Howard rules out independent Murray-Darling panel
Prime Minister John Howard has ruled out creating an independent body to manage the Murray-Darling Basin.
South Australian Premier Mike Rann has called for an independent panel, free from political interests.
But Mr Howard says he will not agree to it. "It's basically surrendering the responsibility that I was given by the Australian people," he said. "I was elected to try and solve the nation's problems, I'm trying to solve one of the nation's problems with this proposal."
Mr Howard says he does not think relations between the Federal Government and the states have broken down. Mr Rann and the federal Minister for Water, Malcolm Turnbull, have been exchanging verbal blows this week over who should have control over water resources. Mr Howard has called for all parties to work together. "I regret that Mr Rann made a rather personal attack on Mr Turnbull," he said. "Let's put all of that aside, let's address the substance of the issue and let's put the national interest ahead of any local interests, although in this case, the national interest promotes the local interest." But New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma says the Commonwealth should not rule out considering Mr Rann's call for an independent board to control the system.
Having absorbed the links between Halliburton and the attempted sabotage and takeover of the Romanian petroleum industry, let's celebrate the announcement of the Lord Of Halliburton, Vice President Cheney's visit to Australia with a look back..
The last time the US Vice President came to Australia was as the Leader Of Halliburton. Fresh from a stint as "Secretary of Defense" in which he'd outsourced a lot of military work to the private sector, Cheney was extending his scheming into the rest of the world. In the parlance that considers resources as something not yet turned into cash, there were many opportunities in Australia for "monetisation".
Crikey's Michael Pascoe has had a look at Firepower's substantiative documentation and found it, shall we say, lacking a little.
Instead of the stack of documents 30 centimetres thick indicated by CEO John Finnin, it was a much thinner file and most of it was irrelevant.
The promised tests by DEKRA and San Antonio’s Southwest Research Institute weren’t about fuel efficiency and emissions, just showing Firepower’s additives didn’t change the fuel’s ratings, i.e. fuel with the additive still met engine specifications.
from our ABC …..
Bush warns Iran over Iraq 'interference'
By Washington correspondent Kim Landers
US president George W Bush is warning Iran that America will "respond firmly" if the country increases what he calls its "interference" in Iraq.
from the ABC …..
Prince Charles makes virtual joke over green award
The heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, has collected an environmental award in New York and has tried to make a joke about the controversy it has caused in Britain.
In an interview Thursday, Fowzi Hariri, Iraq's minister for industry and minerals, said the discussions with Chevron and Exxon began this week in Washington and are at an early stage.
from the ABC …..
Federal Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has vowed to provide universal access to early education for children as young as four.
Mr Rudd says it would be one of the first legislative changes to be made if Labor wins the next election, but would take five years to roll out because of an under-supply of early education teachers.
‘Another day, yet another scandal involving the saintly Tony Blair and highly connected Anglo-American arms peddlers. The British prime minister, who, like George W. Bush, has made his sleeve-worn Christianity a major component of his political persona, is knee-deep in a corruption probe once again, just weeks after peremptorily quashing an official investigation into bribes, kickbacks and influence-peddling allegations involving his government, his corporate cronies and the Saudi royals. (See "War Profits Trump the Rule of Law" Truthout.org, December 22).
Christian Kerr writes:
John Howard has today unveiled his biggest election weapon – incumbency.
It doesn’t matter what Kevin Rudd puts on the table – education, water, whatever. If he wants to, the PM can trump it.
‘President George W. Bush concluded his annual State of the Union address this week with the words “the State of our Union is strong … our cause in the world is right … and tonight that cause goes on.” Maybe so, but the state of the Bush administration is at its worst yet, according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll. The president’s approval ratings are at their lowest point in the poll’s history—30 percent—and more than half the country (58 percent) say they wish the Bush presidency were simply over, a sentiment that is almost unanimous among Democrats (86 percent), and is shared by a clear majority (59 percent) of independents and even one in five (21 percent) Republicans. Half (49 percent) of all registered voters would rather see a Democrat elected president in 2008, compared to just 28 percent who’d prefer the GOP to remain in the White House.’
from the ABC …..
Abbott says Rudd uses religion politically
Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott has accused Labor leader Kevin Rudd of using religion for political purposes.
He was speaking to the Young Liberal Federal Convention in Melbourne this morning.
The fratboy & his co-conspirators continue to act as provocateurs.
The United States of fascism accuses Iran of arms trafficking in support of Iraqi “insurgents” (who maybe just consider themselves freedom fighters, given the ongoing occupation of their country by bushit, blair & their corporate oil thieves?) & seize three Iranian diplomats. Whilst the US says that “charges” against the Iranians will be made public “soon”, this must be considered doubtful, given the Americans normal propensity to go public immediately with the wildest accusations on the slightest pretext. The Iranian diplomats are no more than hostages & their seizure is a deliberate provocation.
"What should we call someone who believes the government is above the law, that opinion should be standardised, that majorities are born to rule, that minorities endanger social cohesion? [Perhaps] un-Australian?"