Thursday, November 30, 2006
KEVIN MAKES HIS MOVE
Kim Beazley and Kevin Rudd duke it out for ALP leadership:
Walking into a meeting of the national executive in Canberra today, Mr Beazley announced Mr Rudd, foreign affairs spokesman, had approached him earlier to ask Mr Beazley to hold a leadership ballot.
"Kevin Rudd approached me this morning and said that he indicated that he wanted a ballot in regard to my position” Mr Beazley said.
Mr Beazley will call for a spill of all party leadership positions at a special caucus meeting on Monday.
"I will contest it (the ballot),” Mr Beazley said.
"I have the experience to be the alternative prime minister of this nation and therefore to be the prime minister of this nation.
"I have done the hard yards in politics."
Kevin Rudd has not yet made a public statement.
For such small mercies we are deeply grateful. More on this colossal war of the supertitans from Malcolm Farr.
UPDATE. A letter in today’s SMH: “Kim Beazley will really miss the yellow Mr Squiggle.”
UPDATE II. Beazley told to quit politics if he loses.
UPDATE III. Iemma supports Kim; Beattie likes li’l Kevin.
UPDATE IV. The dream team emerges from hiding.
FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
Tragically, Glenn failed to land a solid punch:
The annual Walkley Awards for journalism were rocked by an attack on stage tonight at the Crown Casino in Melbourne.
Controversial crikey.com.au writer Stephen Mayne was attacked by Sunday Telegraph columnist Glenn Milne.
Mayne had just finished awarding the best business news report to the Australian Financial Review’s Morgan Mellish when Milne rushed up onto the stage and accosted Mayne, pushing him off the platform and onto the floor.
Milne then began berating Mayne from the stage as the audience, which consisted of a representation of Australia’s top journalists, looked on horrified.
Milne called Mayne “a disgrace” and continued to abuse him from the stage, while the floor manager rushed to restrain him.
Mayne jumped back on stage but Milne almost broke free from the clutches of the floor manager, forcing Mayne to jump from the stage.
Mayne was yards away from his short, cancer-recovering attacker when he was “forced” from the stage. That leap of fright was priceless.
UPDATE. The complete list of Walkley winners. One or two unexpected names among them, massively outnumbered by the usual Walkley crawlers.
UPDATE II. Excellent comments from C.L. and Murph.
UPDATE III. Scared Stephen seeks shelter from his towering foe.
UPDATE V. A News Ltd. pal emails: “I do think Stephen Mayne deserves more respect. After all, he did found SCARDEYCAT.COM and was a deserved recipient of a recent Big Girl’s Blouse Award.”
The latest high jinx from The Age came when senior news editor Patrick Smithers, usually very patient, shocked the evening editorial floor when he yelled and hurled his mobile phone across the room, apparently after one too many calls from editor-in-chief Andrew Jaspan. One of Jaspan’s habits is to demand every story be printed because he is not yet competent on the computer system.
Please, Andrew. Think of the trees.
MOCK WITH FREEDOM
Attorney-General Philip Ruddock is working to ensure that patriotic Australians will be free to mock the English cricket team without the threat of lawsuits.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
NRO’s Claudia Rosett reviews the Cole Royal Commission:
While most of the alleged collaborators in Saddam’s global web of graft get a free pass, we have headlines about corruption in one of the few countries honest enough to conduct a public investigation — Australia. The silver lining is that the scandal may result in the breakup of the Australian Wheat Board, Australia’s domestic monopoly buyer of bulk wheat for export.
My firm acted for Howard, Vaile, Downer and their respective departments and agencies in the Cole Inquiry. I managed the team that prepared the matter, took statements from them, sat with them for hours over the course of weeks going through documents and file notes prior to their evidence.
Never once did I see a single indication from anything said, done or written that they had the faintest idea what AWB were up to. I saw plenty that suggested senior AWB Execs knew exactly what was going on and that they were desperate to keep it hushed from anyone outside and most within the company.
UPDATE. We are all doomed. Well, most of us.
(Via Garth Godsman)
ACADEMIC KNOWS ALL
Perfesser John Quiggin prior to the Cole Royal Commission:
Both Downer and Howard knew that the AWB was paying kickbacks to the Iraqi regime.
The findings of the Cole Royal Commission:
There is no evidence that any of the Prime Minister, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Trade or the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry were ever informed about, or otherwise acquired knowledge of, the relevant activities of AWB.
Perfesser John Quiggin after the Cole Royal Commission:
My predictions at the start have been borne out almost entirely.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
EARTH TOO PRODUCTIVE
Who said environmentalists were sexless and prudish?
Greenhouse gas may not be very sexy, but a group of self-proclaimed “ecobabes” in Sonoma County found a unique way to bring out global warming’s naughty side—posing for a pinup calendar.
HOT! Er, I mean, warm. Er, climate changed.
The 12 female environmentalists were photographed—fully clothed, for the most part—in an effort to raise money for the Climate Protection Campaign of Sonoma County and seduce the public into reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Oh, it’ll reduce emissions. No question of that.
The pictures are not nearly as racy as Playboy or even Sports Illustrated’s famous swimsuit issue. The models are seen reclining amid flowers, prancing around in hot [climate change—ed] pants, lounging pensively on a pier or, in the case of the cover girl, showing her body in silhouette behind a shroud.
Aside from a few thighs and a vague hint of cleavage, there is precious little skin in the 2007 ecobabes calendar.
Thank God for that. Yet sister environmentaloids are offended:
Titillating as it is, the calendar has turned off some environmentalists. The Northcoast Environmental Center, based in the Humboldt County town of Arcata, refused to display the calendars in its popular eco-boutique.
"I felt it was objectifying women and using their bodies to make money,” said Alisha Clompus, 26, an artist and anthropologist who is office manager for the Northcoast center. “It’s like making money off another form of oppression."
The day I invent a name so splendidly, drearily evocative as “Alisha Clompus”, I’m outta here. It simply can’t be beat. Let’s see what these fully-clothed ecobabes have to say for themselves:
I eat chocolate almost everyday, and that’s not grown in my bioregion, so I suppose that could be considered a serious eco-confession.
Hit nonbioregiondietconfessions.com for further sassy online choc-chat.
When I look at a bird, I reflect on its role in the ecosystem. If we lose that bird we lose not only its beauty, but also the services it provides to the world and therefore to us all.
Birds as service providers. Hadn’t previously thought of them in that role, which is possibly only because they don’t actually provide any services.
We’re here where we are. I feel I am here because I’m supposed to be here. Whatever the circumstance is, I’m supposed to be.
Should be an interesting court case if Eydie ever presses charges against someone who assaults her.
THEY OPPOSE THE WAR, SO WHY DON'T PEOPLE LOVE THEM?
John Kerry plunges:
Free Fall Guy comes in dead last in poll of top pols’ popularity.
Kim Beazley dives:
Voter satisfaction with Kim Beazley’s leadership has slumped to its lowest level for eight months …
These guys should try another line of work. Like, for example, work.
Monday, November 27, 2006
GUN LAWS TIGHTER, GUN CRIMES UP
In Sydney, only outlaws have guns:
Crime in the NSW capital is on the way up for the first time in six years - with a 71 per cent increase in gun crime in parts of western Sydney.
TRAPPED IN THE PAST
Writing in the New York Times, Seth Mydans urges that people get over the Vietnam War. Particularly Vietnamese people who fought against communism:
Some old soldiers don’t even fade away. They keep on fighting, trapped in their own past as the world around them changes, ghosts of a long-dead war.
Long dead? Not in the New York Times, it isn’t.
My, but protesters had an easy time of it during the recent G20 summit in Melbourne. Let’s see them try it on at another summit in the Philippines next month, where Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez promises a jolly response to any antics:
The Philippines media quoted Mr Gonzalez over the weekend as saying he had received intelligence reports that domestic leftists and international activist groups would attempt to spoil the meeting.
"We will not allow that here. We will throw them into the Mactan Straits and let the sharks eat them there,” Mr Gonzalez said.
GLOBAL WARMING TAKES A HOLIDAY
Hours after the hammering of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, insane author Ross Gelbspan wrote this for the Boston Globe:
The hurricane that struck Louisiana yesterday was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service. Its real name is global warming.
Read on; Gelbspan believes everything is caused by global warming, from two-foot snowfalls in LA to nuclear shutdowns in Scandinavia. Steal his Prius and within seconds Gelbspan would conjure a climate-related cause. But how to explain recent hurricane data?
With cataclysmic predictions that hurricanes would swarm from the tropics like termites, no one thought 2006 would be the most tranquil season in a decade.
Barring a last-second surprise from the tropics, the season will end Thursday with nine named storms, and only five of those hurricanes. This year is the first season since 1997 that only one storm nudged its way into the Gulf of Mexico.
Somewhere—possibly in front of a mirror—James Wolcott is crying. More from Gelbspan:
As a Bostonian, I am afraid that the coming winter will—like last winter—be unusually short and devastatingly severe.
In fact, Boston’s 2005-6 winter was exceptionally gentle, recording only a fifth of the previous winter’s snow. I blame global milding.
NOT WORK SAFE ... ESPECIALLY FOR THE WORKER
It’s waxual harassment at Madame Tussauds!
(Via reader Alex)