News you can use - Romney's campaign releases tax returns
Who's saying what
The Parliamentary year is due to start with another no confidence motion from Tony Abbott, who I presume realises that it's going to be hard for him to retain legitimacy for another 20+ months of vacuous political baiting. The recently abandoned Andrew Wilkie has said he'll consider the matter on its merits, but given that an election would force him to deal with the prospect of losing his seat immediately after his primary legislative goal was scuppered, I imagine he'll be hesitant. Also, you know, Tony Abbott.
Parts of Queensland are flooding again. Breaths held throughout the state.
Those fun-lovers in the Egyptian military
have used the occasion of the country's first sitting of a democratically elected Parliament in sixty years to announce the partial lifting of the country's much abused emergency laws. Which have been in place since Mubarak came to power in the 70s. However, they did kind of compromise the announcement by saying they'll still use parts of the law in response to "thuggery", whatever that means, so we'll call it business as usual then. Meanwhile, the Parliament opened with thousands of supporters and protesters mobbing the streets, and an angry shouting match dominating the first day as conflict broke out over the election of the Speaker. They must be watching Australian proceedings.
Libya is still experiencing violence at the hands of pro-Gaddafi fighters who are hoping for, I don't know, Weekend at Gaddafi's? It's over, people, go back to your families. Open a corner shop and sell tacky Gaddafi memorabilia instead. Might I suggest:
Rick Santorum: even more vile than you expected. The current hyper-conservative, evangelical Presidential candidate of choice, found himself explaining his views on abortion a few days ago. More specifically his opinion that there should be absolutely no circumstances in which abortion is permitted, rape or incest included. His logic: "I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you. As you know, we have to, in lots of different aspects of our life. We have horrible things happen. I can’t think of anything more horrible. But, nevertheless, we have to make the best out of a bad situation." Yes, that's right, make the best of a bad situation. That's his advice to rape victims. But, on the plus side, this is joined by the revelation that his pro-life activist wife had a six year affair with an abortion doctor 41 years her senior who actually delivered her before marrying Santorum, so that's kind of weird too.
In other car crash horror GOP Presidential news, Mitt Romney, the richest man to ever contest for the Presidency, released his tax returns yesterday. And Mitt Romney, the richest man to ever contest for the Presidency, earned $21.6 million in 2010. And Mitt Romney, because that's what rich people do, paid 13.9% on that $21.6 million. Might I suggest that this is going to be a hard sell in the middle of a recession? Florida seems to agree, with new polls there showing Gingrich with an 8-9 point lead (a week and a half ago, Romney was leading by 22 points), and national polls now showing the two running neck and neck. Yes, that's it, destroy yourselves in combat.
Julian Assange is set to host a ten-part interview show starting in March, wherein he talks to important political and intellectual figures while women in bikinis dance in the background. At least two thirds of that sentence is true, try and guess which parts!
Slate agitator-in-chief, Glenn Greenwald, on how the prejudicial shutdown of Megaupload suggests that the White House already has all the powers SOPA would have assigned to it anyway.
With Barack Obama due to deliver his third State of the Union address at some ungodly hour Australia time (5 am EST), Foreign Policy magazine tries to draw together the disparate threads of his international model.
Iran has cracked down on the black market in Barbie dolls, worried by their increasing popularity over local efforts Dara and Sara. But, really, who wouldn't want to play with this dynamic gang? Check out that monobrow! Dense!
And because it's the gift that keeps on giving, here are the best worst photos of Megaupload founder, Kim Dotcom.
There's nothing particularly relevant about New York taxi policy for us here back in Australia, but there is something wonderful about one of the richest men in the world making an ad this cringefully bad. It looks uncannily like it was put together by his nephew on an iPhone for his Year Ten short film class. WELCOME TO MY BRIDGE.
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