, his cabinet and the bureaucracy. He holds all the prizes, and anyone who wants to advance must pay homage to him. He bludgeons alternative opinions to death.
Wonder where Chris is now? And would a “sorry” make it all better?

Shouldn’t the media now engage in a mea culpa? After all, global warming seems far from as urgent as everyone thought, both major parties have lost the leaders who once foolishly promised an ETS, both parties are now led by more popular leaders who have shoved the ETS to manana, and the collective wisdom now is that Rudd is and always was a disaster and a klutz.

But here’s how the media works. Those pundits who have only argued over the past couple of weeks that Rudd was a disaster - Laurie Oakes, for instance - are now hailed as far-sighted, despite having pumped his tyres for years, while those very few who have warned for two years he was trouble remain dismissed as ideologues.

And so the caravan moves on…
Abbott’s 12 points are superior to anything ALP offers
Andrew Bolt
Overlooked in the fuss over our first female prime minister was a discussion on policy, not gender. Here the 12 pledges released on the weekend by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott:
Restore the budget surplus within three years and start paying labor’s debt…

End labor’s waste and restore cabinet government…

Reject labor’s massive new mining tax and other taxes that hurt productivity

End government discrimination against small business…

Enforce strict border security and control…

Link population growth to the provision of better infrastructure…

Protect private health and improve the public health and hospital system

Take direct action on water and the environment ...

Help growing families to get ahead with six months paid parental leave…

Provide safer neighbourhoods…

Restore work-for-the-dole and mutual obligation…

Raise standards in education - The Coalition will work with the states to give principals the right to pay the best teachers more.
And this denial:
We will not bring back work choices...
More fleshing out is obviously needed. The child-care promise is, of course, a millstone, and it’s a pity that the expensive and useless greens policies are electorally necessary - or deemed to be.

(Thanks to reader The Artist Formally Known As Rudderless.)
Gillard’s best lines come from America
Andrew Bolt
Julia Gillard - or whoever wrote her first speech as PM - seems to have looked to American Democrat presidents for inspiration:
I believe in a government that rewards those who work the hardest, not those that complain the loudest. I believe in a government that rewards those that day in and day out work in our factories and on our farms; in our mines and in our mills; in our classrooms and in our hospitals. That rewards that hard work, decency and effort. The people who play by the rules, set their alarms early, get their kids off to schools; stand by their neighbours and love their country.
Here’s Bill Clinton in his 1992 speech accepting the Democrat nomination for President:
And so, in the name of all those who do the work, pay the taxes, raise the kids, and play by the rules, in the name of the hardworking Americans who make up our forgotten middle class, I proudly accept your nomination for President of the United States.
Here’s Roosevelt in a famous 1940 radio address, also valorising factories, mines, farms and mills, which are so rare in modern Australia, actually:
I saw the workmen in the mills, the mines, the factories; the girl behind the counter; the small shopkeeper; the farmer doing his spring plowing; the widows and the old men wondering about their life’s savings.
(Thanks to reader Karen.)
Culture counts in crime
Andrew Bolt
You’re not supposed to notice if you wish to be thought enlightened and kind:
Police hold black men responsible for more than two-thirds of shootings and more than half of robberies and street crimes in London, according to figures released by Scotland Yard… Just over 12 per cent of London’s 7.5million population is black, including those of mixed black and white parentage, while 69 per cent is white, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Increasingly the topic in Western societies will become what was once no-go - the links between ethnicity and crime, or, rather, culture and crime. Two key points of agreement will eventually emerge that should be blindingly obvious already: that people are less likely to trash their own home, and newcomers are less likely to feel a sense of duty to what’s yet to feel like theirs.

(Thanks to readers Terry and Albert.)
Gillard wins the irrational vote
Andrew Bolt
More evidence that Julia Gillard has given Labor a modest increase in the polls - and a winning margin:
According to the latest Newspoll survey, conducted exclusively for The Australian between Friday and Sunday, the first full three days of Ms Gillard’s leadership, Labor’s primary vote leapt seven percentage points from 35 per cent the weekend before Mr Rudd was removed to 42 per cent.

The Coalition’s primary vote support was unchanged on 40 per cent but the Greens’ vote crashed back five points to 10 per cent.

On a two-party-preferred basis, based on a calculation of preference flows at the 2007 election, Labor is now on an election-winning lead of 53 per cent to the Coalition’s 47 per cent, exactly as it was at the 2007 election and about where it was in April before Mr Rudd’s personal support crashed.
No wonder Gillard is doing well. Ask Germaine Greer and she’ll tell you she’s solved almost everything already:
Gillard isn’t just news, she’s good news.

It was probably a mistake for Rudd to have left her in charge while he was in Bali, in what turned out to be a vain bid to become a global player in climate change politics.

When poorly implemented policies ended in disaster, it fell to Gillard to steady the ship, which she did with such charm and ease of manner, we almost forgot that she was implicated in most of them.. The nation got used to the way she disentangled the most disastrous snarl-ups with patience and good humour, heading off orchestrated media hysteria with her own kind of deadpan common sense and the fewest possible words
Um, which “disastrous snarl-ups” did Gillard solve, Germaine?

In fact, if you believe Greer, Gillard didn’t even persuade Rudd to take the decision that killed his credibility:
Rudd’s catastrophic fall in the polls was a direct consequence of his abandonment of his climate change program… Gillard should perhaps consider making common cause with ousted Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull as a first step towards revivifying the carbon trading scheme.
But Greer isn’t the only woman inventing virtues in Gillard:
“SAMANTHA Middleton is happy that a redhead like herself is running the country after Julia Gillard was sworn in as Prime Minister. ...

When you have red hair, people tend to take you more seriously ...
Yeah, right:

Maybe the red hair isn’t just a coincidence:
So Julia Gillard doesn’t believe in and will clamp down on boat-people. What other red-headed politician does she remind us of?

Dennis Shanahan:
THE Labor Party is full of tough bastards. They dumped Kevin Rudd as prime minister to get back now to where they were in the polls in April.

Grown man and part-time academic Dennis Glover writes a love letter:
As I sit in my cafe just after the announcement of the result, young people are high-fiving at the news that Julia Gillard’s moment has come.... It’s infectious....

Anyone who has worked alongside the new Prime Minister, as I have been fortunate enough to do in various roles since student days, will tell you a curious and unusual thing for a political office: you always know when she has arrived—the place starts to lighten up, laughter is heard, people feel good…

.... she’s invariably the one who brings people to the point, who forces them to make decisions, and who sends them marching out to get results—always with a wry smile on her face about the folly that’s been going on around her.... there is something about her that makes them want to listen to what she has to say.... Strength, belief, good sense, enjoyment of the challenge: these are infectious and will radiate from her happy, laughing, motivated and effective office to the electorate beyond.

She also has steel and ambition.... Women of Australia, as Gough Whitlam now might say, in Julia Gillard you’ve made a wise choice of the first female to lead our country.
Small correction, Dennis: Gillard was chosen not by the “women of Australia” but the faction bosses of Labor, every one of them a man.


Hugh Mackay:
Let’s not overplay ‘’first female prime minister’’. It might have been a big story in the 1970s but, today, Sydney has a female lord mayor, a female premier, a female governor, a female prime minister and a female governor-general.
(Thanks to readers David and Watty.)
Run for the polls while they’re still smiling. And the miners are still mute
Andrew Bolt
Julia Gillard will call an election as soon as possible (assuming the next polls are favourable) - and certainly before she actually has to make many tricky decisions. Some clues include having as few Ministers as possible with new briefs to master:
PRIME Minister Julia Gillard is expected to announce a limited reshuffle of her ministry today, with speculation that Simon Crean or Stephen Smith could get her old portfolio.

Ms Gillard was due to speak last night by telephone to former prime minister Kevin Rudd, who is still at The Lodge, about his future. It is believed that before the talks her inclination, supported by advice from some colleagues, was for Mr Rudd to rest in the next few weeks rather than return to the frontbench immediately.

Mr Crean or Mr Smith would be well qualified to step into the former Gillard job of education, employment and workplace relations. Mr Crean, the Trade Minister, was minister for education and employment in the Keating government. Foreign Minister Stephen Smith shadowed industrial relations and education in opposition…

Victorian parliamentary secretary Bill Shorten, one of those who helped bring off last week’s coup, appears unlikely to be promoted in the reshuffle.

Sources said Ms Gillard had hinted to senior colleagues that Parliament - due to resume on August 24 - would not come back, making the election sooner rather than later…

Her other priority is finalising the mining tax issue, with a government announcement perhaps this week.
And this unavoidable test looms, and Gillard will not want to be waiting for the results to come in, in the form of more boats:
She will soon announce how her government will handle Sri Lankan asylum seekers, whose processing was suspended for three months, which ends on July 8.

Stephen Bartholomeusz says the miners are itching to get their ads back on air before it’s all too late, because Gillard is unlikely to give them much more than would Rudd:
The obstacle to a genuine re-think of the RSPT is ... Wayne Swan and the fact that he not only remains treasurer but has been elevated to Deputy Prime Minister.

It was Swan who dreamed up the ‘brilliant’ idea to pluck the RSPT from the 138 recommendations in the Henry Tax Review and use the $12 billion of revenue it would generate in the budget out-years to both fund a spate of pre-election spending and bring forward a return to surplus three years ahead of schedule.

Now Swan is charged with leading the negotiations with the miners that, to have any chance of succeeding, would have to involve an acceptance that his brilliant tax is a destructive dud.... Gillard can’t ditch the tax and start again, nor concede the key changes to the tax demanded by the sector – in particular its retrospective application to past investment – without destroying Swan, which isn’t going to happen. Nor can she somehow shelve the issue before the election by promising to conduct a complete review, without pre-conceptions, of the tax post-election without blowing up Swan’s budget and credibility.

How many of these miners were born yesterday? From the Australian Financial Review:
The Gillard government is seeking an agreement with the nation’s miners which would offer the prospect of bigger concessions on the resource super profits tax but push the final decision to beyond the coming federal election.
This is either to fool the miners after the election, or the voters before it.


Swan indeed seems determined not to make any substantial concession on his super profits tax. Either that, or he’s making no economic sense at all:
“Our return to surplus is in no way dependent upon revenues from the mining tax and is in no way affected by the outcome of the negotiations that we are having with the mining industry.”

But Mr Swan has acknowledged that if major changes are made to the tax that affect its projected revenue, the measures it is due to fund will have to be cut.

“I said on the day I launched the Government’s response to the independent tax review that those initiatives were dependent on the revenue on the mining tax,” he said.
No wonder the Government would rather have a quick election and cave into the miners after that. Fancy having to tell the voters that the goodies they’ve been offered - more super and less company tax - are off the table, after all.


Henry Ergas says there’s another multi-billion-dollar disaster that Julia Gillard - inexperienced in financial matters - urgently needs to fix. It’s the $6 billion that the Labor Government has agreed to pay Telstra to stop competing against it’s $43 white elephant of a broadband plan::
For that money, Telstra will hand over to the NBN the customers on its copper network without even seeking their consent. This avoids NBN Co having to win over those customers, reducing the need for keen pricing and competent management.

But it gets worse. For Telstra will also cease providing high-speed broadband service on its hybrid fibre coax network, which passes about 20 per cent of homes.

That network, which will continue to provide pay TV, has many years of life left in it. Decommissioning its broadband service so as to force customers on to the NBN spends scarce resources to destroy useful capital…

Why is this being done? Because the HFC, which already offers 100 megabit/second service in Melbourne, could give the NBN a serious run for its money… That NBN Co wants to be rid of so effective a potential competitor is unsurprising. But how can that be in the interests of the consumers?
Another reason to dash to the polls before voters wake up to the full scale of the Government’s waste.

(Thanks to readers Richard, Max and Steve.)
Will Bob Brown dare savage Brown Gillard?
Andrew Bolt
The Greens will be slaughtered unless they do what they’re not inclined to - attack Julia Gillard.

First, she’s stealing their votes:
The latest Newspoll, published in The Australian newspaper today, shows the Labor government has returned to the levels of support it had before former PM Kevin Rudd’s popularity crashed in April....(T)he Greens’ vote fell back five points to ten per cent.
Second, she’s refusing to promise their great dream:
Ms Gillard’s position on emissions trading has been ambiguous since she replaced Kevin Rudd on Thursday. She has said she supported a carbon price, but declined to back Mr Rudd’s timetable of reviewing whether to introduce emissions trading in 2012.
Will the Greens, most of whose supporters are women, dare attack our first female Prime Minister?

Marvellous to see the irrational vote so divided.
Gillard’s watchdog blind
Andrew Bolt
Do you get the impression that Julia Gillard’s new watchdog doesn’t actually want to bark?
THE $14 million taskforce into the schools stimulus will not take details of 112 new complaints because it cannot assure “anonymity”.
Public Schools Principals Forum chairwoman Cheryl McBride presented taskforce head Brad Orgill with 112 complaints on Friday, many of those from school principals who had earlier been too scared to make complaints for fear of retribution from education departments.

Ms McBride said she was stunned to learn Mr Orgill - who was appointed by the federal government to probe whether the Building the Education Revolution scheme funds were providing schools with value for money -would not investigate the details of each complaint.

“While we had the whole stack there, (Mr Orgill) wouldn’t take the names of the schools because he said he couldn’t guarantee the anonymity of principals making the complaints,” Ms McBride said.

“It seems like a really weak response from a taskforce with 30 staffers and a $14m budget. Why he couldn’t take the complaints even if just as a resource makes no sense to me - it just smacks of the taskforce not wanting to know the true size of the problem.”
(Thanks to reader Spin Baby Spin.)
Frosty Joe
Andrew Bolt

Republicans were warned that if they voted for Sarah Palin the US would get a vice president with a foot-in-mouth syndrome. And so they did.


Meanwhile reporters demonstrate how groupthink occurs, creating a consensus of disparaging opinion in the press room about a Palin speech - apparently not trusting each individual to reach the right conclusion unassisted:

A Fox News report on Palin’s speech and on the people who tried their appalling best to stop it or at least smear her.