Open Thread

A Girls's Best Friend

According to the Daily Telegraph – Chaz jumped from his rescuers’ car and into the arms of Mr Barr, who struggled to hold back tears. Apparently Jen’s sister (the girl on the ground with her feet in the air) said:

He’s an amazing boy.

Jen – good to see you back on the page and good to see your sister’s ok too!

Hugs all around.


947 replies on “A Girls's Best Friend”

Morning Gang,
Good to see you made it through another dangerous day, jen.
I think Obi could use Kevvy very effectively in bringing China on board with Climate Change. Europeans(gweilos) and their progeny have heaped serial humiliations upon the Chinese for centuries. When Nixon went cap in hand to Beijing to nail the Cathay franchise for Pepsi-cola etc., from coolie to Chairman, China was chuffed. Same thing when Kevvy laid Mandarin on the Chinese heavies at the Chaser-APEC Fiesta in Sydney last year. It’s the PUBLIC gesture that means so much to a people who have been hard done by colonially, having once been Masters of the Known Universe. (cf. G. Khan & Associates)

A recent change germane to The Big Picture and barely mentioned in the media was Rudd’s appointment this week of a new ASIO chief who is also fluent in Mandarin and, wouldn’t you just know it, an old chum of Ruddster from shared days as diplomats. Spys, embassy attaches and businesmen have always had mutual interests, most of them beneficial.

Howard appointed Paul O’Sullivan, a former shit-kicker on the international diplomatic satellite circuit, because he could be trusted to do what he was told without kerfuffle. Paul has always been very big on Empire’s imperatives.
After Rudd was elected, O’Sullivan saw the folly of persuing Mohammad Haneef and with Federal mug copper, Mick Kelty, still refusing to let it go, O’Sullivan, in a traditionally rare public appearance, said some months back that Haneef was no longer a person of interest to ASIO. Still, high commissioner to Kiwi land should keep Paul close to a decent pinot noir while he’s pondering the memoirs of John Kerr and Richard Butler.

So if Obi is really fair dinkum about facing up to Climate Change and its devastating consequences then he could do far worse than use Pixie as a go-to guy in dealing with Chinese authorities.


Gaffy, apart from booze and blogging, what else does a fellah do to avoid going troppo in big wets?

Kirri, I swear my MoU was written synchonously!
Here’s a corker of a insider gut-spill on The Royal Scam.

How Could 9,000 Business Reporters Blow It?

A former Wall Street Journal writer dissects why business reporters bought the bull—and missed the biggest story on their beat.
—By Dean Starkman

………Penelope Muse Abernathy, a (WS)Journal executive until 2006 and now a professor of media economics at Chapel Hill, says the late-1990s economic expansion fed a virtuous cycle in which profits funded good journalism that would attract more readers and profit. “If you were a business reporter, these were the gravy train days,” she says.
Indeed. I rode in black cars, lunched at all the places you read about, and more than once flew across the country to report a 1,200-word story. Every year, Dow Jones dropped an amount equivalent to 15 percent of my gross pay into a pension account, just like that. When I picked up the Journal on my doorstep in the late 1990s, the Monday edition was the size of the Brooklyn phone book.
But not for long.

How funny…Steve Keen quotes, of all people, Karl Marx:

“Talk about centralisation! The credit system, which has its focus in the so-called national banks and the big money-lenders and usurers surrounding them, constitutes enormous centralisation, and gives this class of parasites the fabulous power, not only to periodically despoil industrial capitalists, but also to interfere in actual production in a most dangerous manner— and this gang knows nothing about production and has nothing to do with it.”

…and comments that Karl may have been wrong about a lot things, but he got this bit absolutely right! LOL

I’m half way through this long article by Steve Keen, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to understand why neoclassical economics utterly failed to describe the world we lived in:

…and why Big Ben cannot inflate his way out of trouble.

It’s a very profound rethink of the model which puts the government’s creating of the money supply in charge, to one that sees it’s really the tail, and the dog is the creation of credit by banks. The dog wags the tail, NOT the other way around.

So Milton Friedman and his acolytes completely misunderstood what was happening, and ultimately, we are now where we are largely because of it.

A fascinating, easy to read explanation of how the madly exponential creation of credit buggered the planet.

VIDEO: Ad: Rush, GOP root for failure.
A pair of liberal groups are launching an ad campaign Friday portraying Republicans as an obstructionist party beholden to Rush Limbaugh.

The commercial, paid for by Americans United for Change and AFSCME, shows a series of GOP congressional leaders saying “no” to President Obama’s stimulus plan and, more broadly, his effort to revive the economy.

“So who are Republican leaders listening to?” asks the narrator before showing an image of Limbaugh in his studio.

“I want him to fail,” says the conservative talker.

The ad will air in Washington, D.C. and on national cable.

Limbaugh said he had become the Democrats’ new whipping boy.

“The Left needs demons in order to distract people from what they are really doing,” he wrote in an e-mail to POLITICO. “Bush is gone, hello me, because I don’t back down.”

see the video on Politico

Reid: Coleman should concede.
Senate Democratic leaders said Thursday they were prepared to seat Al Franken as soon as the beginning of April, regardless whether Republican Norm Coleman files legal appeals.

“We’re feeling pretty confident,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said when asked in a news conference if he was prepared to make Franken a senator.

But Senate Republicans are already threatening to filibuster any attempt to seat Franken, who would represent the 59th Democratic vote in the Senate.

“Nothing could unify Republicans better than any attempt to try to seat Al Franken,” said Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

more on Politico

Jim Bunning Threatens To Resign From Senate To Hurt GOP.
The Louisville Courier-Journal has another bombshell about Sen. Jim Bunning, the embattled Republican who is increasingly going rogue in an effort to hold onto his seat.

In recent weeks, Senate Republican leaders have walked right up to the edge of declaring open war on Bunning. Minority Leader (and fellow Kentucky senator) Mitch McConnell and others reportedly believe Bunning is likely to lose his reelection race in 2010, and so are trying to nudge him into retirement by sending signals that the party establishment will not back him.

Bunning has responded aggressively, threatening to sue the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm if it doesn’t fully back his reelection.

And now the latest: Bunning “reportedly said privately that if he is hindered in raising money for his re-election campaign he is ready with a response that would be politically devastating for Senate Republicans: his resignation.”

read the whole kit a caboodle on The Huffington Post

Jen @ 897

I agree – in fact, I think it is doubtful that Jenny Macklin would have announced that they were going to reinstate Racial Discrimination Act (sometime in July) if it wasn’t for Obama.

While there are many worthy characteristics about Kevin Rudd, I think he is still stuck in the old paradigm of following opinion polls, whereas Barack Obama is a true leader, who explains his policies and is blessed with the rhetorical skills to make it understood by the majority.

Obama May Overturn Bush ‘Conscience Rule’ On Abortions.
President Barack Obama plans to repeal a Bush administration rule that has become a flash point in the debate over a doctor’s right not to participate in abortions. The regulation, instituted in the last days of the Bush administration, strengthened job protections for doctors and nurses who refuse to provide a medical service because of moral qualms.

A Health and Human Services official said Friday the administration will publish notice of its intentions early next week, opening a 30-day comment period for advocates on both sides, medical groups and the public.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the notice has not been completed.

find the whole article on the Huffington Post

Raw nerves ahead of snap EU summit.
EU member states will in Brussels on Sunday (1 March) gather for a high stakes summit that will test the bloc’s ability to pull together in the face of the economic crisis.

Pre-summit signs have not been encouraging. With unemployment rising, production going down and the financial turmoil intensifying, governments have reached for national solutions.

The results have threatened the functioning of the internal market, the cornerstone on which the European Union is built.

The European Commission is currently examining government aid for the car industry in six countries – Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden and the UK – to make sure it does not breach state aid rules.

more of this article in the EU Observer

Nordic Council report backs EU and euro entry.
As the prime ministers of all the Nordic countries met in Iceland to discuss the financial crisis, a report published by the Nordic Council on Thursday (26 February) said the crisis should lead to a review of whether all Nordic states should join the eurozone and the EU.
“The experience of the Nordic countries in the current crisis …leads to a need to review whether the other Nordic countries would be better off to follow the Finnish example and join the euro-zone,” reads the Nordic Globalisation Barometer 2009 report, Global Pressure – Nordic Solutions?
The Nordic Council of Ministers, bringing together the premiers of all the Nordic countries as well as delegations from associate members Greenland, the Faroe Islands and the Aland Islands, is currently meeting just outside Reykjavik for its second annual globalisation forum.

more of this article in the EU Observer


Word from the Porn Belt: Do as I Say, Not as I Do.
From the File of Things That Really Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone Who’s Been Paying Attention to American Culture, we have this:

A new nationwide study (pdf) of anonymised credit-card receipts from a major online adult entertainment provider finds little variation in consumption between states.

“When it comes to adult entertainment, it seems people are more the same than different,” says Benjamin Edelman at Harvard Business School.

However, there are some trends to be seen in the data. Those states that do consume the most porn tend to be more conservative and religious than states with lower levels of consumption, the study finds.

“Some of the people who are most outraged turn out to be consumers of the very things they claimed to be outraged by,” Edelman says.

It turns out that Utah is the nation’s leading consumer of broadband pornography. Which is deliciously ironic news considering that Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, a godbotherer of the Mormon persuasion, just spent a few weeks stonewalling the Senate Judiciary Committee with his hissy kabuki over the nomination of David Ogden for Deputy Attorney General. Why? Because Ogden — GASP! — worked for pornographers! (That’s what Orrin Hatch calls it when somebody does legal work on First Amendment issues and Playboy magazine is footing the bill.)


read the rest of this filthy stuff on Fire Dog Lake

At CPAC, Jim DeMint Urges Conservatives to “Take to the Streets” to Stop Obama’s “Socialism”.
Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, the only member of the senate to earn a perfect rating from the American Conservative Union, called President Obama “the world’s best salesman of socialism” on Friday in describing his prime time speech earlier this week.

DeMint, a fierce opponent of government expansion, told the CPAC crowd that conservatives might have to “take to the streets to stop America’s slide into socialism.”

read the rest on Fire Dog Lake

Every Vote Counts in Crowded Primary for Emanuel’s House Seat.
hicago’s North Side will be bone-chillingly cold during the final days before the special election primary on March 3. But the nearly two dozen candidates to succeed Rep. Rahm Emanuel have no choice but to pound that pavement.

Both parties’ fields are jam-packed because of the unexpected opportunity created when Emanuel left his seat in Congress to become White House chief of staff.

There are 12 candidates just in the Democratic primary, which will produce the odds-on favorite for the April 7 general election in the overwhelmingly Democratic Fifth Congressional District.

The outcome in such a crowded field is hard to predict because of the uncertainty about how many people will show up at the polls.

Voter participation for special elections tends to be well below the average for regularly scheduled elections.

Turnout for this particular Tuesday primary could be dampened further by:

• Voters’ preoccupation with the current economic downturn;

• Political burnout from the election just four months ago that sent Chicago resident Obama to the White House;

• Anger about the corruption scandal that led the state legislature in January to oust Democratic Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich , who formerly represented the Fifth District in Congress;

• And the controversies surrounding Democrat Roland W. Burris , who Blagojevich appointed to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Obama.

more of this interesting article on CQ Politics

Gaffy, apart from booze and blogging, what else does a fellah do to avoid going troppo in big wets?

Too easy EC.
1/. Load rod and lures in ute.
2/. Load cast net in ute
3/. Load esky in ute
4/. place praws adn barra in esky and place in ute
5/. Light BBQ
6/. After peeling every prawn say fuck george Bush.

Fair enough, Gaffy. Living in the presently soggy domain of the Rainbow Serpent certainly has its upside.

Feb 27:;_ylt=AiY.jvg7kyHTql_1AMokotbV.i8C

Feb 27:;_ylt=A0WTUeMVkadJoFcB_R8DwLAF

Feb 26:;_ylt=A0WTUeMVkadJoFcB_x8DwLAF

Gaffy- 😆
similar pattern in fire prone ares- minus BBQ and fishing – but very inclusive of Fuck-George-Bushs’.

Ecky, a good batch of toons there.

Loved the GOP think tank, and I guess it represents the real mood of the Seppos too.

If that had have been anyone saying stuff like that under his rule the Imbecile would have them locked up for sedition.
Barry needs to round up some of the GOPPERS under some of the imbeciles laws and imprison them.
Just to let them know how effin sick some of his actions were.
Limbaugh and Turdblossom should be both sharing a cell right now for terrorist activities.

This may have helped Sen Judd Gregg to reject Barrys offer of Commerce Sec.
It never ceases to amaze!

Maybe Judd Gregg’s withdrawal as Commerce Secretary nominee really was for the best.

In a lengthy and detailed investigative report, the Associated Press reveals today that the New Hamshire GOP senator funneled federal earmarks to a defunct Granite State air-force base, despite the fact that he and his brother had lucrative real estate investments there.

Gaffy, when are going to realise what a lot of scumbag bottom feeding pigs most politicians are? LOL

“The last “enemy combatant” being detained in America is incarcerated at the U.S. Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, South Carolina—a tan, low-slung building situated amid acres of grassy swampland. The prisoner, known internally as EC#2, is an alleged Al Qaeda sleeper agent named Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri”

read the rest:

And just try to imagine, for one minute, what this guy has endured for all those years, and what the ‘evidence’ against him consists of.

Ok, one last chuckle before bedtime. A conservative’s gig in the US:

“The vision of a pre-pubescent ex-child actor spouting conservative talking points, and winning rapturous applause, was as good a sign as any of how much trouble the conservative movement is in, six weeks into the Obama administration. After all, Krohn won’t quite be old enough to vote against Obama in the 2012 election.”

…sad, yes, but very funny.

(Isn’t it a great fall from the Decider in Chief poncing around the flight deck with Mission Accomplished bunting? LOL)

I can assure you i am well aware of how corrupt they are and like spot the Aussie cab driver at Melbourne or Sydney airport the new game will be spot the honest pollie. LOL

Some of them are real intelligent as well especially my local federal member. This is his fifth term and apart from his maiden speech he has said about ten words in the house in that time.
That was last week and he was immediately sent to the sin bin for an hour by the speaker.

The HOT first lady.

VIDEO: Michelle: The new cover girl?
Move over Beyonce, Angelina, and yes, maybe even Oprah because there’s a new Cover Girl in town: Michelle Obama.

The first lady – the well-toned arms, the designer duds, the mom, the wife – has graced about a dozen magazine covers since the election. And rumor is that she’ll even bump Oprah from her self-titled mag; Oprah and Gayle King were at the White House a few weeks ago and have invited Michelle Obama to their BFF circle.

VOGUE shot Obama a few days before the inauguration when she was at the Hay Adams Hotel and PEOPLE mag shot her just recently at the White House. ESSENCE mag featured her on one cover and POTUS on the other. And there have been a slew of others all stacked up at the grocery aisle, US Weekly, OK, Today’s Black Woman, you name it, she’s been on the cover, by herself, with her children, with her husband, everywhere.

This puts a whole new angle on political campaigning. Which the Republicans have no answer for.
the entire article and video on Politico

The Obama’s are in permanent campaign mode. Everything they do is in the press. By the time the next election’s come around they will have an extremely high brand name recognition.

Major Labor Unions Consider Reuniting After Bitter Split 4 Years Ago.
Union leaders are talking about reuniting under a single, more powerful federation, nearly four years after a nasty breakup split organized labor.

Leaders from 12 of the largest unions, along with rival federations AFL-CIO and Change to Win, have held three meetings since January aimed at setting aside differences and taking advantage of the most favorable political climate for unions in 15 years.

read the rest in The Huffington Post

Obama taps Sebelius for HHS secretary.
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is President Barack Obama’s choice for secretary of health and human services, a White House source said Saturday.

The source, who was not authorized to speak on the record, said Obama will formally announce the nomination on Monday.

A Democratic source in Kansas confirmed that Obama has spoken to Sebelius and said an announcement was expected this week. The source was close to the governor but not authorized to make the announcement and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Sebelius, 60, was an early Obama supporter and a finalist for Obama’s ticket before he picked Joe Biden for vice president. During the general election campaign, she spent 24 days stumping for Obama in 16 states, including key battlegrounds such as Colorado, Florida, Indiana, North Carolina Ohio and Pennsylvania.

read the whole story in the Associated Press

Sebelius was hot favourite for the Kentucky senate seat. It won’t be hard to find quality candidates to replace her.

No Argument About Stimulus Dollars As These States Get the Shovels Out.
Less than a week after President Obama signed the economic stimulus bill into law, some states are moving quickly to take advantage of transportation funding.

Missouri had construction crews working on a bridge replacement within minutes of Obama signing the bill (PL 111-5).

Iowa awarded contracts Feb. 20 on 19 projects ranging from bridge replacements to resurfacing roads worth $56.6 million.

In Utah, transportation officials solicited bids for six highway repavement projects. Contracts will be awarded in early March, said Nile Easton, a spokesman for the state’s department of transportation.

“Every Tuesday and Thursday for the next six to eight weeks we’ll advertise chunks of projects,” Easton said. He said all of the projects will be awarded contracts by late spring and the state’s entire list will be completed by the end of the calendar year.

Supporters of the $787.2 billion legislation (PL 111-5) banked on quick action when making the case for transportation spending as an economic stimulant. The Congressional Budget Office, however, was dubious that states could use the money quickly, and opponents still are skeptical how soon the $27.5 billion for highways and bridges will be put to use.

Pennsylvania’s Transportation Department is working with metropolitan and rural planning groups to finalize its list of projects. While department spokesman Rich Kirkpatrick couldn’t say when the first contracts would be awarded, he said mandated deadlines would be met.

“We want to do it right, but speed is a huge priority,” Kirkpatrick said. “There was no way this DOT or any DOT was going to drop the ball on this. The stakes were too high.”

read more on CQ Politics

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius Accepts Nomination to HHS Secretary.
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius this afternoon accepted President Obama’s request to become his Health and Human Services secretary, stepping into a central role in the new administration’s ambitious effort to overhaul the nation’s health care system.

Sebelius’s nomination comes just days before the White House is scheduled to convene a summit on health reform, an early step in the president’s ambitious plan to vastly expand the reach of the nation’s health care system. A formal announcement of her nomination will come on Monday.

The summit, which is expected to be the first in a series of open meetings around the country, is intended to spotlight the challenges spawned by the nation’s balkanized health care system — including soaring costs and gaping holes in coverage. It is also aimed at rallying public support for an overhaul certain to draw ideological and industry opposition. Similar to last week’s “fiscal responsibility” summit, the health session will open with remarks by Obama and then divide into working groups run by administration officials.

may need to be registered.
read the entire article in the Washington Post

I just absolutely love reading shit like this. Just need to see more about Roo getting shafted as well.

An annual convention of newspaper editors has been canceled for the first time since World War II, undone by the worst economic crisis since that harrowing era.

The American Society of Newspapers Editors’ decision to skip this year’s meeting was announced Friday, coinciding with the final edition of the Rocky Mountain News _ the largest daily U.S. newspaper to shut down so far during a steep two-year slide in advertising revenue that’s draining the life out of the industry.

“The industry is in crisis,” said Charlotte Hall, president of the trade group and editor of the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel. “This is a time when editors need to be in their own news rooms doing everything they can,” to help their publications survive.

Show me da money honey.

UBS was sued on Tuesday in a Swiss federal court by wealthy American clients seeking to prevent the disclosure of their identities as part of a tax-evasion investigation by the United States Justice Department.
The lawsuit accuses UBS and Switzerland’s financial regulator, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, or Finma, of violating Swiss bank secrecy laws and of conducting what Swiss law considers illegal activities with foreign authorities. It also named Peter Kurer, the chairman of UBS, and Eugen Haltiner, the chairman of Finma, as defendants.

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