Friday, March 16, 2012

And now for Friday's list of cruel and unusual punishments ...

(Above: screen cap, no link, surely you have other things to do with your money).

Naturally the lizard Oz was outraged.

What else to do but don the war paint, vent the spleen, shout the war cry, mount one of its famous top of the page crusades - the NBN, climate change anyone - and put the cruelly hard done by Peter Costello front and centre posing alongside a flock of books, as a way of avoiding any mention of a smirking Cheshire cat deprived of its milk?

No need to mention the bleeding obvious in this sort of crusading context.

So long as Costello week in, week out, scribbles ideological insults for the Fairfax press, he was unlikely to get the gig. Indeed, it took a minor miracle of benevolent stupidity to get him on the board in the first place.

Does smirking all the time render you politically dumb? Always second, eh smirker? Of course the obvious question was why Costello didn't at once resign from the board as a matter of outraged principle. The equally obvious answer was to note how he accepted years of abuse by John Howard. Of course he was going to hang tough on his board appointment ...

In contrast to the Murdoch hysterics, here's how Fairfax highlighted the fate of their favourite columnist:

You had to wander down to the "National" section to discover poor petulant Petey rabbiting on about the shemozzle of a job search...

Always the squawking bridesmaid, assuming in patriarchal fashion that you might want to be the bride ...

Costello's initial appointment was yet another brain spasm from the Rudd era, and people didn't forget, with Stephen Koukoulas banging the Costello drum over at The Drum in Future Fund not for Costello.

Meanwhile, the CIS has issued a report calling for the Future Fund to be axed and its assets transferred to existing public sector superannuation to end the duplication of fat cat jobs for the superannuated. (and you can find a link to that report here).

Oh no, not Petey boy's dream of a cushy seat at the big end of town ... oh how cruel you are CIS types ...

The pond enjoyed the spin provided by Tony Wright in No future in getting behind affront on Costello's ambition, and John Howard shedding crocodile tears at the fate of his former deputy:

The whole process of selecting a chairman was shambolic, Howard fulminated. Why, the Gillard government had sent out the businessman David Gonski to discover who would be the best man for the job, he'd discovered that Future Fund guardians felt Peter Costello was just the fellow - and Gillard had simply ignored the advice. She and her colleagues had gone and given the post to Gonski himself!
It was a dirty political trick because Costello was a Liberal, Howard implied.
No one thought to remind him that in the dying days of his prime ministership, he had sent out his lieutenant, Alexander Downer, to inquire whether his ministers thought he should hand the reins to Costello. Downer discovered just that - and Mr Howard huffily ignored the advice, leaving Costello in the breeze.

Or perhaps slam dunked ...

Meanwhile, Bob Carr has already displayed the same sensitivity and insight as he did for years with great plans for Sydney's infrastructure ...

Only this time it's Papua New Guinea discovering what it's like to feel the lash of his tongue, with the loose-lipped Carr threatening sanctions, until later he discovered he didn't mean that, didn't mean anything like sanctions at all.

What was the Foreign Minister thinking? asked Michelle Grattan, a deeply misleading and foolish headline, because it assumes motor-mouth Carr thinks before speaking ...

Fond memories of Carr erupted with the news that Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian will tonight announce another grand transport masterplan for Sydney and the state. (Scepticism about road to transport masterplan).

Her plans have already received a low blow as Barry O'Farrell, in a Miranda the Devine pandering moment, announced he hated bikes and bike lanes, and the Daily Terror erupted with joy.

Apparently O'Farrell thinks the ideal solution is to build a huge car park on the public space at Barangaroo so that zillions more cars can be crowded into the mini-Manhattan that is Sydney central, and watch the chaos that ensues after a brief shower or a concrete truck goes off the rails.

We keed, we keed, but it all feels eerily familiar.

Carr spent years announcing grand transport plans, and none of them ever came to pass, as opposed to cock-ups and PPP schemes of the most inept, bankrupt-inclined kind.

At least Papua New Guinea should be relieved about the prospect of sanctions. Carr's never managed to deliver anything, so how could he manage to deliver sanctions?

Meanwhile, what's happening at Crikey? The last subscriber edition seems to the 13th March, and the website seems in a constant state of disrepair. Phone home Crikey ...

Finally, the pond wondered how the HUN's fledgling paywall was holding up, and was shocked to discover that Sydney's Daily Terror is filching its stuff, and putting it up on the full to overflowing intertubes for free.

Yep, that jewel in the HUN crown, Andrew "the Bolter" Bolt's column Bigotry, thy name is Katter is in the Terror, and just so you know, it begins No wonder Bob Katter is dodging Parliament for the next two weeks to sty in Queensland.

But if you head off to the HUN, you'll find the Bolter's column, under the original, correct header Sounds of empty vessels, locked away behind the paywall, with a begging note attached imploring readers to sign up to get the Bolter's words of wisdom:

Now while the Bolter is in the habit of repeating himself endlessly, it too starts No wonder Bob Katter is dodging Parliament for the next two weeks to stay in Queensland.

It seems conclusive evidence that the Daily Terror is an intellectual property rights infringer, a copyright thief, a pirate, a set of ne'er do wells down in the gutter with the likes of The Pirate Bay.

Oh shame, shame Daily Terror, breaking the paywall, with the plum of Andrew Bolt designed to lure punters into the HUN honey pot.

What's that you say? You'd rather eat a poisoned apple from the wicked witch than pay to read a Bolter column? The Daily Terror is performing a community service? Information and the Bolter just want to be free?

Not to worry, perhaps the take-home part of the meal (oh we do love our cliches) is that the HUN paywall is a poorly sorted notion at the moment, as is tabloid sharing of a reduced pool of content - there you go News Ltd, see where cost cutting and content sharing has got you - and there really must be more discipline if the Bolter is to persuade the punters to part with their chips.

And now a typo to send you off into the weekend:

Yess rray truust does disappear when the greemlins get in amongst the keys ...

What's that you say? How about a link to rray?

Sorry, the pond isn't in to cruel and unusual punishments ... let rray and the bbolter run wild and free, behind a paywall, and away from pprying innocent eyes ...


  1. My mother-in-law swears blind she read about an ephemeral artery in the Oz this week.

  2. "the CIS has issued a report calling for the Future Fund to be axed and its assets transferred to existing public sector superannuation"

    I suppose it had to happen some time, but for once I actually agree with the muppets at the CIS.


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