Friday, 9 May 2008


1. Burma's Junta

Burma's military regime is being stubborn and annoying:

...delaying visas for UN workers and other relief agencies. While the regime said little, observers said the reason for hesitation was clear: the junta fears an influx of foreigners could spur fresh unrest following pro-democracy protests last September, which were put down violently.

Our PM is also finding them annoying:

The nation's military Government has refused permission for the US to send aid to the country, and its troops have been accused of doing little to help the clean-up.

Mr Rudd has told Fairfax Radio that it is "obscene" that Burma's junta is obstructing the world's efforts to help the cyclone victims.

"The Burmese regime is behaving appallingly," Mr Rudd told Fairfax Radio Network.

Mr Rudd spoke to Australia's ambassador Bob Davis this morning, who told him the Burmese military hadn't budged on the issue of foreign help overnight.

"(This is) not just frustrating our own aid agencies but frustrating the international community," he said.

Mr Rudd believes the junta may have even turned back two of four UN workers who arrived in Burma last night to carry out a critical assessment of the situation.

"This is an extraordinary reaction. What can we do about it?" he said.

"I'm hoping later today or over the course of the weekend to speak with the secretary-general of the United Nations to see what we can do globally to leverage the Burmese into a better course of action."

Four United Nations aid planes reached Burma overnight but there has been widespread criticism of the junta's reluctance to allow more aid in.

Oh, and there also looks like - apart from all the dead and the 1.5 million homeless - there's an outbreak of cholera.

Rescue crews have been deported by Burma's military junta, just a day after arriving in the disaster-stricken nation.

The Burmese government declared it is "not ready" for foreign search-and-rescue teams following the devastating cyclone, which has left some 100,000 dead and millions without homes.
Burma's junta has impounded two United Nations food aid shipments at Rangoon airport, officials said, triggering more outrage at the military government's refusal to accept a major international relief operation.

"We're going to have to shut down our very small airlift operation until we get guarantees from the authorities," a furious World Food Program (WFP) regional director Tony Banbury told CNN.

"It should be on trucks headed to the victims. You've seen the conditions they are in. That food is now sitting on a tarmac doing no good," Mr Banbury said.

UPDATE 10/5: Some aid getting through (Tim Costello, World Vision). And Rudd tells UN "Australia will offer further aid to Burma after the initial commitment of $3 million."

2. Hillary Clinton

Not that she can compete with the Burmese junta...

But what is she thinking? How froward can one be to stick around this long? [Although, really, worse is to come at #3]

Lies about being under sniper-fire; 'blends in' (oh, just remarkably so) with the 'blue-collars' with her sudden beer-swillin', gun-totin' ways; and wearing a saints bracelet to get the Catholic vote. Eg:

"You know, my dad took me out behind the cottage that my grandfather built on a little lake called Lake Winola outside of Scranton and taught me how to shoot when I was a little girl," she said.

Asked when she last fired a gun or attended church services, Clinton said the query was "not a relevant question in this debate."

Also: ' an instantly notorious interview with USA Today, Clinton was back to arguing her superior electability. “There was just an A.P. article posted that found how Senator Obama’s support among working, hardworking Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how the whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me,” she said. “ There’s a pattern emerging here.”'


And now she's running out of money, and more and more people in her own party are wanting her to give up already!

Not even this is stopping her!

Although... it must hurt quite a bit. (Don't he look happy!)

Along with news headings such as:

Democrats wait and wonder when Hillary Clinton will concede defeat

The latest on Hillary's journey to the exit


It's over

Dated 6th of March!!

And the New York Post hit the streets with cruel tabloid succinctness: a picture of the home-state senator over a single word—“TOAST!”—in block letters three inches high.

Someone show her the light! The green one. With E - X - I - T on it...

3. Liberal Party Leaders

EXAMPLE A: Brendan Nelson

Back to 9%... again.

Last week gave us, with an I-just-watched-Bambi-and-cried-my-eyes-out expression, the great comment of:

Every mother loves her baby, every baby is valued and Mr Rudd should value all babies equally.

We should not live in Australia where Mr Rudd thinks that some babies are more valuable than others, it's very, very important that Mr Rudd understand that every mother loves her baby and this should be an Australia where all babies are equal.

(Er... They're measuring the finances of the P-A-R-E-N-T!)

UPDATE 10/5: Lenore's perfectly titled column 'Rich mums love their children too, say Libs' quotes Brendan from 1998 defending the government's mean-testing of the childcare cash rebate:

"I thought, what an extraordinary situation where you can have someone who I know has a household income in excess of half a million dollars actually thinking about changing a vote on the basis of whether or not they will receive a non-means tested childcare cash rebate," he said.

"The whole point is any government needs to ensure that those who are most in need are the people who receive most of the benefits that government provides. You have to ask yourselves, have we lost the plot or haven't we?"

See, Rudd's not the only one who can ask himself (sensible) questions. Perhaps ol' 9%-Brendan should get back into the habit.

Then there's this article:

RECALLING British prime minister Harold Wilson's observation that a week is a long time in politics, Brendan Nelson says that the 23 weeks since the federal election have been a political eternity. It shows. The Opposition is displaying all the symptoms of relevance deprivation syndrome, as former Labor minister Gareth Evans once described it.

I was thinking more Cerebral Deficit Syndrome meself...

And he reckons the problem of inflation is kinda made up. Article continues:

The Opposition's political strategy is not hard to divine. As quickly as it can, it wants to shift the blame for anything that goes wrong with the economy from the Coalition to Labor. ... But constructing this political edifice has strained his credibility. It is not only the Government taking inflation seriously. The Reserve Bank said on Tuesday that "inflation in Australia has been high over the past year" and it has been putting up interest rates to counter it. Everyone who buys petrol or does the shopping knows prices are going up. Yet Nelson is seriously suggesting that if only the Government stopped talking about it, it would go away.

(cartoon source)

And Liberal CDS is catching...

EXAMPLE B: Troy Buswell

Party decides to keep him after his insulting sexist comments, bra-strap-snapping and chair sniffing shenanigans.

Even though they are expecting MORE SUCH THINGS TO COME!

THE woman at the centre of the seat-sniffing scandal involving West Australian Opposition Leader Troy Buswell says he writhed in mock sexual pleasure during the incident.
The woman... told The West Australian newspaper that Mr Buswell sniffed her chair twice within 10 minutes, while groaning and making "sexually satisfying noises".

"We finished the meeting (with a constituent), I walked the bloke downstairs and out of parliament, and when I got back I walked into the room to pick up my notepad from the desk and Buswell started grabbing the chairs going `aahww, which one did you sit in? I'll be able to tell'," she said.

"And then he picked them up and started sniffing them and groaning and making sexually satisfying noises. I went, `you're sick, knock it off', and grabbed my staff and walked out, but he didn't pay attention to a word I said."

The woman said she was standing with colleagues about 10 minutes later when one of them knocked on Mr Buswell's door to ask one of his staff to lunch.

"Buswell opened the door really wide, grabbed a chair and started sniffing it, lifted it above his head sniffing it and breathing in, going `aaww yeah'," the woman said.

"It was awful. My colleagues, the four men I worked with, were just stunned into silence."

1. Is this not enough?

2. Is not more of this not enough?