from Crikey …..
Revelations that Peter Costello shot his mouth off over dinner with three senior Canberra journalists in 2005 should probably be filed - along with the small legion of other Costello indiscretions - under P, somewhere between petulance, Peter Principle and pique. None of these continually reported digs amount to much more than verbal pouts, and none look likely to trouble Costello's stubbornly persistent nemesis, the PM.
’Attacking Iraq was a war crime, and to sit back now and debate how much control we are entitled to is disgusting. With typical U.S arrogance, our Congress, and the White House, now debate if, how, and when, to leave Iraq, and also about how many troops we should leave for a "training force," if we are to leave troops there.
What they are blind and deaf to is the cold and bloody fact that the people of Iraq have already spoken, and they have told us to get all of our troops out in a very loud voice.
The Federal Government has used question time to take aim at Labor leader Kevin Rudd, with the Prime Minister John Howard labelling the Opposition Leader a "superficial opponent".
Earlier today Mr Howard told his party room he believes Labor's lead over the Coalition will narrow when people focus on who would be best to manage the country's economy.
Mr Howard had the backing of his senior Ministers who repeatedly questioned Mr Rudd's character.
bush rains on howard's APEC parade ….
Alex Mitchell writes:
Prime Minister John Howard’s scarcely concealed attempt to turn next month’s APEC summit in Sydney into a platform for his re-election is turning sourer by the day.
‘The war of words between Moscow and the west over missile defence intensified over the weekend as Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, declared a new radar station near St Petersburg to be “the first step in a large-scale programme”.
Moscow has said it would bolster its air defence capability in response to US plans to site early-warning systems in the Czech Republic and missile interceptors in Poland to protect against attack from Iran or North Korea.
Crime 'training' videos posted …..
’Criminals are showing off their feats and even providing simple "how-to" videos to teach budding offenders the best way to commit crimes on YouTube.
After years of concern from authorities in the US, Australian criminals have started to educate the next generation about the best way to steal cars, create and use crude weapons and film high-speed car chases.
On Thursday, bushit left for a weekend in Kennebunkport, Maine, and his family's summer compound, Walker's Point. On Monday, he heads to his Crawford retreat, where he has spent all or part of 418 days of his presidency, according to Mark Knoller, a CBS News White House correspondent and meticulous record-keeper.
The presidential vacation-time record holder is the late Ronald Reagan, who tallied 436 days in his two terms. At 418 days, and with 17 months to go in his presidency, bushit is going to beat that easily.
Rove to Quit White House, He Tells Wall Street Journal ….
Karl Rove, a political adviser to President George W. Bush and a lightning rod for anger among Democrats, will leave the White House at the end of this month, Rove told the Wall Street Journal.
"I just think it's time," Rove said in an interview with the newspaper published today.
A pope who refuses to compromise .....
The Church may change its mind about some things, but abortion is not one of them.
The latest development on the subject, under Pope Benedict XVI, is nothing to do with the basic policy but rather with its ramifications for politicians and organisations such as Amnesty International.
No need for emissions reduction: Liberal MP …..
A federal Liberal MP says he is not convinced there is a need for government schemes to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
A report is due to be released this morning as part of a parliamentary inquiry into carbon capture and storage.
It is believed to contain dissenting views from Coalition MPs about global warming.
This could be entirely coincidental, but worth noting nonetheless.
The Age is reporting today that where once you could see the details of the clothing of people walking around the Opera House, now such detailed close observation is imposssible. The maps for areas of Sydney outside of Sydney's CBD are as sharp as ever.
Google denies they've been censored, claiming that the maps were changed due to problem with a supplier.
An SMH piece in January (which uses the same phot of the Opera House as the new Age one) explained how a three-seater plane had been given permission to fly low over Sydney on Australia Day to take high-resolution photos.
‘The British government was facing awkward questions last night over an arms deal involving a British company licensed by the Department of Trade and Industry to import weapons but which was also selling machine guns to an Iraqi official later implicated in an alleged $1.1bn (£545m) corruption scandal.
from the ABC …..
No plan to leave Iraq, PM says
Prime Minister John Howard says his decision to send a letter to his Iraqi counterpart in no way signals the Government's intention to withdraw Australian troops.
Mr Howard says he sent the letter to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki a week or so ago but has yet to receive a response.
mike carlton …..
Stick to the script & nothing can go wrong
Transcript of Prime Minister's news conference Parliament House, Canberra
PRIME MINISTER: Ladies and gentlemen, I have called this news conference to comment upon the decision of the Reserve Bank to lift the official cash rate by 0.25 of a percentage point. Nobody regrets this rise in interest rates more than me. But it is the result of my Government's outstanding track record of responsibly managing the economy …
‘“The whole racket this time was designed to dissociate the loan contracts as far as possible from their company of origin, and then to slice and dice the liabilities of ownership so finely that all the lawyers theoretically ever producible in the life of this universe, or several like it, may never succeed in patching together a coherent skein of ultimate responsibility.