Combet: Tony Abbott Is Australia’s Biggest Bullshit Artist

Tony Abbott is “a complete bullshit artist”, according to the Minister for Climate Change, Greg Combet.

Combet

Speaking to the media just hours after President Obama expressed support for a “market-based solution to climate change”, the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency castigated Abbott over his attitude to climate change.

“He’s wrong on every front,” Combet said. “In fact, on the issue of the carbon tax, he’s Australia’s biggest bullshit artist.”

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Act Of Recognition Passes In House Of Representatives

A Bill recognising the “unique and special place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples” has been passed by the House of Representatives.

The Bill is a step on the path to constitutional recognition. Its passage came on the fifth anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generations. [Read more...]


Mining Industry Advertising Campaign Starts Again

The mining industry has turned to advertising to argue its case against increased mining taxes.

The Minerals Council of Australia has placed the advertisement below on page 9 of today’s edition of the Financial Review. It also appears in The Australian.

The advertisement comes as debate over the lack of revenue from the Gillard government’s mining tax gathers pace. It coincides with an interview yesterday with former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in which he laid the blame for the tax at the feet of Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan.

An advertising campaign by the mining industry in 2010 played a role in the downfall of Kevin Rudd.

Minerals Council



Senator Marco Rubio Gives Republican Party Response To State Of The Union

This is the text and audio of Senator Marco Rubio’s response on behalf of the Republican Party to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address.

Rubio

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Text of Senator Marco Rubio’s GOP response to the State of the Union Address.

Good evening. I’m Marco Rubio. I’m blessed to represent Florida in the United States Senate. Let me begin by congratulating President Obama on the start of his second term. Tonight, I have the honor of responding to his State of the Union address on behalf of my fellow Republicans. And I am especially honored to be addressing our brave men and women serving in the armed forces and in diplomatic posts around the world. You may be thousands of miles away, but you are always in our prayers.

The State of the Union address is always a reminder of how unique America is. For much of human history, most people were trapped in stagnant societies, where a tiny minority always stayed on top, and no one else even had a chance.

But America is exceptional because we believe that every life, at every stage, is precious, and that everyone everywhere has a God-given right to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them.

Like most Americans, for me this ideal is personal. My parents immigrated here in pursuit of the opportunity to improve their life and give their children the chance at an even better one. They made it to the middle class, my dad working as a bartender and my mother as a cashier and a maid. I didn’t inherit any money from them. But I inherited something far better – the real opportunity to accomplish my dreams.

This opportunity – to make it to the middle class or beyond no matter where you start out in life – it isn’t bestowed on us from Washington. It comes from a vibrant free economy where people can risk their own money to open a business. And when they succeed, they hire more people, who in turn invest or spend the money they make, helping others start a business and create jobs. [Read more...]


President Obama’s 2013 State Of The Union Address

President Barack Obama has delivered an assertive State of the Union Address to a joint sitting of the US Congress today.

Obama set out an activist program for his second term, calling for an increase in the minimum wage and laying out a diverse program of initiatives in education, energy and public works. Obama called on Congress to act on the budget and immigration. He also called for action on climate change and gun violence. He said he would establish a bipartisan commission to reform US voting procedures.

Obama

The President announced that 34,000 troops would be brought home from Afghanistan by next year.

On climate change, Obama endorsed the cap-and-trade legislation once supported by his 2008 election opponent, Senator John McCain. Cap-and-trade is similar to the emissions trading scheme legislated by the Gillard government in Australia.

Obama told the Congress: “It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country. The idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love. It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few,” he continued. “That it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation of ours.”

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Text of President Obama’s State of the Union Address.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, fellow citizens:

Fifty-one years ago, John F. Kennedy declared to this Chamber that “the Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress…It is my task,” he said, “to report the State of the Union – to improve it is the task of us all.”

Tonight, thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, there is much progress to report. After a decade of grinding war, our brave men and women in uniform are coming home. After years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over six million new jobs. We buy more American cars than we have in five years, and less foreign oil than we have in twenty. Our housing market is healing, our stock market is rebounding, and consumers, patients, and homeowners enjoy stronger protections than ever before.

Together, we have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger.

But we gather here knowing that there are millions of Americans whose hard work and dedication have not yet been rewarded. Our economy is adding jobs – but too many people still can’t find full-time employment. Corporate profits have rocketed to all-time highs – but for more than a decade, wages and incomes have barely budged.

It is our generation’s task, then, to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class.

It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country – the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.

It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few; that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation. [Read more...]