Saturday, July 31, 2010

Headlines Saturday 31st July 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
Lieutenant General Sir John Northcott KCMG, KCVO, CB (24 March 1890 – 4 August 1966) was an Australian Army general who served as Chief of the General Staff during World War II, and commanded the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in the Occupation of Japan. He was the first Australian-born Governor of New South Wales.
=== Bible Quote ===
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”- Matthew 5:14,16
=== Headlines ===

Investigators Recommend Rangel Get Slap On Wrist
Investigative panel looking at alleged ethics violations by New York congressman recommend 'reprimand,' the most lenient of the three, formal modes of discipline in the House.

Lawmakers: Amnesty Plan in the Works?
GOP senators ask top immigration officials in the Obama administration to reveal whether large-scale plans are under way to provide so-called non-legislative version of amnesty for thousands

U.S.-Contracted Firms Ignore Iran Sanctions
Two multinational corporations that have earned millions of dollars in U.S. government contracts are conducting business with Iran in violation of recently signed sanctions, watchdog group says

On Eve of Wedding, Chelsea Thru the Years
Chelsea Clinton was only 12 when she moved into the White House, and as she prepares to walk down the aisle, take a look at how she's grown

Breaking News
Extremely rare dolphin threatened
A LITTLE-known species of dolphin, found only in northern Australia, is taking a battering from boats and lost fishing gear off the WA tourist town of Broome.

Calcium supplements linked to heart attacks
PEOPLE taking calcium supplements have about a 30 per cent higher risk of heart attack, research suggests.

Tear gas in letter to Paris US embassy
TWO men who work for the US embassy in Paris were exposed to tear gas fumes while handling suspicious letter.

Crackdown on foreign-born criminals
PRESIDENT Sarkozy threatens to strip the French nationality from foreign-born criminals who use violence against police

Palin wedding plans rocked by rumours
DAUGHTER of former vice presidential candidate reconsidering reunion with former boyfriend.

Abbott leads Gillard in latest poll
JULIA Gillard has taken a battering in the latest opinion poll, which shows the Coalition would win the election.

Floods kill at least 430 in Pakistan
DEATH toll from three days of flooding in Pakistan has reached at least 430, as rains submerge villages and trigger landslides.

Forest fires death toll reaches 25
DEATH toll from forest fires sweeping across Russia amid a record-breaking heatwave has grown to 25.

Soldier in video leak case transferred
PRIVATE suspected in the leak of thousands of classified documents about the Afghanistan war moved to US military jail.

Pressure on mayor to quit over deaths
MAYOR rejects claims he bears political repsonsibility for music festival tragedy where 21 people were crushed to death.

Buy today, price hike tomorrow
SYDNEY motorists are being urged to fill up this morning, with prices to skyrocket by tomorrow.

Hospital's loo a health threat
ON the same day two burns victims were forced to wait, Liverpool Hospital's syringe bin in the emergency toilets was overflowing.

School's five sets of twin trouble
FIVE sets of twins starting at South Grafton's Jacaranda Preschool - but lucky Liam Mitchell is the only boy. Check out the twin trouble.

Our schools are just left to rot
NSW Labor will defer school maintenance to pay for Verity Firth's promise to replace unflued heaters.

Graduates lend a helping hound
FORGET teaching your dog how to catch a stick - imagine one that even cleans up after you.

Flu vaccine for under-5s given OK
THE suspension of flu vaccine for children under five has been lifted by the after a series of adverse reactions earlier in the year.

The truth about our violent city
AS NSW police try to drive down the "perception" of crime, we can reveal the real, shocking figures.

Keneally China trip costs $105,000
NSW taxpayers spent over $105,000 on a week-long trip to China for Premier Kristina Keneally.

Mackay woman hit by car
A 23-YEAR-OLD woman has been hit by a car in Mackay after reportedly stepping into the path of the vehicle.

Two rescued after boat hit rock
TWO men have been rescued after their boat became stuck on a rock in north Queensland waters, with one suffering head injuries during the ordeal.

Four with potential spine injuries
FOUR people have suspected spinal injuries after a single-vehicle rollover at Springsure, southeast of Rockhampton.

Man killed in Stanthorpe crash
A MAN has been killed in a single-vehicle crash at Stanthorpe, southwest of Brisbane.

Victim's sister sad at lack of remorse
THE sister of the murder victim in Queensland's first case of DNA innocence testing has expressed regret the man jailed for the murder will not admit his guilt.

Water commission leaking staff
THE state's water watchdog is battling a staff exodus as the organisation struggles for direction after the end of Queensland's crippling drought.

Ekka showbags get fresh
BRISBANE'S Ekka will offer a fresh fruit showbag in an Australian-first move away from the traditional show tucker of dagwood dogs, chips and fairy floss.

Sellers unfazed by election
THE election campaign has not stalled the real estate sector with a significant increase in properties for sale compared to last year.

Speed camera threat in pay blue
POLICE have threatened to turn off speed cameras and take sick leave in a mass block in an angry response to the latest pay offer from Premier Anna Bligh.

Two children missing in north Qld
QUEENSLAND is on a "child abduction alert" for a missing 15-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl who were last seen with a man known to them.

Parents and schools at odds
PARENTS are losing patience with the failure of some principals and education bureaucrats to resolve festering disputes with schools.

Leagues' code of silence
BIG local leagues have applied a cone of silence to footy thuggery. It comes as it was revealed seven junior matches were abandoned.

Giving myki a miss
COMMUTERS have avoided myki in its first week of operation on trams and buses.

Thumbs up for iPhone
AS the hysteria over the iPhone 4 launch subsides, Melbourne users have given it the seal of approval.

Parmas going posh
The days of eating cheap food at your local pub could be over, with some pub meals more expensive than Melbourne's top restaurants.

Stores get a big, fat fail
A TIGHT leather jacket that flattened the bust with sleeves so tight they acted like a tourniquet under the armpits was, apparently, a great fit.

Day off as schools log on
VICTORIAN state school students will get the day off on Monday week while their teachers enter a brave new cyber world.

Women dies in Cowwarr smash
A WOMAN has died and another woman and two men are in a critical condition after a night of carnage on Victoria's roads.

PM confirms partner's 'silly' fines
UPDATE 1.45pm: THE Prime Minister says her de facto Tim Mathieson has “paid the price’’ for breaking road rules in her car.

Commuters missing 'Free Friday' train
UPDATE 11.55am: METRO begins a detailed infrastructure inspection as some travellers remain oblivious to free travel today.

Northern Territory
Violent bullies force girl out of school
TWO years of bullying by a gang of girls has left Cassidy Pratt "the most anxious kid you could meet".

South Australia
$400 a week - for a bedroom
UNIVERSITY students are facing an accommodation crisis, paying up to $400 a week for a bedroom as landlords "cash in" on international students .

Stuck at the wrong station
TRAIN passengers have been left stranded at strange stations late at night because malfunctioning doors are preventing them from getting off at the correct stop.

Median strips a bike path necessity
BIKE paths should be taken off main roads and placed on median strips, footpaths and rail corridors to separate cyclists and vehicles, an urban designer says.

Imported construction workers paid more
VICTORIAN construction workers are employed on South Australian building sites and being paid as much as $20,000 more a year for doing so.

Burnside report calls for criminal charges
THE report into allegations of bullying, harassment and undue influence in the Burnside Council contains recommendations for criminal charges.

Home buyers head for the Hills
SOUTH Australian property buyers have ignored the risk of bushfires and are driving house prices in the Adelaide Hills to new highs.

Former Super CEO sued for expenses
FORMER Statewide Superannuation chief executive Frances Magill has been accused of using almost $344,000 of members' money for personal expenses.

Adelaide's underbelly exposed
HIDDEN among the leafy green cafe set of our suburban inner east, police were yesterday dismantling a massive drug laboratory at an opulent bluestone villa.

'Missile' driver sentenced to 18 months
A YOUTH speeding like a "missile" in a high-powered car has been detained for killing cyclist Darren Dunow near Lewiston last November.

Inquest into cop-killer Fry's death
DEPUTY State Coroner Anthony Schapel will conduct an inquest into the death of notorious cop-killer Lindsay Allan Fry.

Western Australia
'Rotten' power pole caused Toodyay fires
A NEW report claims a "rotten" power pole caused the devastating Toodyay fire that destroyed 38 homes.

Man pleads guilty to running over dog
A DAWESVILLE man has pleaded guilty to deliberately running over and killing his dog.

Police searching for missing teen
POLICE have a launched a public appeal in the efforts to find a missing 16-year-old boy.

Restaurant crash driver charged
A P-PLATE driver who crashed her car into a busy inner-city restaurant earlier this month was today charged with careless driving.

Police fears over replica gun thefts
POLICE fear two replica handguns stolen from a house in Stratton will be used for criminal purposes.

Censured health boss working in WA
THE Queensland Health bureaucrat who supervised Dr Jayant Patel is now working in WA.

Perth house prices fall 1.5pc
HOUSE prices in Perth experienced the largest monthly fall in June as the case for the RBA to hold interest rates strengthens.

Flu vaccine 'safe for children'
PARENTS have been advised that it’s safe for children under five to have their seasonal flu vaccine.

WA 'desperate' for light rail - Greens
A LIGHT rail network is ''desperately needed''' to ease public transport woes when Perth's new AFL stadium is built, say the WA Greens.

Archbishop stirs poll atheism fears
PERTH Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey has suggested Julia Gillard's atheism could cost her votes.

Nothing New
=== Journalists Corner ===
Guest: Senator Evan Bayh (D)
Pushing for an extension! He's fighting against his own party to keep Bush's tax cuts in place. Now, Senator Evan Bayh joins Sean.
The "Bush Recession"?
The administration cranks up the blame game over the economic crisis. So, will that strategy really pay off? Steve Moore reacts!
Saturday: Don't Miss 'The Cost of Freedom'
GM's shocking new move - will their Volt be a bailout blunder? And, Arizona's immigration roadblock ... will it fast track financial problems for other states?
On Fox News Insider
King VS. Weiner, On-Air Duke Out Over 9/11 Aid
Uncle Kracker Performs LIVE on Fox and Friends
Robert Gibbs Headed to American Idol?

32 Senators call for Investigation into Regime's Crimes Against Humanity!
Amazing! In just two weeks, we got 32 Senators to call for the US to support a UN Commission of Inquiry into the military regime's crimes against humanity. This was made possible by your phone calls to your Senators' offices. This is a monumental step forward in our campaign to hold Burma's Generals accountable for their crimes against humanity and war crimes.

See if your Senator was one of the 32 here.

While we continue to pressure our government on behalf of the people of Burma, the struggle in Burma continues. Just this week the regime raided a number of Karen villages sending even more villagers on the run. We ask President Obama and Secretary Clinton to hear these villagers and work together with the international community to bring Burma's generals committing these crimes to justice.

We are going to need your help to make sure that the Obama administration listens to these Senators and to the growing voices around the world calling for a Commission of Inquiry on Burma. We at U.S. Campaign for Burma will remain steadfast in this goal.
=== Comments ===

Have a go Kernot dreaming of a seat in Senate
Piers Akerman
JULIA Gillard styles herself as the candidate for “moving forward”. Cheryl Kernot is now trying to appeal to those who prefer the view in the rear-vision mirror. - She is running for the senate in NSW and she has some voter recognition. If her voter group gets more than 4% of the vote they get paid some $2.30 per vote, and that could be substantial for someone who wants to live big and contribute little.
I am running for the seat of Blaxland and am doing so because I want to raise the issue of Hamidur Rahman’s death. I am not the ALP candidate who got 68% of the 2 party preferred last time, neither am I the Liberal candidate, although I am a Liberal member (and yes, those preferences go his way for me) and so I’m not in it for the dosh. I don’t like seeing voters taken for granted when there is so much that could be done. - ed.

O'Reilly on Obama's 'View' Appearance

JUAN WILLIAMS, GUEST HOST: A lot of reaction to President Obama's appearance on "The View" today. Bill O'Reilly himself will join us in a moment with his take on how the president did. But first, let's take a look at some of the highlights.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: The last 20 months has been a nonstop effort to restart the economy, to stabilize the financial system, to make sure that we're creating jobs again instead of losing them. And in the midst of all of that, we've also had the oil spill, we've also had two wars. As much as you said it's been tough for me, the truth is, it's not tough for me. I mean, you know, I've got people, pundits on the news who may say things about me.
JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": You noticed?
OBAMA: Of course.
BEHAR: The right wing through Fox News and other outlets, they seem to be hijacking the narrative. Where on your side is the narrative? Where is your attack dog to come out and tell the American people, "Listen, this is what we did"?
OBAMA: Joy, that's your job.
ELISABETH HASSELBECK, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": We are in a state of chronic joblessness. Yet -- and we heard in the beginning of the show, as well, you claim that there's saved jobs, something -- a standard that's not been used before by any administration.
OBAMA: Well, actually, Elisabeth, what's happened is that we have gained private sector jobs for the last five months. So we were losing jobs when I was sworn in, as I said, 750,000 jobs per month. We've now gained jobs for five consecutive months in the private sector.
BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": They took your e-mail away when you came in, but do you do it on the side?
OBAMA: You know, I have a BlackBerry, but only 10 people have it. And I've got to admit, it's no fun because they think that it's probably going to be subject to the Presidential Records Act. So nobody wants to send me the real juicy stuff.
WILLIAMS: Joining us now on the phone, the aforementioned Bill O'Reilly. Bill O'Reilly, thanks for taking time from your vacation.
BILL O'REILLY: All right, Juan. I watched the show tonight -- today, I should say, with the ladies.
O'REILLY: And, you know, I've been there about, I'd say seven or eight times in that seat. And I think Obama did pretty well. He was relaxed. He knew what he wanted to say. He knew -- I don't think he knew the questions in advance, but he certainly knew it was a friendly audience except for Elisabeth Hasselbeck. And it was more like a campaign rally. I got that campaign rally thing out of that. How did you pick it up?
WILLIAMS: Well, you know, I looked at the news of it, Bill. And it seems to me that he went there because he's after an audience of women. And he, right now is sinking in the polls. And he thinks it's with conservative women. I should say independent conservative-leaning, but independent women. And he thinks they watch "The View." And "The View" has, what, 3 to 4 million women who watch. You know this. They can move the polls. So that's what he was doing there. And I think the most newsy thing he did was say that he's been creating jobs for the last five months. What say you?
O'REILLY: Well, the women thing, yes, OK. But this is basically a chosen venue because there's no challenge to it. That's No. 1.
No. 2, if he goes on any program like that, it's going to get picked up on the Internet. So everybody's going to see it. And then, you know, cable news is going to pick it up and run with it. So it's not about being on "The View." Everybody gets to see and hear what he says. And so you select a venue that's friendly. He did that. He came off fine.
All right, jobs. In the entire Obama experience, which is 18 months, the country has lost 2.5 million private sector jobs, all right? That is according to the Labor Department, Bureau of Labor statistics. So 2.5 million jobs in the private sector gone, since Mr. Obama's been president. Sounds bad, OK? But we all know he inherited a situation that was pretty intense.
O'REILLY: And in the last five months, he's added about 600,000 jobs. Not he, but the country. 600,000 jobs in 2010. However, the government has spent nearly $500 billion, that's half a trillion dollars, stimulating the economy to add these 600,000, which is a paltry -- and I emphasize that word paltry -- performance. You're going to spend a half a trillion dollars, you better add more than 600,000 jobs. Do the math. I mean, it's crazy.
So what the president is saying is No. 1, he saved the country from a depression. Well, he can say that. Who can prove it? Nobody.
No. 2, that he saved, s-a-v-e-d, saved all these jobs. Well, who can prove that? Nobody.
So you know, they're shrewd in their presentation, but the most important thing he said, and this is very, very true for Barack Obama, that he believes in his heart all the controversy, all the low polls, all the trouble he's having right now is going to go away because his economic policies are going to pay off and the economy's going to rise the last two years of his first term. That's what he believes will save him.
WILLIAMS: Right, but so, Bill, let me challenge you here. It's without a doubt true what he said, that for the last five months, the U.S. economy has been adding jobs. And what we know is coming out of the Bush years, the U.S. economy was losing jobs.
O'REILLY: Yes, but Juan, if you're going to spend that much money, come on, why don't you just send the checks to the people? It's cheaper.
O'REILLY: I mean, come on.
WILLIAMS: Sixty-two percent of the stimulus money has already been spent.
WILLIAMS: That bucks up your point. But here's my point to you. Right now, he's still making the case, do you want to go backwards or do you want to go forwards? This is…
O'REILLY: I'd like – look…
WILLIAMS: This is what he's sticking up in "The View" today.
O'REILLY: Juan, I want the economy to prosper, but I'd like the country not be bankrupt at the end of it. How about you?
WILLIAMS: Well, without a doubt. And you know what?
O'REILLY: OK, so I mean, he's spending a half a trillion dollars to add 600,000 jobs. Come on, Juan. (more at the link)
Tim Blair
“The Julia Gillard experiment is failing,” writes Peter Hartcher:
Labor’s share of the vote in today’s Herald/Nielsen poll is almost as bad as the party’s result in the worst poll of Kevin Rudd’s prime ministership.

On these numbers, Tony Abbott would be prime minister if an election had been held in the past three days. This is a political emergency for Labor.
And one that few – including Martin Flanagan – saw coming:
When this campaign began, I thought Gillard was a good match-up for Abbott. I thought she’d be too steady for him, too precise – as they say in boxing, too good in close.

But this election is not the contest I imagined …
Me neither. Labor’s blunders have been spectacular. More on that poll from Michelle Grattan:
The Gillard government would be swept from power according to the latest poll, which shows Labor trailing the Coalition 48 to 52 on a two-party vote.

In a dramatic turnaround, Julia Gillard’s approval has plunged and her lead as preferred Prime Minister has been sharply eroded during a week when government division was exposed by an anti-Gillard leak of cabinet secrets.
Significantly, the poll – which records a six-point decline in Labor’s primary vote – was taken on the very night the leak was reported. Knock a couple of points off due to timing, but consider the lasting damage possibly done. And while you’re thinking about that, think about this:
The shadow of treachery hovers over Gillard. Rudd is going to hospital for a gall bladder operation but the Rudd factor looms larger with his statement that he is ready to campaign in Queensland and the rest of Australia, a potentially frightening event for Labor …

Rudd made his own written statement revealing he was entering hospital for an operation but would resume campaign activity next week both in Griffith and “elsewhere in Queensland and the rest of the country as appropriate”. The ALP national headquarters has made no such campaign request of Rudd. The people who deposed him as PM are not asking him to either assist or save Gillard’s campaign.
Labor is terrified that Kevin Rudd will campaign for Labor. This is remarkable. Just 36 days ago, he was the star of Labor’s election posters. Now he’s the enemy:
The weight of internal opinion is that Rudd has been the one behind the destabilisation of Gillard and her campaign. Senior Labor players believe only Rudd is angry enough to dice with an actual election loss
Further leaks will only make things more entertaining. But leaks aren’t the main problem. They’re a symptom. The problem is Labor, a riotously divided party increasingly subject to the whims of Mark Arbib. Do hit that link, where the following is detailed:

• Arbib assisted in the removal of Kim Beazley and the rise of Rudd.

• Arbib assisted in the removal of Rudd and the rise of Gillard.

• Arbib was previously “part of the push to replace [the former premier] Morris Iemma with Nathan Rees. A year later he stood back and allowed the Macquarie Street wing of the NSW Right and the right-wing unions to execute Rees.”

• Arbib urged Rudd to drop his emissions trading scheme, then used backlash against the move to argue for Rudd’s removal.

• Arbib is now a foe of fellow Labor henchman Joe Tripodi. Can’t anyone in Labor remain friendly?

• Arbib once said: “We’ll do whatever it takes to win an election. Definitely.”

Right now, Arbib’s tactics are shaping to deliver a sensational defeat.
Tim Blair
Alabama teenager Bobby Wyatt blitzes the field in Mobile, then is blitzed himself by golf reporters:
Hours after he tapped in for 57, Wyatt said he was bombarded with phone calls and text messages congratulating him on his record round. He appeared on several local radio shows and had an interview scheduled on the PGA Tour Radio Network for Thursday evening. On Friday morning he’ll be a guest on ESPN’s “First Take.”

“And I got a call from Australia today,” Wyatt said. “I’m not sure who it was. He had a really thick accent, I couldn’t understand him. I think he was from a newspaper.”
(Via Mr Bingley, who emails: “Kevni get a new job?")
The real “Coles and Woolies tax” is Gillard’s
Andrew Bolt
So much for Labor’s limp attempt to sell the ”Coles and Woolies tax” scare:
The head of Coles says he does not believe having to pay a levy to fund the Coalition’s proposed paid parental leave scheme would push prices up for consumers.The Coalition has committed to funding the scheme by imposing a 1.7 per cent company tax levy on the nation’s biggest businesses.

The Government says it will push up food prices.

But the managing director of Coles, Ian McLeod, has told ABC’s Sunday Profile the levy would have a relatively small impact.

“In overall terms I’m probably more concerned about the rising utility bills that are emerging through Australia, with electricity rates rising at almost 20 per cent,” he said.
And those rises are largely thanks to the decisions of governments - almost all state Labor governments such as that in NSW:
Over the next three years the increase will be between $246 and $600, and that depends on which retailer you take electricity from and that is what happens if the Commonwealth does not introduce this Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme; if it does, there’ll be a further $300 of increase on top of that.
Let’s call the ETS a “Coles and Woolies tax”, shall we?

(Thanks to Jeff of FNQ.)
Police go cold on Gore case
Andrew Bolt
Gore won’t face charges for overheating:
FORMER U.S. Vice President Al Gore will not face criminal charges over allegations he groped an Oregon massage therapist nearly four years ago…

The paper reported prosecutors declined to pursue the case because Hagerty, 54, failed a polygraph test and because she appeared to have been paid by the National Enquirer, which broke the story. As well, the Oregonian said, hotel workers gave conflicting information about that evening.

O’Brien lets Abbott speak, but not as he lets Gillard or Brown
Andrew Bolt
Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch Dog says Tony Abbott won his debate with Kerry O’Brien this week - but only because O’Brien cheated:

MWD is of the considered view that Tony Abbott did very well in his debate with Kerry O’Brien on the 7.30 Report last Monday. Very well indeed. You see, the Liberal Party leader won the debate.

How do we know this? Well, according to Nancy’s count, Mr Abbott got 1742 words in edgeways - compared with Mr O’Brien’s 1709 words. In percentage terms, Tony Abbott got 50.5 per cent of the on-air time compared to Kerry O’Brien’s 49.5 per cent. Well done, Tony Abbott.

To be fair to Mr O’Brien, however, Tony Abbott got some artificial assistance - since the 7.30 Report decided to show the Opposition leader a long clip of an interview he did with Kerry O’Brien on 27 July 2009. The aim was to make Tony Abbott account to the 7.30 Report presenter about views he had expressed in the past. In view of the planned cross-examination, Mr Abbott’s 2009 interview featured a bit more Abbott and a bit less O’Brien - making it possible for the Opposition leader to achieve an overall victory. [Interesting tactic. Has Mr O’Brien tried this one on Julia Gillard? ....]

In fact - if the Abbott/O’Brien replay is not counted - Kerry O’Brien had 51.5 per cent of the interview time to Tony Abbott’s 48.5 per cent. Kerry O’Brien is more inclined to listen to other political leaders. He gave Julia Gillard 58.5 per cent of air time on 19 July. On 5 July he allowed Greens leader Bob Brown a whopping 63 per cent of air time - and confined himself to a mere 37 per cent.

Coalition leads as Labor self-destructs
Andrew Bolt
A catastrophic result for Labor:
In a stunning reversal of fortunes for the Coalition after a disastrous week for the government, support for both the Prime Minister and Labor has plummeted; the Coalition now leads Labor on a two-party-preferred basis by 52 per cent to 48 per cent.

This represents a 6 percentage point two-party swing against the government since the last Herald poll a week ago, and a 4.7 point two-party swing against the government since the last election…

The poll shows Labor’s primary vote has gone into freefall, plunging six points in a week to 36 per cent while the Coalition’s primary vote rose four points to 45 per cent. The Greens remained steady at 12 per cent…

The 58 per cent to 42 per cent lead that Ms Gillard enjoyed over Mr Abbott among women voters only a week ago has disappeared and the female vote for Labor and the Coalition is now statistically even at 49-51.
This result also comes just two days after a Galaxy poll put the parties at 50-50.

The import of this poll does not just lie in its predictive value. The poll will also hurt Labor’s already floundering campaign for at least several dark days.

First, the pressure now on Julia Gillard has become colossal. She faces not just defeat but personal humiliation if she leads Labor to defeat just seven weeks after assassinating a prime minister who was once our most popular on record. She will feel real fear, but betraying a glimpse of that will fatally make her seem out of her depth and out of control - the very opposite of what she’s projected for the past three years.

Second, Gillard will have to change to a much riskier tactic for her. She has tried to sail through the campaign serenely and regally as the frontrunner, barely engaging with Tony Abbott, trying to seem as the calm, impeturbable and methodical Prime Minister that Rudd in fact never was. Now she has to attack Abbott, who has seemed more assertive and even Prime Ministerial by the day. Can she do it without seeming shrill and scared? Her few digs at Abbott in the debate - patronising him as “naive”, for instance - seemed dangerously unsuccessful to me. It’s a challenge for a woman in politics to be strong without seeming just a bitch,

Third, Tony Abbott now knows he need take fewer risks - and certainly not of the magnitude of his absurdly lavish parental leave scheme. His real work now is to seem genuine prime ministerial material, now that voters are cooling rapidly on Labor and Gillard again.

Fourth, Abbott will have a surge of confidence - and confidence is a very reassuring thing to see in a political leader, providing it comes across more as assuredness than cockiness.

Fifth, the results will finally kill off that absurdly exaggerated claim that Abbott has a “women problem”. Having his shy wife and his daughters appear with him seems to have helped.

Sixth, journalists have the meme for the next week - Labor’s stumbles.

Seventh, as Osama bin Laden said, people tend to follow the strong horse. If the Liberals look like winning, more businesses will dare donate to its fund, and more public servants will dare to leak it revelations about Labor. On the other side, the Labor leakers against Gillard will be joined by the blamethrowers, advice-givers and the desperate.The party could yet blow right open.

This past week could prove to be the one that lost it for Labor. This next week could confirm it, unless Labor finds something very special, or the Liberals manage some great pratfall.


Alexander Downer:
Every time I look at Gillard I am reminded of Canada. In 1993, the then government of Canada was in deep trouble. Prime minister Brian Mulroney was sacked and replaced by Kym Campbell, Canada’s first female prime minister. Not only did she lose the election held five months later, but she lost her seat.
Michelle Grattan calls for a bucket:
The more policies converge, the worse for Labor. If Abbott isn’t scary, you might just vote for him. Labor knows it has to get back to demonising him, but Abbott, after those first few bad ‘’WorkChoices’’ days, is proving an elusive target. Gillard desperately needs to sharpen the difference.
Paul Kelly calls for a policy:
… the most conspicuous event of the week is Gillard’s inability to articulate a fresh policy agenda for her prime ministership. It is surprising but true. It is as though Labor thinks a fresh face, as distinct from a fresh agenda, is enough...It seems Gillard as Prime Minister has no wider set of ideas, policies or philosophy to impart, a reminder of how closely she was tied into Rudd’s government and how much continuity remains in the Rudd-Gillard transition.
Chris Uhlmann:
But the trouble isn’t with the campaign team or the leader; it is with the product they are trying to sell. Its core is empty… Too much of it is based on slick political fixes and the longer this campaign runs the more chance there is that it will age badly… (O)ne of the clear themes of this campaign is that Labor prefers political fixes to proper fixes. If it looks like a solution, then it will do. But it won’t.
Peter Hartcher misreads Rudd again, and on the very day of another leak:
Will the leaks continue regardless? We will see. But Rudd must be praying that they will not. Because at the current rate, Rudd could end up being blamed, fairly or not, for costing Labor the election.
Paul Toohey on just why the Cabinet leaks were so devastating for Gillard, unmarried and childless:
But out in Babyland, in Sydney’s outer west, news that Gillard apparently tried to kill off Labor’s paid parental leave scheme ... has been met with outright hostility… For young mothers and fathers, it’s pretty simple: Gillard tried to stand in the way of parental leave because it was not something she, personally, would ever have to worry about...

This does not pretend to be an exhaustive survey of what young parents are thinking out west. We only spoke to a handful in Camden, part of the marginal seat of Macarthur, held by the Liberals but which, after a redistribution, is now viewed as a notional Labor seat. Most said they believed Gillard had made the comments. They all said she did not understand them.
Jennifer Hewett:
Her appearances have been generally so managed and controlled, her style comes across as semi-robotic and in need of new batteries. Her reputation for quick-witted retorts is being strangled in a mumble of marketing jargon and slogans. The debate last Sunday night showed her endlessly repeating the focus group lines and being calm to the point of being soporific. The idea of a Citizens Assembly on climate change suggested a politician even more addicted than her predecessor to spin over substance. Among her own side, plenty of people are shaking their heads at this confusion about the real Gillard that is being allowed to develop in voters’ minds.

The Liberals go in hard, with a reworked Kevin O’Lemon:


Reader Stuart: has Abbott @ $2.95 in from $3.80. TAB Sportsbet has him @ $3 in from $4.50.

Gillard is $1.40 out from $1.22
Flagging an invasion
Andrew Bolt

I doubt this is an effective way to protest against laws trying to limit illegal immigration. Indeed, it tends to portray that immigration as an invasion.

Meanwhile, France tries to deal with what in some suburbs seems almost an ethnic or religious war, brought on by lax immigration policies:
President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Friday he wanted to strip French nationality from anyone of foreign origin who threatened the life of a police officer, in a crackdown after riots shook two French towns this month.
And in Australia:

AN Islamist website based in Australia is co-hosting an international forum this weekend.

It is described by a London research centre as an ”online conference of global terrorists”.

The forum, to be streamed live on the Australian-registered website Authentic Tawheed, will feature a line-up of speakers known for their militant teachings and links with al-Qa’ida and other terrorist groups.

They include British-based cleric Abdullah el-Faisal, who was previously a translator for British al-Qa’ida leader Abu Qatada, and who was deported from Britain in 2007 after being convicted of inciting racial hatred and urging his followers to kill non-Muslims.

The forum will “examine the current war against Islam and Muslims, and ask for how much longer can the kuffar (non-believers) fight against the deen (religion) of Islam, and the necessary steps needed for victory”. A starting time of midnight tonight in Sydney is advertised.

Yet another green con unravels
Andrew Bolt
Nothing about green schemes is real - whether is the good they allegedly do or the harm they allegedly confront. So why the big surprise that one more such scheme turns out to be a joke:
LABOR’S push to cut greenhouse gas emissions through the use of energy efficiency schemes was yesterday dealt another blow when building industry heavyweights discredited the star ratings being applied to hundreds of thousands of homes.

Investigations by the building industry have found that the mandatory star ratings scheme is inaccurate and fundamentally flawed.

The Housing Industry Association and Master Builders Australia yesterday joined scientists in calling for urgent action by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency to resolve problems that are potentially having an impact on more than 100,000 houses built each year.

They said owners were not aware that mandatory software tools—used to calculate whether a planned new house could achieve the minimum five-star energy efficiency rating necessary to obtain approval for construction—gave vastly different results for the same house under identical conditions…

The results show that the three software tools, including the original model designed by the CSIRO, were inherently unreliable.

The star ratings system was rolled out nationally several years ago and recently extended to older houses.

The findings mean that in some cases houses that should be failing the energy efficiency test are being approved and built, while identical houses are going back to the drawing board for changes and costing their owners more time and money to get right.

It also means the stated objective of the federal government to cut greenhouse gas emissions in houses is in serious question.

Terry McCrann says another “green” scam proves that Julia Gillard could one day challenge Gough Whitlam for incompetence:

It would be premature to conclude that Gillard is up there with Rudd as not merely the worst prime minister since Gough, but worse than Whitlam.

Obama’s cash-for-clunkers was unabashedly all and only about stimulus. It failed on those “merits” alone: simply and expensively and so disruptively, bringing forward some new vehicle purchases. Albeit, thank-you-very much, on the taxpayer’s dollar.

It didn’t even try to make the ludicrous pretence of being “green.” Whereas Down Under, it’s a case of: sorry, we won’t give you a real climate change policy, so here’s a meaningless cash-for-clunkers substitute.

I have to say I’m conflicted. A symbolic waste of $400 million seems a reasonable price to pay, if that’s the case, for meaningful inaction on the climate change charade.

In this same category is Gillard’s perfectly secular but Augustinian coal-fired power policy. Lord, or perhaps Gaia, give me carbon-less purity, but just not yet.

In short, it’s an announcement of a government that hasn’t got a clue.

It’s now disgusting to say you have a loving family
Andrew Bolt
Michelle Grattan typically has it the wrong way around. Labor’s smears actually came first, forcing him to mention that he actually had a family of women who loved him:
Tony Abbott has been trying to play the ‘’family’’ card without pushing it in a way that would be counterproductive. The ALP might be tempted to retaliate by dredging up some of his past positions that women have found offensive or off-putting.
Oh, and Michelle? Time to question that meme of the feminist and anti-Catholic Left that Abbott has a women problem. The latest Nielsen and Morgan polls suggest that “problem” is exaggerated.

But I’ve noted on the 7.30 Report and in The Age in particular an attempt to smear Abbott as a nasty bigot for mentioning he actually lives with women. This is portrayed as a cheap shot at childless, unmarried Gillard, when it is in fact an attempt to counter the earlier smear from the same critics - and Labor - that no woman could like such a blokey Catholic.

Niki Savva takes a stick to these have-it-both-ways commentators:

Abbott’s appearance with his family the day after the debate was enough for Kerry O’Brien to opine in a promo for The 7.30 Report: “Julia Gillard focuses on health while Tony Abbott plays the family card.”

Card is not normally a loaded word. Not unless you put, say, race in front of it, or law and order. So, turning up with the missus is like advocating the return of capital punishment or the White Australia policy?

Abbott also had the audacity to mention his wife and mortgage in his debate opening remarks, as a way of letting families know he could feel their pain.

This was too much for Michael Gleeson from Labor’s spin factory Hawker Britton who on ABC TV News 24 accused Abbott of being “nasty”.

Every modern Australian political leader has “used” his wife and/or children. Billy and Sonia, Gough and Margaret, Malcolm and Tamie, Bob and Hazel, Paul and Annita, John and Janette, Kevin and Therese. When Andrew Peacock split from his wife, his daughters went with him.

Consenting adults know what is going on and factor it in.

We have reached the bizarre point when one leader isn’t allowed to display his family because it could be seen as an affront to the other leader, who is not married and doesn’t have children.

The insinuation is that he shouldn’t show his if she can’t show hers, and especially if debate swings on to who is best equipped to help families.

Except Gillard does use her family. She makes frequent proud references to her parents, as migrants and hard workers, and they and her sister have made themselves available for interviews.

There is nothing wrong with that. But if she can do that without inciting unfavourable comment, why is it “nasty” of Abbott to display his?

Given the (previous) Fairfax Nielsen poll had female voters preferring Labor by 58 to 42 per cent, Abbott had plenty of reason to show he does not repel women.

When he addressed the Liberals Federal Council in Canberra weeks ago, he was accompanied by his parents, Richard and Fay, wife Margie and daughter Frances.

It passed without comment. Last Saturday, when that poll was published, he again appeared with Margie. The footage was beamed to Mars and back.

Taxing a slab of voters in the campaign isn’t smart
Andrew Bolt
The Gillard Government dodged a bullet with this week’s inflation figures, but this tax rise - and the failure to announce them - will still hurt it on the cost-of-living front:

SMOKERS face another tax rise on Monday - just three months after the Federal Government’s $5 billion slug on cigarettes… The Herald Sun has learned the tax rise, which has not been announced, will add 24c to a pack of 50 cigarettes and 13c to a pack of 25s…

It comes on top of the surprise 25 per cent cigarette tax rise in April, announced by Labor to pay for its hospital reform plan…

Beer drinkers will pay more from Monday with a tax grab of 21c for a full-strength slab of 24 cans - taking the total excise on the carton to $14.28.

Gillard left our national security to her ex-bodyguard
Andrew Bolt
Maybe you can leak when you’re flat on your back, after all:
JULIA Gillard has been accused of “scandalous” disregard for national security amid revelations she sent a former bodyguard to attend highly sensitive security meetings on her behalf…

In claims that will fuel the distrust between the Gillard and Rudd camps, sources have told The Weekend Australian that when Ms Gillard was deputy prime minister she regularly failed to attend cabinet’s national security committee meetings. Instead, she reportedly sent her former bodyguard and junior staff member Andrew Stark.

A spokesman for Ms Gillard said cabinet confidentiality meant she could not defend herself from the damaging allegations…

As deputy prime minister, Ms Gillard was a member of the NSC and was expected to chair its meetings when Mr Rudd could not attend. However, it is understood Ms Gillard at times failed to stand in for the former prime minister, sending Mr Stark in her place. Mr Stark did not return phone calls yesterday.

Former Coalition foreign minister Alexander Downer told The Weekend Australian Ms Gillard’s reportedly poor attendance record at the NSC and her decision to send a junior adviser was scandalous behaviour and disregarded the importance of the top-level security committee. “The NSC takes decisions on life and death and is no place for a junior staffer. Such actions are scandalous,” he said.
Who are these clowns in charge of our national security? How incompetent was the Rudd Government that its leaders could be so inattentive to their most solemn duties? How rush-rush and slap-dash were they that they sent boys and bodyguards to do what they themselves were charged with?

But for Gillard, the question is more personal: which leaked this? Could it be someone who is repaying this leak of a week ago, tit for tat:
FORMER prime minister Kevin Rudd appalled officials by sometimes sending a senior staffer to sit in for him on cabinet’s highly sensitive national security committee, it has been revealed. The new ABC News 24 channel last night quoted officials and cabinet sources as saying Mr Rudd had shown a casual disregard for the national security committee, keeping it waiting for hours or missing meetings and allowing his 31-year-old chief of staff, Alister Jordan, to stand in for him.
(The juxtaposition of the pictures of Gillard and Stark above is not mine but that of the Australian, which seems to me to be making a very unfortunate insinuation, even if - I hope - accidently.)
Hard to leak when you’re flat on your back
Andrew Bolt
You bet he does:
OPPOSITION leader Tony Abbott has wished Kevin Rudd a speedy recovery...
The Liberals sure don’t want poor Rudd in hospital, when he’s been so effective in campaigning. Labor, on the other hand…
Not fair at work, and no party will dare to say so
Andrew Bolt
But neither side of politics will dare mention just now how incredibly, job-wreckingly dumb this is:
A MELBOURNE business owner fears he will be hit with a $700,000 backpay bill after an investigation by the Federal Government’s Fair Work Ombudsman.

Colin Robertson, the managing director of the design company Pop Art Australia, said the Fair Work Ombudsman allegedly contradicted previous Government advice and told him he was underpaying his workforce.
Just for a start: what is the injustice here that needs correcting, when so many workers freely accepted without demur the wages they were paid? Why aren’t previous Fair Work assessments held as binding, or needing challenging at the time - and not later, when the alleged liabilities become nearly fatal to the business?

(Thanks to reader Brett.)
The good oil on “the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced”
Andrew Bolt

Within a month of the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, I warned that the damage done by spills tended to be wildly exaggerated, and that this one seemed to be no exception. Two months later, Time now agrees:
President Obama has called the BP oil spill “the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced,” and so has just about everyone else. Green groups are sounding alarms about the “catastrophe along the Gulf Coast,” while CBS, Fox and MSNBC are all slapping “Disaster in the Gulf” chyrons on their spill-related news… The obnoxious anti-environmentalist Rush Limbaugh has been a rare voice arguing that the spill — he calls it “the leak” — is anything less than an ecological calamity, scoffing at the avalanche of end-is-nigh eco-hype.

Well, Limbaugh has a point. The Deepwater Horizon explosion was an awful tragedy for the 11 workers who died on the rig, and it’s no leak; it’s the biggest oil spill in U.S. history. It’s also inflicting serious economic and psychological damage on coastal communities that depend on tourism, fishing and drilling. But so far — while it’s important to acknowledge that the long-term potential danger is simply unknowable for an underwater event that took place just three months ago — it does not seem to be inflicting severe environmental damage. “The impacts have been much, much less than everyone feared,” says geochemist Jacqueline Michel, a federal contractor who is coordinating shoreline assessments in Louisiana.

Yes, the spill killed birds — but so far, less than 1% of the number killed by the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska 21 years ago. Yes, we’ve heard horror stories about oiled dolphins — but so far, wildlife-response teams have collected only three visibly oiled carcasses of mammals. Yes, the spill prompted harsh restrictions on fishing and shrimping, but so far, the region’s fish and shrimp have tested clean, and the restrictions are gradually being lifted. And yes, scientists have warned that the oil could accelerate the destruction of Louisiana’s disintegrating coastal marshes — a real slow-motion ecological calamity — but so far, assessment teams have found only about 350 acres of oiled marshes, when Louisiana was already losing about 15,000 acres of wetlands every year.
Ditto Yahoo News:
Where is all the oil? Nearly two weeks after BP finally capped the biggest oil spill in U.S. history, the oil slicks that once spread across thousands of miles of the Gulf of Mexico have largely disappeared. Nor has much oil washed up on the sandy beaches and marshes along the Louisiana coast. And the small cleanup army in the Gulf has only managed to skim up a tiny fraction of the millions of gallons of oil spilled in the 100 days since the Deepwater Horizon rig went up in flames.

So where did the oil go? “Some of the oil evaporates,” explains Edward Bouwer, professor of environmental engineering at Johns Hopkins University. That’s especially true for the more toxic components of oil, which tend to be very volatile, he says. Jeffrey W. Short, a scientist with the environmental group Oceana, told the New York Times that as much as 40 percent of the oil might have evaporated when it reached the surface…

Perhaps the most important cause of the oil’s disappearance, some researchers suspect, is that the oil has been devoured by microbes.
Ditto the Telegraph:
One hundred days on from the original blow-out, the question is beginning to be asked: might the scale of the potential environmental damage have been exaggerated?… For many marine scientists, the answer seems to be yes – and now that some of the initial fury has died down, they are putting their heads above the parapet to say so.

Dr Simon Boxall, an expert in marine pollution and dispersion at the National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, explains that there was panic at the estimated size of the spill, between 140 and 200 million gallons – the equivalent of about four supertankers of oil…

The combination of the fact that it was light, or “sweet”, crude oil and that the disaster happened in warm waters so far out to sea always meant, he says, that it would be dispersed very quickly. The Gulf, which has a lot of natural seepage into its waters, has, he explains, developed microbes that break down the oil.

“...When (BP’s) Tony Hayward said it was a drop in the ocean, it might have been the wrong thing to say at the time, but it was the truth. This spill is the equivalent of less than a drop in an Olympic-sized swimming pool. For all but a tiny bit of the Gulf, it will be back to normal within a year...”

A quick look at the statistics produced by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other bodies seems to bear out his thesis. Of the more than 2,100 miles of threatened coastline, one quarter has been touched by oil and much less has been heavily soiled. As for wildlife, the total number of animals found dead and covered in oil for the whole period is 1,296 birds, 17 sea turtles and three dolphins – that is less than one per cent of the birds killed by the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989…

Professor Geoffrey Maitland, an energy engineer at Imperial College, agrees that the Gulf is well adapted to oil spills because tens of millions of gallons naturally seep into it every year. “Many people do not realise that oil is a naturally occurring substance and nature has a way of dealing with it,” he says. It doesn’t need to be scooped off, burnt or dispersed with chemicals. “In fact, it is often best to let it just evaporate and biodegrade naturally.

“With all the clean-up work, natural evaporation and biodegradation, I reckon 50 per cent of the oil has already gone and the rest will follow shortly. There is talk of a lot of oil below the surface, but I am a bit sceptical, as oil is less dense than water and so it floats.”
Ditto, to a lesser extent, Vanity Fair and The Washington Post:

Scientists and government officials are currently on the hunt for much of the oil that leaked into the Gulf of Mexico, reports The Washington Post. While experts remain positive that the oil is still in the Gulf—"That stuff’s somewhere,” a researcher hypothesized to the paper—most of it is AWOL. According to the Post, “up to 4 million barrels (167 million gallons), the vast majority of the spill, remains unaccounted for in government statistics. Some of it has, most likely, been cleaned up by nature. Other amounts may be gone from the water, but they could have taken on a second life as contaminants in the air, or in landfills around the Gulf Coast.”

Some believe that a portion of the oil was consumed by ocean-dwelling microbes. The tiny organisms, like humans, enjoy oil on their seafood. But the microbes can only do so much: scientists are also reporting that masses of oil have migrated miles away from the spill… Still, of the 5.2 million barrels that likely leaked, we’ve only destroyed 1.2 million barrels worth of the stuff. The country will continue to restlessly search the land and seas for oil, which, really, is exactly what we’ve always done anyway.

Rudd says Gillard’s people want him, Gillard says they don’t
Andrew Bolt
Rudd leaks to a gullible and much-favoured source the story that Labor now realises he’s indispensible to its campaign:
Labor has asked the former prime minister, Kevin Rudd, to campaign for the party outside his own seat, but he has asked for time to consider the request.
Gillard begs to differ:
JULIA Gillard has denied that either she or Labor campaign HQ had asked Kevin Rudd to campaign outside his seat to help the party in Queensland.

“I and campaign headquarters are respecting Kevin Rudd’s wish to campaign for re-election as the member for Griffith. No other request has been made,” the Prime Minister said in Perth a short time ago.
Rudd ups the ante, offering help even as the heroic sufferer is wheeled into surgery:
KEVIN Rudd has pledged to campaign for Julia Gillard’s re-election after recovering from an operation today to remove his gall bladder.
The former prime minister had been admitted to hospital in Brisbane after suffering acute abdominal pain yesterday and was to have his gall bladder removed today, his office said in a statement…

“Mr Rudd looks forward to resuming campaign activities next week both in his own electorate, elsewhere in Queensland and the rest of the country as appropriate in support of the re-election of the government and Prime Minister Gillard,” the statement said.
How can mean Gillard turn down the last wish of a dying man.

I tell you, this is more fun than a circus.


It’s about to get funnier yet, with a launch starring more former Labor PMs than Gillard would like - and right on Rudd’s doorstep:
JULIA Gillard will formally launch the Labor Party’s campaign in Brisbane on Monday, August 16, much later than expected.

The launch is the key event of Labor’s campaign, but this election launch will attract much attention because it is on deposed leader Kevin Rudd’s stomping ground - Brisbane.

Ms Gillard will also appear on stage with her de-facto partner Tim Mathieson.

But the Labor Party has a huge task ahead in managing former Labor prime ministers, including Mr Rudd, Paul Keating and Bob Hawke.

Mr Hawke and Mr Keating clashed recently in The Australian over accounts of their time governing together.

Mr Rudd’s appearance will also be difficult to manage, considering accusations he is behind leaks that have undermined the campaign of Ms Gillard, who deposed him as leader.

The Australian on-line reports on Rudd’s operation, as the surgeon demonstrates the procedure:

O'Reilly Factor: Susan Church vs. Kris Kobach On Arizona Immigration Law - 07/29/10

Obama and unity?

Sean Hannity Interviews Elisabeth Hasselbeck - 07/29/10

Friday, July 30, 2010

Headlines Friday 30th July 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
THIS week Julia Gillard appeared with a million-dollar makeover on the cover of The Australian Women's Weekly. - she still seems bitter and lonely and resentful of her poor life choices. - ed.
=== Bible Quote ===
“I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.”- Psalm 119:93
=== Headlines ===
Protests Rage as Arizona Appeals Immigration Law Ruling
State asks appeals court to lift a judge's order blocking most of its controversial immigration law as the city of Phoenix fills with protesters, including 50 who were arrested

Rangel's Future Up in Air as Panel Meets
GOP panel members suggest time for a deal has run out, as embattled Rep. Rangel's lawyers meet with the House ethics committee

Obama Losing Ground With Women Voters
The president takes to the couch on 'The View' as a new Fox News poll shows his approval rating among women dipping 14 points in seven months to just 45 percent

Drivers Defeating Big Brother's Cameras
It might be too late for DMX, shown at left, who was caught on camera going 114 mph, but motorists might be getting the upper hand as budget cuts and emerging technologies kick red-light cameras to the curb

Breaking News
White House car bailouts 'saved 1m jobs'
THE White House said its multi-billion dollar car industry bailout had saved a million jobs and the sector from collapse.

Killed driver unlicensed, in stolen car
A TEENAGER and his passenger, killed in a double fatality, were driving a stolen car at the time of the crash.

China allows critical IMF report release
CHINA allowed an IMF report critical of its currency policy to be released, signalling faith that it can control the yuan debate.

US at risk of 'Japanese-style deflation'
THE US risks "Japanese-style" economic stagnation as seen in the Asian giant's "lost decade", warns a Federal Reserve official.

Labor uses broadband as election plus
THE high-speed fibre network is a major point of difference between the Government and Opposition.

Churchill's teeth snapped up for $22,000
A PARTIAL set of dentures used by British wartime leader Winston Churchill sold at auction today for $22,000.

Goldman tells staff to cut the crap
STAFF told to refrain from salty language, after emails revealed the liberal use of profanity to describe their own products.

'Cheat's charter' hampers divorce cases
DIVORCING wives will no longer be able to use secretly-seized documents to expose their husband's hidden financial assets.

Man on drugs rams stroller with son inside
A MAN who crashed the stroller carrying his infant son into a wall while high on heroin was charged today.

Gruen Nation transfers to poll ratings
VIEWERS have tuned in in record numbers to television programs that poke fun at politicians and expose the spin behind the campaigns.

Assault an ambo, land in prison
ABUSE or threaten a paramedic and you could face up to five years in jail under laws that come into effect today. Have your say.

Whose bright idea was this?
THE school stimulus program under siege on numerous fronts is now accused of wrecking the sleep patterns of country folk.

Mavis and her 91-year-old toy boy
MAVIS Cook had more than turning 100 to celebrate - she had a 91-year-old "toy boy" on her arm. Meet Mavis and John Clarke.

Fatal hold-up 'was an inside job'
POLICE allege dead robber Nathan Brodbeck used a gun supplied to him by Brinks security guard Franjo Velado Santalab.

Business fury at bike paths
THE Government's bike path mission to tear up streets and cyclists has cost $3358 for each rider.

Firth wears the naughty cap
KRISTINA Keneally was attacked by her own MPs for turning on Minister Verity Firth for promising to replace toxic school heaters.

Husband is sued over legal lies
A PROMINENT businesswoman is suing her ex-husband for more than $1 million, claiming she was duped into marrying him.

Hope for little battler Charlotte
CHARLOTTE Wyse was diagnosed at 15 months with anaplastic ependymoma, which is aggressive and hard to beat.

Is this Australia's oldest surfing photo?
THE question now is can this photo from circa 1910 lay claim to being the earliest image of surfing off Australian shores?

Illegal prostitutes helped pay mortgage
A SYDNEY mother brought 11 women here from Thailand to work as prostitutes so she could pay off her mortgage.

Court rules mum unfit to stand trial
A 34-YEAR-OLD mother has been found mentally unfit to stand trial over the drugging and attempted murder of her two young children.

Thick fog paralyses airport
HEAVY fog is taking its toll on Brisbane transport this morning with the airport out of action until at least 10am and all CityCats suspended.

Cops livid at Bligh pay insult
POLICE are furious at Anna Bligh's suggestion officers will have to be more flexible and productive if they expect a pay rise of more than 2.5 per cent.

Man smashes police car windows
A MAN smashed the windscreen and windows of a police car near Pacific Fair shopping centre on the Gold Coast last night and calmly walked away.

Contempt sentence for murderer
A CONFESSED murderer is scheduled to front a Brisbane court this morning to be sentenced for refusing to testify against a so-called accomplice.

Ipswich man killed in rollover
AN Ipswich man has been killed when the car he was travelling in careered on to the wrong side of the road and rolled several times.

School turmoil as principal quits
AN elite Brisbane girls' school has admitted its principal has resigned, months after another incident in which the deputy principal was sacked.

Affirmative action on indigenous jobs
FOUR youngsters are at the vanguard of an ambitious new program which aims to boost employment opportunities for young indigenous Queenslanders.

Weather ripe for squalor in mud
FRUSTRATED motorists abandoned their cars on the road leading to music festival Splendour in the Grass yesterday.

Wikileaks founder's state of origin
WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange was born in Townsville and raised on Magnetic Island, it has been revealed.

Stabbed in back during shop raid
A FEMALE bottle shop attendant was stabbed in the back during an attempted armed robbery in Box Hill North last night.

iPhone frenzy hits Melbourne
MELBOURNE'S most hardcore “iFans” have queued for up to 24 hours to be the first to own an iPhone 4.

Man critical after high-speed crash
UPDATE 8.31am: A MAN is fighting for his life after a horrific car accident in Boronia this morning.

Joffa's September blockbuster
SEPTEMBER will get scarier for Magpies haters, when Melbourne cinemas start showing Joffa: The Movie.

Housing prices fall flat
MELBOURNE'S property boom is over for at least the next 12 months, according to a survey of leading property experts.

Hulls sets new bench marks
ATTORNEY-General Rob Hulls has announced a review of the judicial selection process.

Tests go down to wire
UPDATE 6.45am: METRO begins a complete inspection of overhead power systems amid free travel today after Tuesday's meltdown.

RMIT's air of corruption
RMIT has been accused by the state watchdog of endangering the lives of aircraft passengers.

Victoria's $24b building boom
VICTORIA is booming out of its borders with a record $24 billion worth of new building permits issued in the past year.

Gangs rip off millions
A WAVE of card-skimming thefts in recent months has cost Melburnians millions.

Northern Territory
'Violent bullies force girl, 14, out of school'
A MOTHER says she has been been forced to take her daughter out of school after two years of violent bullying by a gang of girls.

South Australia
Cyclist dies in fall in Hills
A CYCLIST has died while riding on a popular road in the Adelaide Hills.

Man arrested as police swoop on Gauchos
POLICE swooped on a Gouger St restaurant last night, arresting at least one man and interviewing others understood to be members of an outlaw motorcycle gang.

Man collapses after drug-lab raid
A MAN, arrested over a clandestine drug lab in the eastern suburbs, collapsed soon after being taken to the city watch house.

Optic broadband for more homes
AN EXTRA 300,000 homes and businesses across Australia will be hooked up to high-speed broadband, the Federal Government will reveal today.

Cheapest fuel on Saturday
SATURDAY could soon be the cheapest time to fill up as intense competition drives petrol price discount days towards the weekend.

Little bingles are costing big bucks
CAR crash claims are on the rise, with carpark bingles to blame, according to insurer RAA.

Court out on misdiagnosis
VICTIMS of bad doctors have been warned to complain to the health complaints commissioner because the High Court had excluded suing for misdiagnosis.

He's the little boy who just can't eat
TRYING to get one-year-old Asher White to eat is a struggle his parents have never won.

Gang leader's former home firebombed
A HOUSE formerly occupied by the leader of the Newboys street gang has been fire bombed at Enfield.

Have you seen this man?
THIS man is wanted for indecently assaulting a woman on a north-eastern suburbs bus.

Western Australia
Stun gun 'disguised as phone'
POLICE have charged a 23-year-old Armadale man after allegedly finding a stun gun disguised as a mobile phone inside his car.

Archbishop stirs poll atheism fears
PERTH Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey has suggested Julia Gillard's atheism could cost her votes.

Mothership readied for arrivals
THE flotilla being used to ferry asylum-seekers to Christmas Island will soon include a mothership.

Attacker jailed after fatal bashing
A MAN involved in a fatal bashing has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.

'Hoon' cop stood down
POLICE Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan stands down senior constable after reckless driving charge.

Former Supreme Court Judge dies
FORMER Supreme Court Judge Henry Wallwork has passed away suddenly at his Perth home, aged 75.

Three injured in country crash
THREE people are in hospital following a serious two-vehicle crash in Roelands, 165km south of Perth.

Former rock star faces fraud charges
A BANKRUPT former rock star has appeared in court over the catastrophic collapse of two failed businesses owing tens of millions of dollars.

WACA set for massive transformation
THE green light has been given to an ambitious redevelopment of the WACA that will see commercial and residential towers built at the iconic cricket ground.

Lotto luck strikes twice in Kwinana
ANOTHER WA punter is about to begin living the Lotto life after scooping the division one pool in last night's million dollar draw.

Killer's ex wants to sell story
SHE kept killer's brutal secret from police, now she wants to tell her tale to a magazine and cash in.
=== Journalists Corner ===
Guest: Elisabeth Hasselbeck
With two wars, a crashed economy, and an oil crisis ... Is the president engaging in showmanship over leadership? Elisabeth Hasselbeck weighs in. C
Guest: AZ State Senator Russell Pearce
A setback for Arizona's immigration law? State Senator Russell Pearce reacts to the ruling and talks strategy. The fight is on!
"Showdown State" Shocker!
Key parts of Arizona's immigration bill are blocked by Uncle Sam. Now, Gov. Brewer sounds off on the state's next move!
On Fox News Insider
What Will the Next Phase Be of the BP Oil Cleanup?
DNC Ad: GOP, Tea Party Are One and the Same
If the Midterm Elections Were Held Today...

CONGRATULATIONS - New Jersey's Senator Lautenberg is one of the 31 Senators who decided to sign the letter to Secretary Clinton requesting a UN Commission of Inquiry into crimes against humanity in Burma!

Senators get very few calls of gratitude. We urge you to call Senator Lautenberg's office and thank him for signing the letter. For more information about the letter, see below.

For Senator Lautenberg: Call Andrea Friedman at (202) 224-3224

Say "Thank you for signing the letter requesting a UN Commission of Inquiry into crimes against humanity in Burma!"

Or click here to send an email to Senator Lautenberg.

Many thanks to all Burma supporters in New Jersey.

Keep up the good work,

Background Information on the Commission of Inquiry Letter
The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Burma, Tomas Quintana, released a groundbreaking report to the UN Human Rights Council calling for an investigation into Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes in Burma, after nearly a year of being bombarded by our demands. This is the first time an acting UN official has called for such strong action.

Senators Feinstein (D-CA) and Gregg (R-NH) have sent a letter to their fellow Senators asking them to join them in sending a letter to Secretary Clinton to support UN action to investigate the Burmese regime's crimes against humanity.

Democratic governments such as the United Kingdom, Australia, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia already support the call for a UN-led Commission of Inquiry on Burma. Now, we need the United States government to get on board and be a strong voice supporting the establishment of an investigation into crimes against humanity in Burma.
On August 14th, join U.S. Campaign for Burma members for a screening of "Burma VJ," the Academy Award nominated film that documents the courageous video journalists(VJs) who risked their lives to cover Burma's Saffron Revolution in 2007.

To learn more about the film, click here

JavaFlix Movie Discussion Group is hosting. The film will be followed by a discussion with special guests from US Campaign for Burma.

Event Details:
Where: VCC Office and Cultural Center,
4523 Springfield Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19143
When: August 14th, 7:30pm
Contact: George Dougherty,

I hope that you are able to attend this event that's sure to be eye-opening!

Thank you for your continued support,
=== Comments ===
Gillard is less boa and more anaconda
Piers Akerman
PRIME Minister Julia Gillard does not wear the Cheryl Kernot red boa. - It is sad that Gillard made that choice at age 16. She has lived a life of denial, and soon she will reap the fruit of that lifestyle. I am sure there are many in Australia who think becoming PM is worth the trade, that one is expected to sacrifice much if they are to become PM. The truth is that she probably can't keep it. In fact, one has to give much if they are to be exalted. To sacrifice one's children is not to give, it is to deny one's own future. Children would have allowed that bitter lonely woman to grow. Right now, the back stabber is being white anted, and the ALP is divided from the top down. - ed.
Best of Dennis Miller in the No Spin Zone

LAURA INGRAHAM, GUEST HOST: In the "Miller Time" segment tonight: Our pal Dennis has the night off, but in his absence we decided to put together the best of Miller over the past few months. I suggest you buckle up for this ride. Roll the tape.
JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Man, you got to get down here and take control of this. Put somebody in charge of this thing and get this thing moving. We're about to die down here.
BILL O'REILLY: I couldn't get by the glasses. I don't know what he wants. What do you think?
DENNIS MILLER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Carville looks like a Muppet accidentally washed on hot. The guy makes Slade Gordon look like a sumo wrestler at this point.
When a guy says this is the moment -- you remember the speech when Barack Obama says this is the moment that the seas will drop and the planet will cease to warm? If you set up that sort of thing and then when it hits the fan, you can't do anything, like anybody else. BP can't do anything. The feds can't do anything. I don't know who is going to fix this, but it's disappointing to the left. He's just a guy. He's a guy from Chicago. He doesn't know what to do.
O'REILLY: Carville -- look, it's almost like Bush. The left screaming that Bush didn't care about Katrina and didn't go down to New Orleans quick enough and flew over on his way to San Diego, wherever he was going. Carville wants him down there. Carville wants him down there, I guess, with a rake and maybe a big, you know, swat in the water. But Carville wants him down there. That's what the deal is.
MILLER: You know, when stuff happens, it happens. And guess what? It reminds us we're a bit puny. I guess the only thing Barack can do at this point is maybe, what's it been, 35, 37 days? No doubt, he's so litigious, he'll probably sue the Greenwich Meantime Institute and tell them they've made days too short and he wants to move them to 27, 28 hours. What are we going to do? We'll figure it out until we can fix the pipe. All I know is this, ANWR is looking better, Billy.
O'REILLY: ANWR is looking good, absolutely.
MILLER: ANWR is looking good.
O'REILLY: Nobody knows about it. It freezes right away.
MILLER: Just get some paper towels. Get some paper towels.
O'REILLY: So how are they processing the firing of McChrystal? Do they understand it? What do they think?
MILLER: Think of McChrystal as Jack Nicholson in "A Few Good Men" and think of Obama as Tom Cruise in "A Few Good Men." I think McChrystal was percolating and he was going to blow because he thinks Obama has no code. I think that's all that happens.
O'REILLY: It might have been a subconscious thing, you know, anger one way or the other. To let this guy into the tent, Hastings from Rolling Stone, you're asking for it. But it made it easier for Barack Obama to replace him because he's got Petraeus to go to. He's got the big gun that saved Iraq. If he didn't have…
MILLER: Mariano Rivera, Billy. Mariano Rivera coming in from the pen.
O'REILLY: I think that's what the hidden story is here. That it's not good in Afghanistan right now. Our guys Hunt and Peters say it's not good there. So maybe we can upgrade this at the same time, so why not do it. But the real crux of the matter is the macho factor here. If Obama allows one of his generals to denigrate him and his guys, he losses all macho, does he not?
MILLER: There are a bunch of things that went into the decision, like you said the macho posturing and the fact that Karzai said he wanted him on board. I think Barack Obama likes to keep Karzai a cat on a hot tin roof, a little skittish over there.
O'REILLY: Espania defeats Germany, Deutschland, today.
MILLER: You know what makes me laugh about the World Cup, Bill? These refs are more inept than the people trying to cap the spill down there. That's a bad referee thing and they try to paint it all sexy as soccer in the ads. But I don't know how sexy is it when a guy says, "I just participated in a 0-0 tie." You know, it's just not that sexy. I can miss an entire game and see all the scoring that the guy who watches the whole game sees. I mean, what's going on here?
O'REILLY: I know that. There was the highlight. We saw the highlight on "The Factor" and nobody else does anything. That's what it was. But you're missing the artistry of kicking the ball up and down. It's a highly skilled game. It is a highly skilled game. But Americans, they want razzmatazz. That's what we want and that's just not it.
MILLER: Enough with the horns! I get it!
O'REILLY: Miller has been following the Iranian space launch. Miller is the only human being on Earth following this. I want an updated report from you.
MILLER: Well, all I know, Bill, is when a sexually repressed Islamic regime either literally or figuratively fires a worm into outer space, I'm happy about it because it siphons off some of that diverted libidinal rage they're feeling. More power to them over there sending that worm into outer space.
O'REILLY: So somehow, Miller, you have arrived at the conclusion that the Iranian space program is connected to their libido.
MILLER: Yes. Let the kids play for a while. Maybe they'll get Betamax next month.
Tim Blair
The 2010 federal election is now officially hilarious:
Cheryl Kernot is taking another tilt in politics and standing as an independent senator for New South Wales.

ABC News 24 understands Cheryl Kernot plans to run under the banner “Change politics”.
She previously ran under the banner “change parties”.
UPDATE. A tough break for Kevin Rudd:
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has been admitted to hospital in Brisbane and will undergo an operation to remove his gall bladder on Friday.
Tim Blair
Five lucky climateers are set to earn almost as much as the Prime Minister:
The five climate change experts Julia Gillard hopes to inform public opinion on the issue will be paid an average of $300,000 a year.
It’s a four-year deal, so these temperature talkers will be rolling in it. The hours don’t sound too difficult:
Part of the commission’s role will be to assist the 150-member Citizen’s Assembly, a group designed to find a consensus on the issue.

The costing request shows the government expects the assembly to meet three times, the first being later this year and then twice more by the middle of 2012. The government expects its plan to cost $2.7 million.
Who will be the chosen five?

UPDATE. Henry Ergas on the citizens’ assembly:
It undermines both the preconditions that make for good government. It avoids taking a stance on a crucial issue, thus circumventing the bases of political accountability. At the same time, it empanels what amounts to a jury, but without the safeguards indispensable for jury processes to have legitimacy.
But it will make five clowns rich.

UPDATE II. The global warming movement is kaput! Finito! Done!
Big Nanny pushes us off our bike
Andrew Bolt
SEE Melbourne’s ranks of unused blue bikes? Proof that too much government fussing over your health makes you fat.

And, boy, no one fusses more than does a Victorian Government.

We are Australia’s nanny state, which is why our new $5.5 million Melbourne Bike Share has a giant spoke in its wheel.

Most cities around the world with such a scheme - a network of docking stations of hire bikes - have found it works a treat. Take Montreal, a city Melbourne’s size, which in its first five months logged a million rides.

But Melbourne? Two months after parking 600 bikes in 50 docking stations in the city, the Government has sold just 70 rides a day.

The reason is as simple as it was predictable, and Melbourne Bike Share’s own surveys picked it up as the most cited disincentive: it’s having to wear a helmet.

Victoria’s politicians decree that no one may cycle without foam and plastic strapped to their noggin. Penalty: $146.

Never mind that as an adult you’re able to figure whether the risk of cracking your skull on the asphalt is a small price to pay for the convenience of cycling without a helmet. On impulse.

The state says it knows better. No helmet, no ride. For your own good. Even if it’s not.

It’s offensive bullying, and no other city with a bike scheme like ours is so impertinent. Mexico even scrapped helmet laws to make its system work.

It’s a no-brainer. Who carries a helmet on the off chance they will hire a bike? Which tourists pack one for a trip here?

And who’d want to rent one that’s been drenched with someone’s sweat, speckled with their dandruff, slickened with their gel or infested with their nits?
Gillard is a racist because she held a white baby
Andrew Bolt
Suvendrini Perera, associate professor of cultural studies at Curtin University, is alarmed that Julia Gillard kissed a white baby:
The day after the election announcement, several newspapers featured front-page photos of the Prime Minister, garbed all in white, and her (male) deputy - each bearing an exceptionally robust looking, if slightly bemused, white infant in their arms. If the central issue of the election is population, these images of the - reconstructed and thoroughly contemporary - white heterosexual family underscore that the lowering of the birth rate is off the agenda…

The ideal of the remade white heterosexual Australian family represented by Gillard and Wayne Swan at a baby welcome ceremony reaffirms the way in which the reproduction of the population is inextricably bound up with the reproduction of an established political and social order. The image stages an unspoken but unmistakeable return to the defining characteristic of Australia as a nation-state built on whiteness, and dedicated to the reproduction of the racial order established at Federation. Within this order, non-white bodies may be present, and even attain positions of relative power and prominence; however, their presence is one that must remain subject to continuing containment, subordination or assimilation…

Make no mistake: there is a deep internal consistency to the population ‘’debate’’. Beneath the facade of a thoroughly modern, optimistic and relentlessly ‘’forward-moving’’ Prime Minister is a campaign that returns us to the ‘’race election’’ threatened by John Howard in the 1990s.

Can Australia move forward from the exclusionary politics of race? Certainly not with a Prime Minister whose ‘’right kind of migrant’’ is a reproduction of her own image.
Some people should really get over themselves. Has she considered that Gillard simply kissed whatever baby was pushed at her, and to refuse a kiss to a white one - as Perera seems to demand - might have seemed not just racist, but a sign of madness?

Oh, and it hardly needs saying, but this article appeared in The Age. Foucault is quote, which is always a giveaway.
Labor stumbles, and it’s now neck and neck
Andrew Bolt
I still believe Labor to be ahead, yet this latest Galaxy poll would make it very, very worried:
The latest Galaxy poll of 800 voters, taken on Wednesday night for Channel 9, has Labor and the Coalition tied at 50-50 on a two-party preferred basis.

The previous Galaxy poll at the weekend had Labor leading 52-48. Labor’s primary vote slipped from 38 to 37 per cent; the Coalition’s has climbed from 41 to 43 per cent.

For Mr Abbott, 37 per cent regard him as the better PM (up from 35); Ms Gillard’s standing has tumbled six points to 49 per cent.
The Liberals had a bad first week, hampered by lack of cash and the (partly in consequence) campaign disorganisation, not to mention Tony Abbott’s stumbles as he attempted to bury the WorkChoices issue.

But Labor’s second week, ever since Abbott won the debate, has been little short of a disaster. There’s been the leaks, the boat, Abbott’s gazzumping on tax, the new campaign by the miners ... WorkChoices is played out as a news story and the Liberals now seem somewhat better organised, if still chronically short of cash for ads. The only undoubted positive for Labor this week is the 13-page election advertisement published by Women’s Weekly, and Gillard’s impressive spin in response to the leak that she questioned a pension rise on the alleged grounds that pensioners vote Liberal.

The worry for Labor is that Abbott is more likely to surprise by performing well, and Gillard to surprise by stumbling. To see that isn’t just to point to the more shiftable parts of the votes, but to where the more interesting news angles - the “memes” - are buried. Then there’s the biggest question of the campaign: how much more leaking can Gillard expect from the Labor rat who’s been killing her in this first two weeks?

Dennis Shanahan:
THIS week Julia Gillard appeared with a million-dollar makeover on the cover of The Australian Women’s Weekly.

Our first female Prime Minister looked more like a supermodel than a cabinet minister. But it’s Tony Abbott who is beginning to look better as the election campaign moves on.The Leader of the Opposition, who started the campaign way behind and with low expectations, has proved to be far more disciplined than anticipated and is beginning to truly look like an alternative prime minister.

I suspect “moving forward” is going backwards:

According to Chris Pash of Dow Jones, “Cliche of the Week” columnist for The Australian, Gillard has used “moving forward” 1500 times in the past month. It spiked in the first two days of the campaign and has been dropping off since, but is currently running at an average 25 mentions a day.

For his part, Tony Abbott is a prolific user of “fair dinkum”—238 in the past month, with the phrase spiking in usage this week.

If we called our bashed civilians “refugees”, the Age might be less sniffy
Andrew Bolt
The Age treats with disdain the attempts by both parties to answer a clear public demand to be better protected from rising violence:
Campaign descends into law-and-order brawl
Mathieson snapped at last
Andrew Bolt
Rare news - trivial yet unhelpful - of a man Labor is keeping well-hidden:
PRIME Minister Julia Gillard’s car has been snapped twice by police in the past six months with her de facto Tim Mathieson at the wheel.

Ms Gillard’s taxpayer-funded private car, a Toyota Camry, was detected by a speed camera on a Victorian road in January and snapped going through a red light more recently. It’s understood the second traffic infringement happened in March…

Ms Gillard’s minders were furious the information had been leaked as she fights a difficult battle for power…

The incidents aren’t the first brush with the law for Mr Mathieson, who lost his licence after a car crash and drink driving charge about 10 years ago.
It’s about the only picture taken of Mathieson in the past few months.


Reader John from Bundoora:

Looks like he was ‘moving foward’ a little too quickly.
Latham accuses Rudd the “snake”
Andrew Bolt
Latham lets fly on a man he’s long despised:
FORMER Labor leader Mark Latham insisted last night that Kevin Rudd was behind damaging leaks against Julia Gillard and condemned the behaviour as cowardly, “the snake’s way”, unmanly and “beneath an Aussie bloke”.

Mr Latham told Sky News no prime minister had loved the job more than Mr Rudd, who greatly enjoyed meeting foreign leaders such as US President Barack Obama. Labor was living with the consequence of taking away from Mr Rudd the thing he loved most, Mr Latham said.

And he said Mr Rudd was humiliated by being left on the back bench by Ms Gillard.

“If he can’t have it, no one else will,” Mr Latham said. “There’s also a cowardice to it.”

Who could possibly benefit from this latest leak to one of Kevin Rudd’s favourite sources?
Labor has asked the former prime minister, Kevin Rudd, to campaign for the party outside his own seat, but he has asked for time to consider the request.

Labor strategists believe the former prime minister is an asset for the party in Queensland, where the federal government is most vulnerable.

The Herald/Nielsen poll last week suggested Labor could lose up to 10 seats in Mr Rudd’s home state. If Labor loses 13 seats nationally it is out of power.
(Thanks to readers FOEHN and Pira.)