Archive for March, 2010
It might surprise a lot of people to know that Mix 106.3 are a relay station for Triple M Sydney’s Monday night NRL coverage. In fact, looking at their website, you’d never know that they did such a thing. Even right now as they’re broadcasting the match, their “Now Playing” ticker simply says “Canberra – Feel Good!”.
They promote the coverage on-air, but why oh why is there no mention of it on their website? Considering that 2CC and the ABC are the home of NRL coverage in Canberra, you’d think that they’d want to publicise the fact that they hold the rights to Monday night football, especially seeing as 2CC aren’t allowed to broadcast Monday night Raiders matches and Mix are able to, as they showed last week.
Odd, but that’s Canberra radio I suppose. Promoting yourself doesn’t seem to be particularly high on the agenda of any Canberra station.
March 29th, 2010 at 08:23pm
Jim Ball’s return to 2GB overnights has been delayed a few times now for a couple reasons, but is now looking much closer as David Oldfield’s profile has finally disappeared from the 2GB website. Mike Williams is filling-in for the moment, and we should see Jim Ball on the air soon. Whether it will be this week or next week is anyone’s guess, but at this stage Monday looks to be the most likely date.
March 29th, 2010 at 08:17pm
Remember the ACT Government’s “No Waste by 2010” strategy aimed at, as the name implies, ensuring that Canberra stops producing waste by this year? Well if ever you needed proof that the chances of reducing waste with this government were between Buckley’s and none, here it is.
This flyer arrived in my post box today:
The fact that it talks about waste collection isn’t the point (although it does show that we’re still producing waste)…the point is that it is advising me about a change to rubbish collection dates over Easter and reminds me that I should put my bins out on a different day.
The problem? I live in an apartment complex with communal bins. I don’t have to “put the bins out” as the big Rubbish Truck Monster comes in and roars at the communal bins every now and then. This flyer would have gone out to every suburb which has rubbish and/or recycling collected on Fridays. Reid and Braddon are both on this list and both have a large number of apartment complexes with communal bins, which means that in these two suburbs alone, many hundreds of these flyers have been printed and distributed unnecessarily at taxpayer’s expense…this is what we call government waste.
In fact, according to the ACT Government’s waste collection calendar, the following suburbs have their rubbish and/or recycling collected on Fridays and it would therefore be reasonable to assume, have received this flyer:
That’s 31 suburbs. If hundreds, maybe a thousand or so residences have received this notice in Braddon and Reid, imagine how many thousands of these flyers have been printed unnecessarily across those 31 suburbs. And as if that isn’t enough…these aren’t simple paper flyers; these are nice shiny glossy slightly heavy flyers. Waste by volume and waste per item.
No Waste by 2010? No Chief Turnip Stanhope, it’s More Waste by 2010, and it’s us that are paying for it.
March 27th, 2010 at 06:35pm
So Earth Hour is upon us again at 8:30 tonight. Thankfully though this year there is an organised call to leave the power running to celebrate Human Achievement Hour which, through no coincidence, is on at the same time as Earth Hour. Whilst technically Human Achievement Hour is just an extension of what I’ve been saying for years (as have others before me) and that is that at least some of us should turn lights on to help keep the power grid operating normally…just leaving your power on and going about your normal life and taking advantage of the human achievements which have contributed to our great standard of living is good enough.
Global warming arguments to one side (because we all know my stance on the fraud that is anthropogenic global warming), think about this from another angle…your wallet. Large sudden drops in the amount of energy consumption cause the voltage in the power grid to increase, and can cause damage to the power grid, and who do you think ends up paying to replace damaged equipment? Yes, that’s right, you, through higher electricity prices. In fact, thanks to Earth Hour, you’re already paying more as power companies have had to budget for extra staff time to prepare for the sudden drop in consumption, thereby ensuring that we don’t all end up in a permanent Earth Hour.
With lights set to go out again tonight from 8.30, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has taken precautions in recent days to ensure that Earth Hour does not prompt a breach of its operating standards.
The sudden drop in demand for electricity caused by Earth Hour can cause a spike in the frequency and voltage rates coursing through the electricity network, and there are strict operating limits for both that must be observed by AEMO.
Frequency rates relate to the speed at which power travels through the grid, and exactly five minutes before Earth Hour begins tonight, AEMO will start a 20-minute dispatch of extra frequency control services to prevent an unwelcome surge in frequency.
AEMO has also decided to operate transmission voltages at the lower end of the usual scale, in a bid to manage the rise in voltage that comes in tandem with the reduced demand for electricity.
Now, of course, Earth Hour sponsor Fairfax would never use the word “damage” but it doesn’t take a genius to work out that with all those good ole baseload power plants (coal, nuclear etc) producing a consistent stream of energy (something which “renewables” like wind and solar still can’t do), if the consumption decreases and the production stays the same (which it does as it takes time to adjust large power plants), then the excess has to go somewhere, and that somewhere is likely to be the sensitive equipment which distributes power, or on a smaller scale, the sensitive compressor in your fridge.
I personally support the idea of turning on everything I can find (see one of my previous efforts for an example) as, despite the number of people who believe in this anthropogenic global warming nonsense decreasing every day, some people do still believe, and they’re as zealous as ever. Those of us who are turning things on are helping to balance out the energy fluctuations caused by those who will turn everything off, and are therefore helping to protect the power grid.
That said, I applaud anybody who simply goes about their normal business during Human Achievement Hour, as you’re doing your part to keep the power grid safe as well.
Sadly this year I won’t be in a position to turn everything on as I will not be at home, but I will be increasing my energy usage anyway. I’m attending an event where a nice big generator will be providing power in a spot which is not on the power grid, and I will have to drive there and back, plus use extra power to record The Bill and then keep the lights on to watch it after I get home.
If I wasn’t going out, then as I said to Mike Jeffreys yesterday morning, I’d be quite happy to replace all of my compact fluorescent bulbs with the hungrier incandescent bulbs for the hour.
I am quite pleased to see though that this year, more people seem to be taking my stance. I’m pleasant surprised by the overwhelmingly positive feedback which I’ve received over this on Facebook. Normally my anti-Earth Hour message leads to me having to spend a day or two defending my position. So far, it looks like the need for me to defend my stance and educate the masses is smaller than in any previous year…people are getting the message that anthropogenic global warming is a crock.
Regardless of what your plans are tonight, I’m just going to echo the sentiments of the Conservative Leadership Foundation and say to you “Don’t be stuck in the dark with the communists. Turn your lights on!”
March 27th, 2010 at 01:15pm
Some very sad news has just crossed my desk. ITV have announced that they are cancelling long-running UK drama The Bill after 26 years on the air (27 if you count the original show Woodentop). The move is understandable seeing as the show is only bringing in half the ratings that it was in 2002, but is disappointing all the same.
The Bill was revamped last year and moved to a later timeslot in the UK, allowing the storylines to become more serious. Of late, I think this has worked really well in terms of production quality as the show seems to be getting better every week, however for the first month or two after the change it really was a pale imitation of The Bill and felt more like a CID-centric spinoff series as uniformed officers almost didn’t exist and certainly didn’t have any useful role. I believe that the new format would be rating well if the first few episodes hadn’t been such a let-down in comparison to the six-week storyline which led up to it.
I also think the show’s producers erred by replacing Inspector Gina Gold with Inspector Rachel Weston. With all due respect to actress Claire Goose who is a fine actress in her own right, her character had a cardboard personality in comparison to Roberta Taylor’s character, and detracted from the show. She made a good Sergeant, but Gold should have been replaced by Sgt. (now Inspector) Dale Smith straight away rather than in the revamp. Certainly these aren’t the only things which contributed to the ratings decline, but I feel that they were the important bits in recent history.
On the bright side, the show has about half a year left, so this should be plenty of time for the producers to write a decent ending. They’d better not take the Third Watch approach though and have the station burnt down (again) as it has survived fires more times than I care to count and it would not do the series justice. There is already talk of the series potentially moving to BBC, but I can’t see it happening as it would be very difficult to move a show to another station after such a length of time. I’ll be very surprised if Sun Hill Police Station doesn’t close in the final episode, especially given the timeslot giving the show much more freedom to go out with a bang.
My only hope from all of this is that it speeds up the release of the show on DVD. Currently only a very small number of early seasons have been released and it would be great to see the rest of them released. I’d also love to purchase one of their police cars but I’d imagine that I would have to remove the word “police” from the side of it in order to register it in Australia, which would defeat the purpose of owning it.
Anyway, the show will finish up in autumn in the UK, so we should see the final episodes here in summer. I’m not looking forward to the end, but I am looking forward to seeing how the show’s stories evolve between now and then.
Thanks to MediaSpy for the news
March 27th, 2010 at 12:03am
Update April 1, 2013: It seems that Google is still directing people to this page after all this time, despite it being very out-of-date now. Under the current radio rights agreement, Crocmedia’s AFL Live is streamed via afl.com.au and the AFL app. Depending on the day it is either listed as “AFL Live”, “CROC” or “Crocmedia”. On a normal weekend they are calling the Friday night match, the Saturday 1:30pm match, the Saturday 7:30pm match, and the Sunday 3pm match (or on occasion the 1pm match). Additionally they are relaying SEN’s call of the Saturday and Sunday twilight (4:30pm) match, which is interesting as SEN are not taking their first quarter of the Saturday twilight match due to a scheduling conflict, and AFL Live is only taking the 2nd half of the Sunday twilight match due to a scheduling conflict. They also share an AFL post-match show after the Friday and Saturday matches. It’s a surprisingly complicated agreement between AFL Live and SEN, but it is producing fantastic coverage and they should be congratulated.
Long story short. If you’ve landed here looking for the AFL Live webstream, please visit AFL.com.au or open the official AFL app. End Update
I’m hesitant to post this because I’m not convinced that the stations are supposed to be streaming, and I might be shooting myself in the foot by posting this, however…
Both Edge FM and 2AY are streaming Crocmedia’s AFL Live with chief callers Sandy Roberts and Rex Hunt.
Edge FM: http://live.edgefm.com.au:8003/edgefm.ogg
The Edge FM webstream is of a higher quality, but won’t play in Windows Media Player, whereas 2AY’s webstream will. Try both, see which one works for you. Other stations may be streaming this but I haven’t checked others at this time.
I must say that seeing as I was assured a while back that 2CA would be taking the AFL coverage and I was then corrected by Capital Radio, I am pleased to be able to find this AFL coverage online. If anybody knows of any other stations which are streaming “AFL Live” online, please let me know and I’ll add them to the list.
March 25th, 2010 at 07:24pm
Regardless of who actually forms government in Tasmania and South Australia, there can be no doubt that the mood in those two states has shifted drastically towards conservatives, much as we have seen in recent elections such as the 2008 Northern Territory election and, to a lesser extent, the 2008 Western Australian election and the 2009 Queensland election. Much like most of those elections though, the swings might not be big enough for conservatives to form government due to large incumbent majorities.
Tasmania is set to go down as a hung parliament with the most likely outcome as ten seats each for the Labor and Liberal parties, with the Greens taking out the remaining five seats despite the Liberals taking more of the primary vote than Labor 39.1% to 37.1% with the Greens taking 21.3%. This is thanks to the strange Hare-Clark proportional counting system allowing for large numbers of votes which don’t fit in to a “quota” to effectively be wasted.
Labor took a serious beating with a swing against them of 12.1%, whilst the Liberal party gained a 7.2% swing and the Greens received a lesser 4.6% swing. None of this takes in to account the postal votes etc which have not been counted yet. As such, the 10-10-5 result isn’t guaranteed but appears to be the most likely.
Either way, Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett said prior to the election that whichever party receives the most votes in a minority government should be given the first opportunity to form government. Given this statement, and the fact that the Greens will probably decide who governs and will be wary of a partnership with their supposed ideological comrades in the Labor Party after the way they have been shafted in the ACT, it is probable that we will see Liberal leader Will Hodgman as Premier, forming a minority government with Green Party backing.
Will seemed very confident of forming government in his speech, and given the way that much of his party seems to be interested in renewable energy (presumably in a sensible cost-effective way rather than a “all the polar bears will have to swim to the equator if we don’t build five zillion wind farms by 10am” way), I’d suggest that he is right.
Over in South Australia we see a similar story of a massive swing to the Liberal Party (7.3%) and a similar swing against Labor. We also see the similar-to-Tasmania story of the Liberals receiving more votes but not more seats. With 72.9% of the vote counted, The Liberals hold 41.4% of the primary vote to Labor’s 37.9 and the Greens’ 8%. Oddly though this sees Labor ahead on seats.
Seat calculations have been thrown in to disarray by the extremely close results in a number of seats, and the swing is haphazard. Whilst the overall swing is against Labor, many seats had strong swings in either direction, and it seems that the obvious Liberal victories are mostly by huge margins, which means that a lot of their overall swing is “wasted” on excess votes in seats which they have clearly won, at the expense of the closer seats. This makes it possible for the Labor party to retain government.
The ABC computer claims that Labor will take 25 seats, Liberals 18, and independents and minor parties 4. This, however, is disputed by the ABC’s analysts which think there is likely to be two or three seats which the computer has awarded to Labor, but could easily go to the Liberals. This would bring the Labor party under the 24 seat threshold required for a majority government and potentially make it a 22-21-4 parliament. This would give Labor more seats, but still make it possible for the Liberals to form government with independent/minor party backing thanks to the fact that the parliament still gets to elect its leader, and this does not have to come from the party with the most seats. One could argue that in a 22-21-4 environment, the 21 seat party could be more likely to get independent/minor party backing if they attracted more votes from the public.
I would be tempted to say that incumbent Labor Premier Mike Rann will be returned to power except for that fact that his speech last night sounded like he thought he is going to lose. He did everything you would expect from a concession speech except concede, and this makes me think that his party officials have told him that the postal votes will go against him and that he will be facing a big backroom-deal-with-the-independents battle. Liberal leader Isobel Redmond’s speech was much more optimistic (although nowhere near as optimistic as the almost-victory speech of Tasmanian Liberal leader Will Hodgman) and so I strongly suspect that we will see a further substantial number of votes go to the Liberals before the counting is over.
At this time, I’m predicting a Liberal-led and Greens-backed government in Tasmania, and a minority Labor government in South Australia with a change to a minority Liberal government mid-term when Mike Rann pulls the pin or looks like he is going to pull the pin.
The swing to the conservatives is very heartening, and despite the decent swing to the Greens in Tasmania, I still have to say that this is just another sign that the world seems to be shifting back to the conservative side of politics after its 2006-2008 anti-incumbent shift to the left. In such a swing to the conservatives, a swing to the Greens is to be expected in a relatively left-wing state such as Tasmania. Tasmania has a substantial left-wing “environmentalist” population, and it’s only natural in a shift away from an incumbent Labor government that the Greens would pick up the votes of those who refuse to vote Labor but can’t bring themselves to stomach the notion of voting for the Liberals. Tasmania is very similar to the ACT in this way as we have a relatively left-wing population thanks to our massive public servant workforce and we saw a similar swing in the 2008 election.
Victoria’s Labor government faces an election this year and would have to be a tad concerned by these results even though the polls suggest that they still have a comfortable lead. They really need to hope that the federal election is called before the state election occurs, as the Tasmanian and South Australian elections are quite indicative of the shift which appears to be occurring at the national level and people don’t seem to like voting for the same party at a national and state level within a few weeks of each other.
Federally, Kevin Rudd won’t be happy today as he is likely to face a very similar backlash at the polls and doesn’t have the same percentage lead as his Tasmanian and South Australian counterparts. Tony Abbott on the other hand will be sure to try to seize on the momentum of his state colleagues.
It’s hard to draw definitive conclusions between state and federal elections due to the nature of the different policies and responsibilities of these governments, but when you have swings as big as we have seen in these two elections with only a handful of months until the federal election, the swings can’t be ignored.
March 21st, 2010 at 07:04am
Canberra’s annual road toll has sadly doubled overnight, and the worst part is that the four deaths appear to have been as a result of a driver failing to obey an instruction from police to pull over.
Both ACT Police and NSW Police issued statements at about 2:10 this morning. The NSW Police statement is on their website however I’ll quote the ACT Police statement as it is more detailed. Sadly it (as usual) is not on their website yet.
Quadruple fatality, Narrabundah
ACT Policing is investigating the circumstances surrounding a fatal traffic collision at Narrabundah this evening that has resulted in the death of three adults and an infant.
Initial investigations indicate that about 10pm (March 20), ACT Policing were advised that NSW Police were involved in a pursuit which has originated in Queanbeyan, NSW. The vehicle being pursued on Canberra Avenue by the officers was involved in a collision with another vehicle at the intersection of Canberra Avenue and the Monaro Highway exit ramp at Narrabundah, ACT. The offending vehicle collided with the second vehicle which was turning right onto Canberra Avenue, off the Monaro Hwy down ramp. The three occupants of the second vehicle, a male in his 30s, female also in her 30s and a male infant, died in the collision. The collision occurred after the pursuit was reportedly terminated by NSW Police.
The male driver and female passenger in the offending vehicle were transported to The Canberra Hospital, the male aged in his 20s, later died in hospital. The female remains in a critical condition.
Officers from ACT Policing’s Collision Investigation and Reconstruction Team are investigating the fatal traffic collision on behalf of the ACT Coroner, while ACT Policing and NSW Police are conducting a joint internal review of the circumstances surrounding the collision. The incident is considered a Critical Incident for both ACT Policing and NSW Police.
Tonight’s crash brings the 2010 ACT road toll to eight.
The intersection will remain closed for several hours while the scene reconstruction takes place.
Anyone with information which may be able to assist police with their investigation is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the Crime Stoppers website on www.act.crimestoppers.com.au.
It’s interesting that the ACT press release says that NSW Police had pulled out of the pursuit, but doesn’t mention what ACT Police were doing at the time. I would assume that, as is normal procedure, NSW Police terminated the pursuit at the border and allowed ACT Police to take over. The NSW press release suggests that the pursuit was still in progress at the time of the crash:
The pursuit continued along Canberra Avenue into the ACT and at the intersection of Canberra Avenue and the Monaro Highway exit ramp at Narrabundah, the vehicle collided with a Mazda 3.
I’m sure that this will all be cleared up soon. Right now though, I’m just deeply saddened that an innocent family appears to have been killed by a driver who failed to comply with an instruction from police to pull over. The circumstances are tragic, and I have a heap of sympathy for the poor family involved and the police as well. I just hope that this doesn’t result in one of those stupid knee-jerk “let’s ban police pursuits” reactions that we keep seeing in New South Wales.
March 21st, 2010 at 05:51am
I missed it myself as I’ve been listening to 5AA’s state election coverage, but I’ve been informed that John Kerr officially announced at 12:20am what we’ve known here since Thursday, that Mike Jeffreys will be taking the reins of 2UE’s weekday New Day Australia program tomorrow. Thanks to Steady Eddie for the tipoff.
I’ll tune in to 4BC for the delayed-by-one-hour-thanks-to-daylight-saving version of the announcement.
Update: And here it is. John Kerr was chatting with regular caller “Sam The Cabbie” when the subject of how many nights per week John Kerr is on the radio came up:
Not a big announcement, but it’s great to finally have something official, and even better to know for sure and certain that after 11 months off the air, Mike is coming back to radio. End Update
Meanwhile over at 2GB there is still no official confirmation of Jim Ball’s move to the weekday overnight show. On Friday morning current overnight host David Oldfield was strongly denying the change. My information still suggests that Jim will start tomorrow or (alternative information suggests) by March 29. I’m starting to lean towards March 29 due to the lack of any official confirmation.
March 21st, 2010 at 12:42am
I had to do a double-take when I heard this one. It seems that the bacon is airborne and a highly contagious bout of sanity has broken out in South Africa. Students are protesting about a musician being let out of jail…yes, you read that correctly, they’re protesting about a musician being let out, not being locked up, but being let out.
Students in South Africa have thrown stones at police and a court where a musician accused of killing four school pupils in a car race was freed on bail.
Police fired water canon at some 2,000 protesters. Some threatened to burn the Soweto home of hip-hop performer Molemo Maarohanye, known as Jub Jub.
There were similar clashes at his initial court appearance on Wednesday, when police fired rubber bullets.
The judge said Jub Jub and his co-accused should move during the trial.
In granting bail of 10,000 rand ([USD]$1,360; £900), judge Andre Auret said he was aware that the safety of Jub Jub and fellow accused Themba Tshabalala was at risk.
“[But] I am convinced they have means to protect themselves in various ways – to name only one, they could resettle somewhere else until the case is finalised,” he said.
Apparently the members of the judicial system have some sort of natural resistance to this particular strain of sanity. I always thought that the judicial system was supposed to protect people, even those who have been accused of crimes…how this protects anyone, accused or protesters, is beyond me.
I also fail to see how a 900 pound bail is going to act as a deterrent to a wealthy musician to skip the country…but if I keep trying to apply logic to the decisions of the South African justice system, I’ll just make my headache worse.
March 20th, 2010 at 10:17am
I love elections, they’re one of the few things for which I’m willing to delay my viewing of The Bill!
South Australia and Tasmania are heading to the polls today and I have to admit that I like the look of the polls with them showing that Labor are likely to lose power in both states.
A Newspoll in yesterday’s The Australian newspaper gives the Liberals the lead in the Tasmanian poll:
the poll, conducted this week, shows Labor’s primary support across all electorates is 35 per cent to the Liberals’ 36.5 per cent and the Greens’ 25.5 per cent.
A review of first preferences at the electorate level suggests Labor could lose up to five seats, crashing from 14 in the 25-seat assembly to just nine.
Under this “worst case” scenario for Labor, the Liberals would gain three seats to move to 10 and the Greens would gain two to move to six.
Whilst a Labor/Greens coalition isn’t out of the question, one would think that the Tasmanian Greens would be wary of such a deal given the way the Greens appear to have been sidelined in their “partnership” with ACT Labor.
Meanwhile in South Australia, another Newspoll gives the Liberals are huge lead:
the poll found the Liberals ahead of Labor on a two-party-preferred basis by 52 per cent to 48 per cent.
Labor’s statewide primary vote fell by less than one percentage point to 35.3 per cent since the previous poll, covering January to the beginning of March.
The Liberals increased their statewide primary support by more than three points to 42.5 per cent.
Although it must be said that a poll quoted but not identified by AAP today shows a different result:
Polls have the two leaders running neck and neck .. but betting shows Labor slightly edging out the opposition.
I’ve personally gone all-out in support of Conservative Victory 2010 (with apologies to Sean Hannity for once again stealing his phrase) and put money on a Liberal victory in both states. Centrebet are currently offering some pretty nice odds, especially in South Australia:
For assistance with gambling problems, Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or your local gambling support group
I’ll be watching both with much interest tonight, although it’s quite likely that neither will have a clear winner tonight. I personally think that Tasmania will be a clear Liberal victory which will be announced tonight and South Australia will be much closer and may take a couple days to provide a clear result.
These elections will send a clear message to our federal politicians. If their side loses they’ll deny that is has anything to with federal politics, of course, but they will privately be watching these elections very closely as they’re the most useful and comprehensive opinion poll that we’ll see for some time. I’ll be very interested to see how the messages emanating from the federal Labor and Liberal parties change subtly in the few weeks after these elections. Obviously I’m hoping that they change in a “less government waste” and “less silly taxes” way…but only time will tell.
March 20th, 2010 at 06:15am
Well tonight’s the night…the start of Bulldogs Victory 2010 a week late…or if not, hopefully we can kick at least one goal tonight. Last week was humiliating but was all made better by the other Bulldogs winning the NAB Cup Grand Final.
Have a great night, and thanks for your great work filling in for Alan during the week.
March 19th, 2010 at 07:20pm
As has been reported in a number of places, Jim Ball is moving to 2GB, having quit 2UE rather suddenly last week. He is expected to start on Monday and will be networked to Macquarie’s new Melbourne station 3MTR as of mid-May if all goes to plan. Jock’s Journal are claiming that Jim will be on air from 12am to 3am, and Andrew Moore’s Wake Up Sydney (which has been curiously referred to as Wake Up Australia on-air) will be extended by half an hour, starting at 3am instead of 3:30 and will finish at its normal time of 5am. This runs counter to what I am hearing, that Andrew’s show will not change length, but may be networked to Melbourne along with Jim’s show.
Taking Jim’s place on 2UE according to my information will be Mike Jeffreys, former 2CC Breakfast host. He will be on-air from Midnight to 5:30am daily, and ironically will be heard on 2CC for longer than his old breakfast show each day. I have no idea if he’ll take Iggy Pop’s Lust For Life with him as his theme music (although I hope he does) and I also don’t know if any of his old regular correspondents will resurface on his new show, although again, I hope that they do. Trudy Thiele and Donna Stanley were highlights of the week for me and would be good to hear them again.
This does all pose a very serious problem for me though as I now have three different stations to potentially listen to at this time of the night. 2GB’s webstream for Jim Ball, 2CC taking Mike Jeffreys’ show and KXNT with Alan Stock and Rush Limbaugh. There is such a thing as too much choice after all.
March 18th, 2010 at 05:02pm
Kevin Rudd, commenting on the similarities between his problems in making parliament do as he says, and Obama’s predicament in passing his agenda in the US:
“But he has health reform on his agenda on Washington. We have health and hospitals reform on our agenda here in Australia. He has a thing called a troublesome Senate.
“I have a troublesome Senate as well.”
Kevin Rudd was commenting on how he understands the reason for Obama’s delayed visit and how “Australia would fit in with the President’s timetable”. So does Kevin really think that bowing to Obama (that would make a change from Obama’s habit of bowing to everyone…maybe we can have a bow-off) and insulting his own Senate will make the Senate more likely to agree with him, or is his plan to somehow make Obama the new Australian Senate?
March 13th, 2010 at 03:25pm
Barack Obama’s Indonesia/Australia trip has been delayed by three days so that he can
take longer to fail to negotiate the passage of his health care reform agenda. In Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ trademark blundering style, the media were given the run-around, initially told that the President had no intention of changing the date, before announcing it on Twitter instead.
This pushes Obama’s Canberra visit back from Tuesday the 23rd of March until (presumably…Gibbs hasn’t released an updated itinerary yet) Friday the 26th.
The president was expected to leave Thursday for the six-day tour that included Guam and Australia. He has pushed it back until next Sunday.
The White House made the announcement on Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ Twitter.
On Wednesday, Gibbs hinted that the president wasn’t planning on delaying his travel to negotiate the sticking points among House Democrats in accepting the Senate health insurance reform bill.
“If we have any changes in the schedule, we’ll certainly let you know, but the president believes it is an extremely important trip with — it’s an important region of the world and these are important partners,” he said.
Gibbs added that “if it takes a couple of days extra” to get the bill passed, the president would be fine with missing the March 18 deadline he set for lawmakers “even if he’s already gone.”
This makes me wonder what we’re going to do with our own politicians. Parliament finishes its current session on Thursday the 18th and we were going to have a special session on Monday the 22nd, presumably to justify the cost of keeping them all here over the weekend so that they could be addressed by Obama on the Tuesday. Surely we won’t keep them here for a whole week of nothing, so I suppose this means that we’re sending them back home on Thursday the 18th and flying them back for the visit on Friday the 26th.
If that’s the case, then so be it. As much as I may dislike the man, I won’t begrudge him his visit…it does after all present me with an opportunity to protest against him. Seriously though, I understand the need for foreign leaders to visit, but given the cost to their country as well as our country, I do have to wonder why we can’t replace many of these visits with teleconferences…and that’s for all world leaders, not just the ones I dislike.
Anyway, as strange as it may sound coming from me, I am actually looking forward to Obama’s visit. I will be very interested to see how our domestic politicians react to his visit when it happens as, pleasantries aside, their reactions and comments will say a lot about their own policy agendas. Tony Abbott’s reaction will be particularly interesting as I’m hoping that Obama will be asked for his views on Abbott’s parental leave policy…being a massive tax increase on business and a redistributionist policy that Mao could be proud of, it should get Obama’s full support…one can only hope that such a thing would bring Abbott to his senses, even if it’s too late to regain any credibility on that issue.
That to one side (as it’s a topic which needs it’s own blog post), I do hope that Obama visits Canberra on the Friday as this will give me the opportunity to watch his plane leave in the afternoon. I didn’t see Air Force One when George W. Bush visited and seeing it in person would actually be the highlight of the trip for me. I’ll probably protest and be glad to see Obama leave…but I’ll be happy that I’ll have seen the plane. The trip is worth it if I can see the plane.
March 13th, 2010 at 02:34am