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  1. #1
    Romeo Delight omarbratley's Avatar
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    Default "We're kicking ass"

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/...783320123.html



    JOHN HOWARD, he pointed out again yesterday, first met George Bush in Washington on September 10, 2001.

    We all know that the events of the next day cemented a friendship unprecedented for leaders of the US and Australia.

    On the day they met, the 50th anniversary of the ANZUS treaty, Bush presented Howard with a gift - the bell from the USS Canberra. It was the only US naval ship named in honour of an ally's sunken vessel.

    The HMAS Canberra was sunk in 1942 in the battle of Savo Island, near Guadalcanal.

    Today the US President will visit the National Maritime Museum to view the bell. It could be construed as an act of symmetry, given if Howard loses the election, this week would be the last time he and Bush see each other in their respective roles.

    This was obviously apparent to Bush, who arrived in Australia in a chipper mood.

    "We're kicking ass," he told Mark Vaile on the tarmac after the Deputy Prime Minister inquired politely of the President's stopover in Iraq en route to Sydney.

    Despite his unpopularity in this country, Bush used yesterday's media conference with Howard to try to bolster the Prime Minister's electoral prospects in the next poll. Labor was quite happy at the spectre of one unpopular leader backing another but should not underestimate the defiance and polished performance Bush is able to muster. On Iraq, climate change, Kyoto and nuclear power, he backed Howard to the hilt. He claimed diplomatically he did not want to interfere in the Australian election and said he looked forward to today's meeting with Kevin Rudd.

    Rudd believes Afghanistan is a worthy war while Iraq is not.

    Bush said they were "both theatres in the same war".

    Rudd believes Australia should ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Bush said claims he and Howard didn't care about climate change because they would not ratify Kyoto was preposterous urban legend.

    Bush backed Howard's argument that nuclear power must be contemplated if climate change were to be taken seriously.

    Apart from his introductory remarks, Howard never spoke during the press conference. It was the George W.Bush show.

    His defiance on Iraq is growing. He implied that those who argued against the war in the first place had no role in the current debate.

    Perhaps encouraged by the expectation that he will soon be able to withdraw some troops and claim success, regardless of what the rest of the world believes, Bush appeared as a man who has convinced himself he is on the right track and will crash or crash through. It was equally apparent he would rather have Howard, the only other leader from the original coalition of the willing still standing, with him for the remainder of the journey.
    "your incompetence is not my emergency"

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk Little Dreamer's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 01:39 PM
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    I hear Howard is gonna get his ass handed to him in the next election. Good. Screw him for supporting this travesty.
    Little Dreamer

  3. #3
    Eye suffacozza YEWW! Goo's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 02:04 AM
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    Sooner this APEC thing is over the better. Sydneys been locked down all week with ridiculous fences, snipers, god knows what. Today (Friday) is a public holiday as they just don't want people in the city

    Now that's all well and good, it's obviously required in this day and age. My issue with it is that Sydney is the nations commercial centre. Its a busy town. This thing is shutting businesses down.

    2 hours away we have a purpose built national capital city. It's not a business district, it's a Government town. Why not hold the friggin conference THERE (obvious answer - it's not as pretty as Sydney harbour!) . No ones gonna give a shit if Canberra is locked down, no businesses will come to a screeching halt. It'll be fine.

    Then they can come up here on the weekend, do the happy snaps in front of the opera house and all that shit, and fuck off home. Easy.
    A little zen....... Headed your way.......

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Dreamer View Post
    I hear Howard is gonna get his ass handed to him in the next election. Good. Screw him for supporting this travesty.

    Just try and keep Australians out of a good fight, especially if the British are invited. They didn't need to come along with us but believe me, they would have been really offended if we had not invited them.
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk Wruff_ajax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
    Just try and keep Australians out of a good fight, especially if the British are invited. They didn't need to come along with us but believe me, they would have been really offended if we had not invited them.
    True that. Fighters man. I have several friends serving in the Aussie military. We're always ribbing eachother. They kick ass. Good blokes. Good friends.
    _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    "We're kicking ass," Tactless Bush
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  7. #7
    Watch the hair!!!
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    07.22.09 @ 11:11 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Dreamer View Post
    I hear Howard is gonna get his ass handed to him in the next election. Good. Screw him for supporting this travesty.
    Howard, who has been Prime Minister in Australia since '96, already stood for reelection in 2005, which was well after this Iraq War started, and he won fairly easily. It's more likely that his retirement will probably result in him leaving office, not him losing an election because of his support for the war.
    "Seems the old folks who come up short were the pretty little kids who didn't want it, no." - Van Halen (1979)

    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall." - Confucius

    "The possibility that we may fail in the struggle should not deter us from supporting a cause we believe to be just." - Abraham Lincoln

  8. #8
    Eye suffacozza YEWW! Goo's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 02:04 AM
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    Actually if the polls here are to be believed, he's in for a arse whooping.

    We don't have the system you guys have where leaders just serve 2 terms and then have to move on, so as a result they tend to hang around until we stop listening to them, then we turf 'em out.

    That time seems to be getting pretty close for Mr Howard. We'll know before the end of the year.
    A little zen....... Headed your way.......

  9. #9
    Watch the hair!!!
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    07.22.09 @ 11:11 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goo View Post
    Actually if the polls here are to be believed, he's in for a arse whooping.

    We don't have the system you guys have where leaders just serve 2 terms and then have to move on, so as a result they tend to hang around until we stop listening to them, then we turf 'em out.

    That time seems to be getting pretty close for Mr Howard. We'll know before the end of the year.
    Thanks for the response, Goo. Through my educational endeavors, I have gained some knowledge about your country, including its political system, so I do understand what you're saying. I also follow the happenings in Australia more than most other countries because it not only is culturally similar to the U.S. but has been a loyal friend and ally for so long. I also have considered pursuing an overseas business assignment in the future in Australia, too, as it's at the top of my list of prospective countries. Of course, if I'm not mistaken, I believe that foreigners can't be 45 or older to obtain a Visa to Australia so if I want to do that, I'll need to do this sooner rather than later (I'm in my late 30s).

    Regarding Howard, didn't the polls show him as being vulnerable right before the last election, too? Isn't there also talk of him retiring (at least there was after the last election and in the last year or so, if I recall)? My main point was that I didn't believe that it was his support for the Iraq war that would be the ultimate determinant of his future political fortunes (if he didn't retire). Instead, I thought it would be other domestic issues in Australia (e.g., mandatory detention program, industrial relations regulations, etc.) that have happened recently during his term in office that would have more of an impact on his reelection prospects. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts and views on all this.
    "Seems the old folks who come up short were the pretty little kids who didn't want it, no." - Van Halen (1979)

    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall." - Confucius

    "The possibility that we may fail in the struggle should not deter us from supporting a cause we believe to be just." - Abraham Lincoln

  10. #10
    Eye suffacozza YEWW! Goo's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 02:04 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delighted Romeo View Post
    Regarding Howard, didn't the polls show him as being vulnerable right before the last election, too?
    Yep. At the very least it looked like it was going to be close, but it wasn't. The opposition leader at the time (Mark Latham) was ultimately judged to be too big a risk. Given the way he fell apart after the election result, seems the people were spot on. The guy appeared to lose it. There is always a difference here in what people will respond to in a poll, and what they actually end up doing on election day, so polls are hard to judge, though I don't think he's ever been in this much trouble, seems he is even a chance to lose his own seat in parliment, something that hasn't occurred for many, many years to a sitting Prime Minister.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delighted Romeo View Post
    Isn't there also talk of him retiring (at least there was after the last election and in the last year or so, if I recall)?
    Yeh, there has been for years. Several years ago it was revealed that Howard and the Federal Treasurer (Peter Costello) had come to 'an agreement' about Howard stepping aside after his 64th birthday, and letting Costello take the reigns. Howards 64th came and went, and he's still there. Evidently he likes the job a little more than he let on at the time lol. So ever since that happened (4 or 5 years ago now) theres constant speculation as to WHEN the 'handover' might take place.

    This week, with the bad polls and the bright lights of the APEC conference shining on him, it's once again being speculated that Howard will hand over to Costello, before the next election (due before the end of the year. We don't have a fixed date, the Government is free to call a poll whenever they like, as long as they do it once ever 3 years, so it has to be settled by end November). The reasoning to do it now would probably be that the opposition is very likely to run with the line that 'a vote for Howard is a vote for Peter Costello'. It would be VERY unlikely Howard would run in a 2010 election, he'd be over 70, this is nearly certainly his last hurrah, if he chooses to play.

    The temptation to call it quits after a successful APEC conference and get off the boat before it possibly sinks must hold some allure though. It's going to be an interesting few weeks here

    Quote Originally Posted by Delighted Romeo View Post
    My main point was that I didn't believe that it was his support for the Iraq war that would be the ultimate determinant of his future political fortunes (if he didn't retire). Instead, I thought it would be other domestic issues in Australia (e.g., mandatory detention program, industrial relations regulations, etc.) that have happened recently during his term in office that would have more of an impact on his reelection prospects.
    I don't think the Iraq war is the deciding factor either for him. He's already won one poll as you pointed out. I think whats happening - or at least seems to be happening - to his Government is death by a thousand cuts. Over the years there has a been a string of.. stretched truths, deceptions and outright lies by the Howard Government - but we've been willing to put up with that to some extent, because interest rates are low, jobs are plentiful and economically, we've done well when other nations have had problems. But those little cuts add up over the years.

    Then the real problems start to kick in. The industrial relations laws HAVE really bugged people - they can see basic rights getting stripped away from workers. Howard was allowed to pass these laws without any opposition as the size of his landslide last election gave him a rare bonus - control of the upper house of parliment - usually Government has to fight legislation through the upper house via a bargaining process, but that was removed by the 2004 result - now he can hammer anything he likes through and not listen to any dissent. Quite simply, there was no need for him to listen to anyone saying 'WHOA BAD IDEA'.

    Secondly interest rates are rising. Suddenly that soft economic bed he laid down to comfort us all in suburbia isn't so important - people took out huge housing loans when rates were low, and now they are higher, it's hurting like hell in the hip pocket. Howard run with the slogan 'Interest rates will always be lower under a Liberal Government' but it's not a promise he can keep - interest rates are set independent of Government. He has no hand on that lever, and people are now realising it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delighted Romeo View Post
    I'm interested in hearing your thoughts and views on all this.
    That should keep ya busy LOL. I'm off the soapbox for now
    A little zen....... Headed your way.......

  11. #11
    Watch the hair!!!
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    07.22.09 @ 11:11 AM
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    Thanks for the response, Goo. Sorry it took me a little while to respond to you after you were nice enough to take the time to respond to me. I wanted to provide a thoughtful response since you had. Thus, I had to wait to respond until I had some “free” time. Offline stuff and having to slap FORD down on this site once again occupied much of my time the past few days.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goo View Post
    Yep. At the very least it looked like it was going to be close, but it wasn't. The opposition leader at the time (Mark Latham) was ultimately judged to be too big a risk. Given the way he fell apart after the election result, seems the people were spot on. The guy appeared to lose it. There is always a difference here in what people will respond to in a poll, and what they actually end up doing on election day, so polls are hard to judge, though I don't think he's ever been in this much trouble, seems he is even a chance to lose his own seat in parliment, something that hasn't occurred for many, many years to a sitting Prime Minister.
    I appreciate your perspective, views and knowledge on your home country. To me, there are a lot of similarities and parallels between Australian and U.S. politics of late. For example, right-leaning Howard and Bush both looked vulnerable in 2004 but benefited in part because their opponents in their last election campaigns were extremely weak.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goo View Post
    Yeh, there has been for years. Several years ago it was revealed that Howard and the Federal Treasurer (Peter Costello) had come to 'an agreement' about Howard stepping aside after his 64th birthday, and letting Costello take the reigns. Howards 64th came and went, and he's still there. Evidently he likes the job a little more than he let on at the time lol. So ever since that happened (4 or 5 years ago now) theres constant speculation as to WHEN the 'handover' might take place.
    That's pretty much how I remember the situation from the news I read. One thing that is certainly similar between the U.S. and Australia (as well as most other countries) is the hatred among their politicians for giving up political power.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goo View Post
    This week, with the bad polls and the bright lights of the APEC conference shining on him, it's once again being speculated that Howard will hand over to Costello, before the next election (due before the end of the year. We don't have a fixed date, the Government is free to call a poll whenever they like, as long as they do it once ever 3 years, so it has to be settled by end November). The reasoning to do it now would probably be that the opposition is very likely to run with the line that 'a vote for Howard is a vote for Peter Costello'. It would be VERY unlikely Howard would run in a 2010 election, he'd be over 70, this is nearly certainly his last hurrah, if he chooses to play.

    The temptation to call it quits after a successful APEC conference and get off the boat before it possibly sinks must hold some allure though. It's going to be an interesting few weeks here.
    I'm always intrigued by countries with systems in which politicians have the flexibility to call for elections at any juncture within a specific time period. I can certainly see the pros and cons of that approach, as it can allow a country to more often decide if it's government is taking the country in the direction that the majority of citizens want. However, it also results in the potential for less political stability for a country (and it allows incumbents more power in marshalling their political power so that they can strategically position themselves so that they won’t be ousted when they do call for elections). Although shaking up the system more frequently can often be a good thing for a country, it sometimes isn't and can result in unintended consequences (e.g., economic disruptions, inefficiencies to constantly changing policies and activities, etc.). Anyway, I still believe that Howard will announce his retirement sooner (e.g., perhaps even before the next election) rather than later, but I'm definitely playing a fool's game by trying to accurately predict the decisions of any politician.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goo View Post
    I don't think the Iraq war is the deciding factor either for him. He's already won one poll as you pointed out. I think whats happening - or at least seems to be happening - to his Government is death by a thousand cuts. Over the years there has a been a string of.. stretched truths, deceptions and outright lies by the Howard Government - but we've been willing to put up with that to some extent, because interest rates are low, jobs are plentiful and economically, we've done well when other nations have had problems. But those little cuts add up over the years.
    Plus, just being in power for 11 years tends to make citizens in a democracy want a change as well. The public is fickle and gets bored with people (e.g., political leaders, celebrities, et al) so they often want new faces, even in instances when a political leader is considered by citizens to be going a good job. So, if you're a divisive figure like Howard (or Bush) and your job approval ratings aren't stellar, you're fighting an uphill battle, though the power of incumbency certainly provides an advantage for politicians currently in office.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goo View Post
    Then the real problems start to kick in. The industrial relations laws HAVE really bugged people - they can see basic rights getting stripped away from workers. Howard was allowed to pass these laws without any opposition as the size of his landslide last election gave him a rare bonus - control of the upper house of parliment - usually Government has to fight legislation through the upper house via a bargaining process, but that was removed by the 2004 result - now he can hammer anything he likes through and not listen to any dissent. Quite simply, there was no need for him to listen to anyone saying 'WHOA BAD IDEA'.

    Secondly interest rates are rising. Suddenly that soft economic bed he laid down to comfort us all in suburbia isn't so important - people took out huge housing loans when rates were low, and now they are higher, it's hurting like hell in the hip pocket. Howard run with the slogan 'Interest rates will always be lower under a Liberal Government' but it's not a promise he can keep - interest rates are set independent of Government. He has no hand on that lever, and people are now realising it.
    This is similar to what appears to be happening in the U.S. right now as well. Our economy has been extremely resilient the past four years but our luck is due to run out (as it appears may be happening right now), especially due to the increasing problems in the all-important home mortgage sector and the huge amounts of money we’re spending on the military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, among other circumstances.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goo View Post
    That should keep ya busy LOL. I'm off the soapbox for now
    Thanks again for the response.

    Truth be told, despite having acquaintances from dozens of countries around the world, I don't know a lot of Australian citizens, so I appreciate getting your input on your country's domestic situation, especially since I have enjoyed reading your comments on this site over the years.

    I have a few other questions for you that I'll send via PM, if you don't mind. They're in regards to your willingness to occasionally provide some input based on your unique perspective as a citizen of Australia on business and economic issues involving your country to help me with some potential research projects I may be conducting in the future. It truly wouldn’t take up more time than the post you submitted in response to me. I'll send the PM to you at some point in the near future when I get some time in order to provide you with some of the details. Thanks again.
    "Seems the old folks who come up short were the pretty little kids who didn't want it, no." - Van Halen (1979)

    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall." - Confucius

    "The possibility that we may fail in the struggle should not deter us from supporting a cause we believe to be just." - Abraham Lincoln

  12. #12
    Eye suffacozza YEWW! Goo's Avatar
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