Sunday, 31 August 2014

The bell tolls for Cameron's cosy clique

Daily Mail
There is overwhelming support for Mr Carswell’s reasons for defecting: the PM is too keen on the EU, has lost control of our borders and is part of a cosy Westminster clique.
Mr Cameron’s difficulties stem from his failure to address this substance, while being distracted by the style – what Thatcher’s biographer Charles Moore yesterday called his ‘weakness for the political equivalent of Botox’. Time is running out for Mr Cameron. If he does not reconnect with his lost Thatcherites then Ed Miliband will be our next Prime Minister."

Monday, 25 August 2014

Do nothing, and we invite the tide of terror to our front door


As the problem of Isil worsens by the day, it is surely time to bring back control orders 

No option looks very appealing, to put it mildly; and yet doing nothing is surely the worst of all. If we let Isil get their way, then we will be acquiescing, first, in a gigantic and violent change in international borders. Next, we will be allowing a new and hideous regime to be born: a country where black-flag waving jihadis compete to show they have the most bigoted and reactionary understanding of their religion by persecuting women, Jews, Christians, gays, Yazidis and Shi’ites. The place would be a giant training ground for terrorists and wannabe jihadis. We need to try to close it down now, before it gets worse.  "

Saturday, 23 August 2014

The ‘Buckingham Bonaparte’ is cornered

Yesterday’s Times leader could not have been any clearer:
Mr Bercow has done some good things as Speaker, and some of these would not have happened without his prickly personality. He has not minded irritating the executive by allowing more time to debate topical controversies. Yet he should beware of thinking that annoying everyone means he must be doing everything right.
A Speaker relies on the consent of the Commons to respect his or her authority. They are there to ensure free debate and good decision-making. They should avoid becoming the story itself. There has always been the feeling about Bercow that he rather too much enjoys the attention that his cussedness brings. On this occasion, he should show that he is willing to listen to others and make another appointment.’

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The weakest US president ever?

Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun (Australia)
A serious question: when the US last have a president this weak?

President Obama returned to his vacation home at Martha’s Vineyard after briefly interrupting his vacation for two days of meetings in Washington, D.C.
Obama met with his economic team Tuesday before leaving the White House at 4:22 pm to return to his vacation home.
He did not react to the news that broke later that evening about an ISIS video that showed the beheading of American journalist James Wright Foley."
Ed: Update
  • The Obama administration knew James Foley's captors were considering killing him to avenge airstrikes; Foley's family received an emailed warning a week ago and told the White House
  • Obama seemed to double down on attacking ISIS after a militant beheaded Foley in a shocking video
  • 'One thing we can all agree on is a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century,' a defiant Obama said
  • Secretary of State John Kerry said Foley 'was brave and bold, and no masked coward can ever steal the legacy of this courageous American'
  • US Secret Service and UK intelligence are searching for Foley's executioner, who spoke with a British accent in the video
  • Nearly a dozen new airstrikes near the Mosul Dam came after gruesome video showed an ISIS militant cutting off photojournalist's head
  • ISIS threatened to kill a second American journalist if airstrikes continue; White House has confirmed the footage is authentic
  • Foley's parents issued a statement stating their son was 'innocent'
  • Obama spoke from his vacation on Martha's Vineyard and played golf immediately after delivering his remarks (Daily Mail)

Monday, 11 August 2014

Why should Obama worry about Iraq when there’s Martha’s Vineyard?

Andrew Bolt Herald Sun (Australia)
A perfect snap-shot of the disengaged presidency of Vacationer-in-Chief Barack Obama:
The U.S. military campaign launched in Iraq Friday could go on for months, President Barack Obama said Saturday from the White House, but noted that he would not provide a specific timeline.
“I’m not going to give a particular timetable,” Obama said before leaving for a two-week summer vacation at Martha’s Vineyard.
Reader cynical1:

Rome, meet Nero.
Even Hillary Clinton is now attacking Obama for his lethal lack of leadership:
President Obama has long ridiculed the idea that the U.S., early in the Syrian civil war, could have shaped the forces fighting the Assad regime, thereby stopping al Qaeda-inspired groups—like the one rampaging across Syria and Iraq today—from seizing control of the rebellion…
Well, his former secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, isn’t buying it. In an interview with me earlier this week, she used her sharpest language yet to describe the “failure” that resulted from the decision to keep the U.S. on the sidelines during the first phase of the Syrian uprising.
“The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad—there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle—the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled,” Clinton said.
But I suspect the right call was actually the one Russia took. Hold your nose and back Assad.

[ED: published in full here due to the articles importance. ]

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Obama can’t just lift one finger to stop the Islamic State

Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun (Australia)
Barack Obama pulled out of Iraq too soon, three years ago, and threw away the victory.
Obama then did not intervene in Syria, allowing the jihadists to grow in strength. (Indeed, what support he gave was to the rebel side.)
Obama then did almost nothing as jihadists from Syria swept into northern Iraq, beheading and shooting civilians.
Obama now belatedly does something but very, very little."

Friday, 1 August 2014

Poorly Managed Construction Cost $840 Million, Watchdog Finds

The federal agency in charge of building the insurance website suffered from poor management and skimpy scrutiny of its contracts, a congressional watchdog is set to tell lawmakers Thursday. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services "undertook the development of and its related systems without effective planning or oversight practices, despite facing a number of challenges that increased both the level of risk and the need for effective oversight," said William T. Woods, director of acquisition and sourcing management for the Government Accountability Office, in testimony planned to be delivered before a House panel Thursday. The office is also releasing a report with its findings."

"The Obama administration was not up to the job, and American taxpayers are now paying the price," said Tim Murphy (R., Pa.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's oversight panel. "Despite repeated assurances to our committee that everything was 'on track,' it turns out it was on track to disaster." ..........

Lessons in lies: How the BBC, school text books and even exam boards have twisted history to smear Florence Nightingale and make a saint of this woman

Daily Mail
  • Commemorative statue of Mary Seacole was unveiled in London last month
  • Seacole has been treated with huge reverence - but is surrounded by myth
  • Presented as medical pioneer - though she was never even a nurse
  • Even school exams award marks for repeating falsehoods about Seacole
  • Florence Nightingale - an actual pioneer - is often denigrated in comparison 
Indeed, Seacole’s supporters, including the BBC, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), reputable publishers and school exam boards, seem determined to elevate this Victorian businesswoman and adventurer almost to the status of a modern-day saint. But the truth is that she was never a nurse.
Although school history books now treat her as an equal to Florence Nightingale, Seacole never nursed in a hospital, did not start a nursing school, never wrote books or articles on nursing. Indeed, she never did anything to rival Nightingale’s truly pioneering work to improve healthcare.
Yet while her modern cheerleaders champion Seacole as ‘the real angel of the Crimean War’, and the RCN parades her as a role model, Florence Nightingale, who founded the nursing profession, is being increasingly undervalued and even denigrated. As an academic who has edited Nightingale’s writings, I have been left baffled, frustrated and wearied by the refusal of the pro-Seacole lobby to recognise historical facts." .......
The less heroic reality is that she went to Crimea in the spring of 1855 to set up a provisions store that sold luxury items (such as tinned lobster) to officers, and a restaurant and bar where they could dine and drink champagne. It was hardly fare for rank and file soldiers. Rather than ministering to the sick and wounded, Seacole’s main work by day was food preparation."