Friday, July 18, 2008


Josh Marshall today notes that that some major Bush backflips (talking to Iran and setting a "time horizon" for Iraq withdrawal) are a sign that the Bush and McCain camps are now working together to neutralize Obama's big winning issues. It doesn't matter if it completely contradicts everything you have ever said, it's all about maintaining that GOP elite grip on power. It's sad that US foreign policy is based on this.

SMH today leads with the Frank Lowy story, which is good to see. The Herald has been on the story for a while:
The Herald reported in 1995 that Lowy had paid $25 million to settle a dispute with the Tax Office involving Yelnarf in May that year, a month before he was appointed to the board of the Reserve Bank, where he served for a decade.

Federal Parliament was told in October 1995 that Yelnarf was involved in a dispute with the Tax Office over $48 million relating to the 1987 and 1988 tax years.

Ken Aldred, who was then an Opposition backbencher, said Frank Lowy had told an Administrative Appeals Tribunal hearing that the money was a capital injection from "unknown international sources".

"How lucky can you get?" Aldred said. "A settlement was reached only a few days after the AAT hearing. Why? If the money paid to Mr Lowy was from 'unknown international sources', as he claimed, why was he willing to pay $20 million if it was not his money?

"Can anyone seriously believe that 'unknown international sources' based in the tax haven of Liechtenstein would provide Lowy with $47.8 million?"
A month later, Lowy was appointed to the Reserve Bank Board anyway. And I am still waiting to see which Israeli "charities" were the lucky beneficiaries of this Australian taxpayer money. It'll also be interesting to see if Peter Lowy has anything to say to the US Senate next week: he's had a year to prepare his story, but others in the chair this week invoked the Fifth (nice to see one quaint old US law still survives).
The Sydney tax barrister Michael Inglis stayed up overnight on Thursday to watch the "historic" Senate committee hearings. "This is not just the wheel turning, it's not just the tipping point, it's not just a sea change, I think this is in the realms of a seismic shock."
Well, at least somebody is paying attention.

Meanwhile, I just realised that the funeral for SAS Signaller Sean McCarthy, who died in Afghanistan recently, was just held yesterday less than a kilometre from my place of work. Rudd, Nelson and all the other warmongers were in attendance. If only I'd known, I might have gone and paid my respects.