So which one?


Which Republican presidential nominee?

Having just spent an hour or so watching the New Hampshire GOP Republican debate, having gleaned various tidbits over the internet since a while back, I can honestly say I don’t know.

Yet.

In comments at that link, Ron Paul’s supporters come across as a tad too fervent, as does Paul himself. He just comes across as a bit whiney. Quick to complain about a problem but a bit wishy washy with any solutions.

Romney arguably won, but he comes off as Obama-lite+religion. He’s big government but I will say he’s tending to own his opponents. He does look presidential and has the establishment’s backing… not necessarily a good thing when up against Obama who REALLY has the Establishment’s backing and REALLY (at least) talks presidential (except here where he sounds about as formidable as Julia Gillard). Read the rest of this entry »

Townhall meeting coming to a venue near you


OK, so PM Gillard reckons The Debate We Never Had™ is over, but that doesn’t mean – oh no siree – that folks aren’t standing up to have their say.

A townhall meeting in Brisbane:

Mr Hockey said merchants at a Brisbane market this morning told him they would not be able to pass on the cost of an estimated 10 per cent rise in electricity without sacking staff.

“Time and time again, as we went past every store, all the workers were coming out and saying ‘you have to stop this tax’,” he said.

Read on.

Agreed, Jill Singer: the nonsense has to stop


Jill Singer supports a carbon (dioxide!) tax. Unfortunately, she shows a complete ignorance of the real science behind the politics.

THE “debate” over a carbon tax in Australia has become high farce.

Indeed it has. The Left seem to think that taxing the bejesus out of a trace gas will somehow save a planet that doesn’t need saving. Jill and her ilk fail to realise CO2 is only a minor greenhouse gas at that. It makes up only 0.04% of our atmosphere. Most of it is natural. The sceptical side has man-made CO2 at 3% or about 0.001% of our atmosphere. The alarmist side puts man-made CO2 at ten times higher. But so what? That means man-made CO2 would occupy 0.01% of our atmosphere.

There’s no way Man’s small contribution to a minor greenhouse trace gas – yet an essential gas, most of it naturally occurring – can be the main driver of climate. That hypothesis is, to use Jill’s words, a “high farce”.

Read more of this post

Downer calls for Taliban negotiations


At first glance, this is a particularly unpalatable notion, but perhaps the Realpolitik of the situation warrants such a change of strategy.

THE initial objective of the invasion of Afghanistan has been achieved and it’s time for a diplomatic settlement involving the Taliban and their Pakistani creators, says former foreign minister Alexander Downer.

In an article entitled “Our messy war” published in The Spectator ahead of the parliamentary debate on Afghanistan, Mr Downer said the initial military goal was to destroy al-Qaeda’s capacity to use Afghanistan as a base for attacks on the US and other western targets.

“That goal was achieved. Al-Qaeda was destroyed in Afghanistan. As time has passed there has been mission creep,” he said.

Mr Downer said the task now was apparently to improve the quality of democracy and security, but that was proving perilously difficult as Afghanistan had never been competently governed by an administration based in Kabul.

However, on the one hand we see reports of a decimated Taliban having endured a near decade-long “arse-kicking”. Their best commanders are either dead or captured and what’s left is literally a rag tag army.

Thus, why negotiate now? Rather, seizing the jugular (g’day, reader Carpe Jugulum ;-)!) would appear to be the more effective option in the long-run.

But then there are the reports of a wishy-washy US president who even after an Iraqi-style troop surge- which has arguably been a success, just like in Iraq - still appears to not really know what to do.

American Spectator’s Alfred S. Regnery:

Afghanistan is often called the “graveyard of empires.” It is also Barack Obama’s Achilles’ heel. He has nobody to blame but himself.

Afghanistan has little strategic value and the war is one of choice rather than necessity. Now, at the end of a wasteful and frustrating decade, our objective is to end the fighting and leave a measure of stability behind. But clarifying even this simple goal seems more than the Obama administration can handle.

That’s probably why Downer is calling for a deal. Regnery’s piece goes on to remind us that Afghanistan, hardly a nation, is but really a collection of tribes, rooted in the middle ages, and certainly not a prime candidate for nation-building.

Still, something doesn’t sit right. Even with Al-Qaeda taken care of over there, what’s to say they wouldn’t re-emerge – and quickly? A deal and/or pull-out would likely inspire Islamic terrorist forces around the globe. And just how much could you expect a “legitimised” Taliban to keep up their end of any bargain?

The Australian parliament is set to debate the Afghanistan War this Tuesday. Yet with the major government power-broker, Greens’ leader Bob Brown, not even having been there, it seems folly to have this debate just now even if both, generally speaking, the ALP and Liberals are committed to the war.

You’d think the best course of action would be to head the advice of the generals on the ground. Bob Brown flies in the face of this, however.

“We have to take what our army commanders are saying into account here but then I have letters from relatives of troops who are in Afghanistan or going to Afghanistan who do not want their loved ones sent to what they see as a hopeless war,” he told ABC Television.

A US debate over what step to take next is scheduled for December.

Faced with a White House war review due in December and decreasing public support for the war back home, the U.S. military is not in a position to hold back. The current phase of operations is geared to make a statement: drive the fight as aggressively as possible and rout the Taliban in their own backyard. Looking forward, commanders posit that improved civilian freedom of movement and a stronger government presence will be reliable gauges of progress. But it remains to be seen just what metrics will be enough to convince the Obama Administration that serious money and manpower should be poured into a conflict now entering its 10th year.

Whatever the powers-that-be decide, now is a good time for Western forces to strike hard while the iron is hot. One reason is purely military in nature: the Taliban is at its knees. The other reason is purely political in nature: Obama and other Western politicians appear to be at their knees.

A deal with the Taliban?

Picture source: Taliban feud over murder of Polish hostage


cross-posted

I Want Your Money


It’s a new film coming out that takes a look at recent US government spending.

H/T RWB

cross-posted

Lobely Lefties


I posted this at my own personal site yesterday, but since no one else is posting here, I thought it’d be worth a run.

Hyar she blows…

This was first brought to general attention yesterday. It’s about halfway down the page. LOBES!!! After further research, it is clear there definitely IS something between Leftards and their ears. It is clear that there IS more to it than the well-known Lefty head tilt. Photo analysis proves this to be true. That’s NSW Green Party would-be senator Lee Rhiannon. Her parents were commies. However, Reds under the beds with lobes like robes is not by any means a one-off phenomenon. More photographic evidence under the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Desperate Left


A bunch of Lefties at the California State University have sifted through Sarah Palin’s trash to find out the details of her speaking engagements contract, handed it to a local Democrat pollie, who dutifully handed it to their propaganda department the media. And now Democrat California Attorney General, Jerry Brown is investigating.

Gee, nothing desperate going on there.

And as for Palin’s speeches, shock horror, she makes some decent coin from them – and with a few perks thrown in. We’re talking $100,000 bucks a speech.

OMG, it’s “embarrassing” writes Tim Reid at The Times and reprinted in The Australian.

Yes, it is. Even I’m embarrassed that the Left is getting so desperate nowadays. Noteable also is that the Australian places Reid’s article in the “news” section.

Bollocks his article is “news”.

SARAH Palin faced embarrassing revelations yesterday about lavish demands that she makes before speaking engagements, including first-class air travel or large private jets, suites in hotels and even bendable straws in her water bottles.

The latest revelation will do little to damage her reputation among the party’s grassroots activists, who view her as a straight-talking hero, but it undercuts her claim to be a down-to-earth “hockey mom” who is fighting for ordinary working Americans.

Sounds more like Leftist opinion to me, and a media beat-up, Chris Mitchell.

Anyway, let’s just have a look at who earns the big bucks for speaking engagements. There’s Al Gore who gets over $250,000 to peddle speculation. Australia’s Tim Flannery get’s $50,000 to do the same.

And here’s a tidy list from the website whose company drew up Palin’s contract.

The following receive upwards of $40,000 per engagement. Is Palin’s deal out of the ordinary?

Read the rest of this entry »

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