Letterman’s Palin Joke and the Liberal Bubble.

By Harrison, on June 20th, 2009

David Letterman is a pale shadow of his former edgy self… all of those years of hosting his own show have worn him down until he’s reduced to taking cheap (and safe) shots at people like Sarah Palin. In the little bubble Letterman lives in it’s okay to mock Conservatives because everybody he knows thinks the same way. If Letterman had any “edge” he would have made a joke about Obama’s daughters. For some reason, in yet another apology issued by Letterman he is still fixated on his joke not being about Palin’s 14 year old daughter. According to a story in the Associated Press:

Fair game because she's a Republican.

On Monday’s edition of “Late Show,” Letterman explained that the risque joke thought by some to have targeted Palin’s underage daughter, Willow, was actually referring to 18-year-old daughter Bristol. The name of the daughter wasn’t mentioned in the joke, which was part of Letterman’s monologue on last Monday’s show.

It was “a coarse joke,” “a bad joke,” Letterman told viewers. “But I never thought it was (about) anybody other than the older daughter, and before the show, I checked to make sure, in fact, that she is of legal age, 18.”

So in what passed for American talk show humor it’s okay to joke about an 18 year old girl getting raped by a baseball player but if that girl is 14 it’s in poor taste? It seems as though Letterman figured Palin and her family would be a decent punching bag and there would be no fallout… seems as though, like a scolded dog, he slunk off into the corner:

“I feel that I need to do the right thing here and apologize for having told that joke,” he said. “It’s not your fault that it was misunderstood, it’s my fault that it was misunderstood.”

He apologized to both daughters, “and also to the Governor and her family and everybody else who was outraged by the joke,” he said as the studio audience applauded. “I’m sorry about it, and I’ll try to do better in the future.”

What Letterman has shown is that, aside from sitting there with his sarcasm he really doesn’t have any other kind of act. I think this incident shows that Letterman should be ushered into retirement as he has no edge and no ideas… he’s just plain nasty. Would he want his children to be mocked with the possibility of being raped by A Rod?

Been a long while since you’ve been funny.

Now that we have a Democrat in the White House it is getting more and more difficult for Liberal comedians to make their jokes. Bill Maher, who started on late night TV with his show Politically Incorrect on ABC is now reduced to attacking Republicans even though they lost the elections. There are other “safe” topics for a Liberal Hollywood comedians to mock such as NASCAR fans and people who go to church but even these have become tiresome. But they refuse to go on the attack against Liberals with the same vigor they did when a Republican was in office.

What is even more unsurprising about this entire incident with Letterman and Palin is that feminists have not really come out to condemn his attacks. I think NOW added a link to their website naming Letterman as being “bad” but imagine the outcry had Letterman talked about Michelle Obama. We’d be hearing from Al Sharpton, NOW, and every other crackpot feminist out there. But, with Palin… nothing.

Somehow, because Palin isn’t a Democrat I guess she doesn’t enjoy the same type of “sisterhood” other women enjoy. What this entire episode has exposed, for perhaps the 5 millionth time, is that Democrats, who claim to “celebrate diversity” only embrace others who buy organic produce at Wholefoods and not Walmart.

From Just Politics..?

Could The Oz Car Scandal Mean The End For Kevin Rudd?

Could an attempt to help a mate mean the end for Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd?

Certainly if he is found to have used his position to help his car dealer friend, John Grant, get finance through the Governments Oz Car scheme it bring the end of his days as Australia’s Prime Mininster.

It has been claimed by the Opposition that Mr Rudd’s office had contacted Godwin Grech, the head of the Government’s $2 billion OZ Car scheme to help for Mr Grant.

Of course Mr Rudd denies this communication ever happened and has claimed that an email allegedly sent by his senior economic adviser Andrew Charlton to Mr Grech is an elaborate fraud. After an investigation by Mr Rudd’s office they have been unable to find any record of this email originating from his office.

Kevin Rudd has now called for an Auditor Generals enquiry into the affair.

If it is found that any influence did come from Mr Rudd’s office then he surely would have no other choice but to resign.
Mr Rudd has set a high standard of conduct for his Government colleagues and to fail to live up to this standard would surely be unforgivable.

If it is found that the email is a fraud then who knows who’s head will roll? If this is found to be a fraud then not only could there be the political fallout from such a scandal but also the possibility of criminal action as the Australian Federal Police have also started investigations into the affair.

Stay posted for updates on this. It could get very interesting.

Yes Sarah. This Was a Mistake!

How many of you take your kids to work? I sure there are some but not many. It is not something that normally happens. You are at work to do your job, not look after your children. I am sure there are some parents who have their kids visit work at some time to see where mum or dad work, and while most bosses probably don’t mind, I bet they would if it interrupted the operations of the workplace or broke long established workplace rules.

Well in the Australian Federal Parliament this week one parent thought she would give bringing her child to work a go.

Sarah Hanson-Young, a Greens Senator in the Australian Federal Parliament, bought her two year old daughter, Kora, into the Senate chamber during a division. A well known rule of the Senate is that no strangers are allowed in the chamber during divisions. Well no matter which way you want to put it, children are strangers in the senate and do not belong there at certain times. That is it. It is a rule of the workplace so why knowingly break it?

Of course the Senate President, Senator John Hogg, had no real choice but to instruct Senator Hanson Young to have her daughter removed from the chamber. This is a rule of this workplace and it is also a place where decisions are being made that affect all Australians. This is no place for children.

Senator Hanson-Young was not very happy with this action saying “The way this was handled was a mistake.” Well yes Sarah it was a mistake. You should not have taken your daughter to the chamber at this time. You know this, or at least you should.

There are plenty of other times that I am sure members of parliament can take their children on a little tour of their workplace. The Australian Parliament does not sit every day and one of these many non sitting days would be a great time to take Kora to have a look at where Mummy works. No one will be bothered. No rules will be broken. No one will get upset. Yes the ensuing hassle did upset the poor little girl who could reportedly be heard crying from the senate chamber during the division.

Greens Leader, Senator Bob Brown, said “I don’t know of any employer that’s going to say you can’t have five minutes with your child.” Yes you may be right Bob. There probably aren’t many who, if your family turned up to say hello would be happy for you to say a quick hello and then get back to work. I am also quite sure they would not be very happy if you bought them into an important meeting, or onto the factory floor or did anything else to disrupt the workplace or broke workplace rules.

Well this is exactly what happened in this situation. The workplace was disrupted and rules were broken.

NSW opposition spokeswoman Pru Goward, a former sex discrimination commissioner, told ABC radio that children in workplaces can be “very distracting”.

Yes that is right they can. That is why people don’t normally take their children to work.

Senator Brown said this morning that Kora had provided a “pleasant diversion” for those nearby after a hard week. Senator Brown, You are involved in important work here. Save your “diversions” for when the work is done, please.

There is also a childcare centre about 500 metres from the Senate Chamber. It is a very nice childcare centre and would have been a wholly better place to leave Kora whilst important work was taking place in the chamber.

Senator Hanson-Young was accused of using her daughter in a parliamentary stunt. Of course she denies this and I am willing to believe her as I would hate to think that any parent would use their child in such a pointless stunt.

The Senate is due to debate on this issue on Monday. This is a terrible waste of parliamentary time and hopefully commonsense will prevail and it will be made clear that children do not belong at work when work is supposed to be done.

Hopefully all members of parliament will make sure they are aware of the rules and do their best to abide by them so that no undue disruption occurs in the future.

And Sarah. I hope you have learnt from your “mistake” and this doesn’t happen again. After all you were elected to do your job as a Senator, not to amuse your sweet little girl during important meetings. You will also be able to avoid a repeat of the “most humilating moment of your life.”

Costello Calls It Quits.

“Everybody Mr Costello has left the building.”
Well not quite but he will be very soon. Peter Costello has announced today that he will not be renominating for the next Federal election.

The announcement drew praise from both sides of the house, something not often felt by Mr Costello before.

During question time Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said it was an important day for Mr Costello. “It should be marked appropriately,” he told Parliament, praising the former treasurer for his significant role in the formation of the G20 finance ministers group. He also acknowledged Mr Costello’s role in addressing the Asian financial crisis, adding it had helped Australia’s relationships with its neighbours. Mr Rudd also described these achievements as being correct decisions in the national interest.

Peter Costello leaves after 20 years in Federal Parliament, 11 of those as Federal Treasurer.

As Mr Costello’s career in parliament draws to a close the Federal Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull breathes a sigh of relief. No longer will the specter of a leadership challenge from Mr Costello be a threat to him.
Maybe now the Australian Liberal Party can get on with preparing for the next federal elections without the worry of leadership instability and put up a reasonable campaign.

In the meantime I am sure most people would wish Mr Costello well in his future post on the International Advisory Board of the World Bank.

Good Enough for Government Work.

After sucking up tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer money but still declaring bankruptcy, the U.S. governmnet has put someone in charge of sorting the company out who has no automotive experience whatsoever! Hey, it’s only General Motors… who needs automotive experience, right?

The New York Times reports:

It is not every 31-year-old who, in a first government job, finds himself dismantling General Motors and rewriting the rules of American capitalism.

But that, in short, is the job description for Brian Deese, a not-quite graduate of Yale Law School who had never set foot in an automotive assembly plant until he took on his nearly unseen role in remaking the American automotive industry.

Nor, for that matter, had he given much thought to what ailed an industry that had been in decline ever since he was born.

I’m sure Mr. Deese is a smart guy, hardworking, and all of that but why is he in charge (aside from the fact that he was put in charge)? I’m all for “out-of-the-box” thinking but something as important as the way the U.S. governmnet will handle the future of General Motors and Chrysler should probably left to somebody who has at least some automobile industry experience, right?

According to the same New York Times article:

Mr. Deese’s role is unusual for someone who is neither a formally trained economist nor a business school graduate, and who never spent much time flipping through the endless studies about the future of the American and Japanese auto industries.

What is so ironic is that when Bob Lutz was hired to turn around GM he was hailed by everybody as the solution because he was a “car guy.” Lutz brought a lot to the table and helped GM to improve its product line-up by championing cars like the Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky (which were sold out for almost a year), reviving Cadillac with such cars as the award winning CTS, and pumping new life into the morbid Buick line-up with vehicles like the LaCrosse. Still, there was only so much Lutz could do but he certainly did more than almost any other product planner there for the previous 40 years.

And now a “non-car guy” is going to figure it out? How is it, in the government, you can get such a powerful job without having any past experience in the field where you will be exerting an enormous amount of power and influence?

Back in high school when I was a teenager and worked as a life guard I went to dump some chemicals into the filter system and could only find latex gloves for one hand. My boss, a former U.S. Army guy didn’t sweat it, he used a right glove for his left hand and, even though it didn’t fit right, said he had done it all the time when he worked for the government because they always ordered the wrong stuff.

I guess “saving” GM is kind of the same thing, eh?

From Just Politics..?

Is Obama Wasting His Time In The Middle East.

So President Obama is in the Middle East trying to repair relations with countries in the region. Can he do the seemingly impossible?

The Middle East has a long and hate filled history with the U.S. and they don’t seem real keen to change in a hurry. Many terrorists seem to have the U.S. and their interests as their exclusive targets.

Sure Obama might be able to improve relations with some of the officials in this region but this is not going to change the views of the general population.

So what is it that people in the Middle East have against the U.S.?
Well largely the U.S. is seen as an empirical power trying to gain control over as much of the world as it can. They resent the U.S. using their military might to interfere in the region and acting like a bully protecting its own interests.

They also dislike the U.S. supporting Israel and giving them financial and military assistance.

There are also the obvious cultural differences between this largely Muslim area and the Christian dominated U.S.

As Obama lands in Saudi Arabia Al Quaeda has just released an audio message from Osama bin Landen denouncing Obama’s policies regarding the Middle East. The recording was released by news agency Al Jazeera shortly after Obama’s arrival in Saudi Arabia

In this recording he describes Obama as following the policy of his predecessor George Bush in “antagonising Muslims”.

“He has followed the steps of his predecessor in antagonising Muslims… and laying the foundation for long wars,” bin Laden says in the recording.

Saudi officials were quick to denounce the recording but bin Laden and Al Qaeda are quite effective at stirring up anti U.S. sentiment in the Middle East and as long as they and other groups like them can have an influence in the area it is going to be difficult to improve relationships in the region. The leaders of these countries are still politicians and they are, like politicians in other countries, interested in using the general opinion of the people to their advantage.

I hope Obama can make a peaceful difference and make the world a safer place but I fear it will take many more years of repair than there have been of damage to make a difference in Middle Eastern relations.

U.S. and Israel Don’t See Eye To Eye On Settlements.

Israel stands firm on its plans to continue building settlements in the West Bank.

The U.S. is also firm on its insistance that Israel must stop the building of its settlements in the West Bank.

Israel asserts that its plans to build settlements in the West Bank are nessecary due to ‘natural growth’. That term has been defined vaguely by Israeli officials, meaning for some that settlements should expand to accommodate only their own children.

Israel “cannot freeze life in the settlements,” Netanyahu said, describing the American call as an “unreasonable” demand.

Whatever the American demands and Israeli definitions, the reality is that no full freeze seems likely.

Mr Netanyahu is in a difficult position with factions pushing for the expansion of settlements and many opposed to the establishment of an independant Palestinian State. Support for succumbing to U.S. demands is not at all strong.

Netanyahu has set a stance to stop the spread of unofficial settlements however, that are not within the official settlement plans. Many successive governments have turned a blind eye to these unofficial settlements which largely contain rogue Israeli elements.

President Obama has played down tensions between the U.S. and Israel saying that “Part of being a good friend is being honest” in an interview with NPR News. “And I think there have been times where we are not as honest as we should be about the fact that the current direction, the current trajectory, in the region is profoundly negative, not only for Israeli interests but also U.S. interests.

“We do have to retain a constant belief in the possibilities of negotiations that will lead to peace,” he added. “I’ve said that a freeze on settlements is part of that.”

“Not only is it in the interest of the Palestinian people to have a state, it’s in the interest of the Israeli people to stabilize the situation there,” he said. “And it’s in the interest of the United States that we’ve got two states living side by side in peace and security.”

Despite Israeli objections to halt West Bank settlements President Obama is confident United States was “going to be able to get serious negotiations back on track” between Israel and the Palestinians.

In the interview with NPR News Obama also said “It’s in the interest of the United States that we’ve got two states living side by side in peace and security.”

Referring to the debate about settlements, he said: “Diplomacy is always a matter of a long hard slog. It’s never a matter of quick results.”

U.S. plans Strong Action Against North Korea

The U.S. is determined to send a strong unified message to North Korea. The U.S. has been working closely with its allies to get a resolution through the U.N Security Council that is strong and decisive.
The Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has also met with official from Russia and China in preparation for debates in the U.N. Security Council for tough resolutions for North Korea.

Senior officials have indicated the bans could include restrictions on travel and visa bans on certain members of the regime and tougher trade and economic sanctions, possibly including an arms embargo to prevent North Korea from engaging in lucrative arms sales.

Deputy spokesman Robert Wood said “I think it’s very clear that we are all on the same page with regard to the need to take very strong measures against North Korea.” He went on to add, “They’re going to continue with our discussions on coming up with a strong resolution that responds to the North’s violation of its international obligations.”

Wood made no comment on reports that North Korea is moving missile equipment for another possible long-range missile test but repeated that missile launches by Pyongyang constitute a violation of existing U.N. resolutions.

Senior U.S. officials confirmed that North Korea is moving equipment around, but it is unclear whether the regime is intent on another missile launch or whether it is just trying to rattle the international community.

The U.S. wants North Korea to return to nuclear negotiations with the United States, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia, known as the six-party talks.

Although the talks have been stalled for more than a year, Wood said, “just because things haven’t worked doesn’t mean you don’t keep trying.”

Israel Will Not Stop Settlements.

The Israeli Government says it won’t bow to U.S. requests for it to stop its settlements in the West Bank.

“I want to say in a crystal clear manner that the current Israeli government will not accept in any fashion that legal settlement activity in Judea and Samaria be frozen,” Transport Minister Yisrael Katz, an official close to the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said, using the Israeli term for the West Bank. “The government will defend the vital interests of the state of Israel.”

This was the first official reaction from the Israeli Government after U.S. President Obama’s request for the them to halt settlements.

Israel’s settlement of the West Bank is a key hurdle to peace talks with Palestinian authorities. While I understand Israel’s need for security the Palestinian people require the same security. How can the Israeli Government justify forcing people put of their homes so that they can build settlements on land that is in a separate State to Israel. They have effectively invaded this land.

If Israel expect to have security for themselves then they have to respect the need for others to have security. Israel says it requires its settlements on the West Bank for natural growth. What other State in the World expects to be able to legally expand its borders to establish new settlements.
It is my opinion that Israel is being unreasonable in its expectations and needs to halt these settlements now and respect the borders it shares with other sovereign states. Until it does this I cannot see how peace between Israel and other Middle Eastern states can be achieved.

North Korea Explains Its Stand on Nuclear Test.

The latest information on the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) contains a statement from the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) Foreign Ministry (North Korean Foreign Ministry) regarding the UNSC’s threat of additional sanctions.

In the statement they seek to justify their reasons for conducting nuclear and missile tests to maintain their own national security.

The Statement from the DPRK Foreign Ministry starts by saying “Over the past several decades, the DPRK has made every possible effort for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but the U.S., instead of seeking a substantial removal of nuclear threats, has steadily increased the level of pressure upon the DPRK and it has eventually brought even the six-party talks to collapse in wanton violation of the principles of respect for the sovereignty and sovereign equality, the underlying spirits of the September 19 Joint Statement, over the DPRK’s launch of satellite, the universally recognized right of each state.”

The statement goes on to say ” At present, some countries were shocked at the news of the DPRK’s second nuclear test. But an exceptional act has its exceptional reason.
The recent nuclear test conducted by the DPRK is the 2054th one on the earth.
The five permanent members of the UNSC have conducted 99.99 percent of all the nuclear tests.
Those countries have posed the biggest nuclear threats to the world. But they took issue with our first nuclear test, which was conducted in October 2006 as a self-defensive measure to cope with increased nuclear threats by the U.S., terming it a “threat to the international peace” and adopted the sanctions resolution against the DPRK. This is exactly the UNSC Resolution 1718.”

They also explain their position on Nuclear Non Proliferation and the Missile Technology Control Regime saying “The DPRK is neither a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty nor to the Missile Technology Control Regime or MTCR. Such being the case, it has a right to conduct as many nuclear tests or missile launches as it wants in the event that the supreme interests of the state are infringed upon. Such self-defensive measures do not run counter to any other international law.”

Looking at this statement on face value it would seem that North Korea could be quite justified in believing they have every right to conduct these tests. Why shouldn’t they be able to do what they feel they have to, to ensure their own security. Other countries spend huge amounts of money developing sophisticated military technology and what North Korea seems to want is to exercise its sovereign rights as it seems fit. A fair expectation I guess.

The problem that many other countries have with North Korea having nuclear weapons and the capability to attack almost any other country in the world is can they be trusted. North Korea’s boisterous stance is legendary and the fear is that this could lead to extreme action and the possible use of weapons of mass destruction.
North Korea does not seem willing to listen to its large and powerful ally in China and it is this type of attitude that causes such concern.

I guess the problem is how do you balance international security with with a countries sovereign rights. Do you allow North Korea to develop a nuclear capability and trust that they will use it as a deterrent just like every other nuclear power in the world.

I understand the agreement that the existing nuclear powers have not to limit the spread of nuclear weapons with the eventual disarmament and a peaceful use of nuclear energy, but North Korea has never been a signatory of this agreement so you can understand how they can feel that they shouldn’t be forced to comply with it.

What ever happens I only can only hope that a peaceful solution can be found.