Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It's spring time in Sydney ... or at least an unseasonably warm May, and so all the reptiles are frolicking with glee ...

Say what?

Yes he did, but what about the responses, mustn't miss out on them ...

Oh dear. What to say?

But enough of twitter wars and twittering twits, and truly it can be said Rupert Murdoch is a twittering twit, because there's a jolly tune on everyone's lips this unseasonably warm Sydney May day this morning ...

Springtime for Hun Sen in Cambodia ...

Australia was having trouble
What a sad, sad story
Needed a new leader to restore
Its former glory
By shipping refugees offshore
To a location no one could deplore
Where, oh, where was he?
Where could that man be?
We looked around and then we found
The man for you and me ...
And now it's
Springtime for Abbott and Australia
And Cambodia is happy and gay ...

And so on and so forth. You can make it up as you go along, in much the same way as Tony Abbott's government makes up new, unusual, cruel punishments and calls them Australian government policy ...

It's actually too shocking and shameful an initiative for the pond to contemplate, though if you like you can read something of the wretched affair in Cambodia's PM Hun Sen confirms controversial agreement to resettle refugees from Australia, and elsewhere around the intertubes traps.

And then this very morning there came the sounds of Julie Bishop holding her nose and saying it was inappropriate to take a look at the country to which Australia would send refugees, accompanied by 30 pieces of silver, or whatever other sum is required these days to sell out and consign people to abject misery and poverty ...

It's hard to imagine anyone - even in the Murdoch press - hailing this sort of trade as a praiseworthy initiative, but no doubt they will be found, most likely in the Murdoch press.

In the meantime, however you care to describe Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop - no doubt a few words come to mind, but are words like vile and loathsome too nice and congratulatory? - please don't call them Christian ...

Right at this moment, Christ is rolling in his grave and wondering if it's worth pushing the rock aside ...

So is there an upside, is there any good news, in these vile and troubled times?

Well yes, the pond is pleased you should ask.

It's no offset for an Australian government doing sordid deals with a dictator - which is why no money is going into the pond's Godwin's Law swear jar, not when the nation should die of shame - but it's fun all the same, and it came via Crikey:

In the morning chats, Prime Minister Tony Abbott popped up on Insiders (would he have appeared if Barrie Cassidy was still host instead of Fran Kelly?). That saw the program’s audience jump by around 30-40,000 viewers nationally (more viewers in the metros). Ten’s The Bolt Report didn’t get any kick from the budget and his partisanship. It laboured, as did its 4pm repeat. All up, including its late night repeat, Insiders had 513,000 national viewers on ABC 1 and News 24 — 449,000 for the live broadcast, 64,000 for the repeat. The Bolt Report had a total of 325,000 for the 10am live broadcast (just 102,000) and the repeat (124,000). That was weak give it was the Sunday after the budget. So far the ABC (which is being chopped by the Abbott government in a fit of pique) has had the biggest boost from the budget and the political hoohaa surrounding it. And is Wake Up about to be put to sleep? Talk abounds this morning that Ten is about to shoot the program, along with more jobs. (here, inside the paywall)

Now the pond isn't certain how Glenn Dyer does his maths - in an alternate universe 102 and 124 might add up to 325, but maybe he's conflating metro with other numbers, but never mind, there's a wonderful irony in Tony Abbott delivering wretched numbers to the Bolter.

Is that why the Bolter went into a sulk and a funk?

Why Liberals keep granting key interviews to the ABC rather than rivals puzzles me. They think they ABC demographic can be won over? They think they can come out looking great from repeated booings? (here)

Actually it's because the shows rate, a phenomenon quite unknown to the Ten network and the Bolter ...

As for Wake Up, the pond has to confess to not once nodding off, but the news does confirm the pond's general thesis - as long as the Ten network continues with an ideological albatross around its neck, it's doomed, doomed, the pond tells ya (said with a quavering voice, as the pond stoppeth one of three to spread the good news).

What else? Well this warm May morning, The Guardian is still heading its digital page with this:

Yes, Scientists cast doubt on $20bn research future fund makes any number of obvious points about the stupidity of the coalition government, which plucked this idea from the ether and ran with it, and yet still has the cheek to berate the Labor party for failing to do a cost benefit analysis for bright ideas before running off like hares with said ideas ...

It was all too tedious and predictable for words, and so the pond skipped to the comments, and this one popped up first:

This decision on funding goes to show how clueless Abbott and co are about research and academia in general. You can't do medical research without chemistry, physics etc. it will take years to fix if this plan goes ahead without full scientific and academic consultation. But will Abbott listen? I think not.

What else is there to say? Except perhaps to suggest that Clueless shouldn't be used in such a careless way ... truth to tell, Alicia Silverstone is a lot more cluey than Tony Abbott ...

Because what do you know, just down below that story came this one:

Antarctica is shedding 160 billion tonnes a year of ice into the ocean, twice the amount of a few years ago, according to new satellite observations. The ice loss is adding to the rising sea levels driven by climate change and even east Antarctica is now losing ice.

And so on and so forth.

Naturally the pond turned to the Bolter for scientific comment - after all, he is the world's most eminent amateur climate scientist, a status he preserves so he won't be tainted by black helicopter conspiracies or cushy government grants that'd turn him into a luxuriating academic fat cat - and it seems he was there, at least in spirit, right off the bat in the comments section:

Ooh the sky is falling. Global warming was proclaimed to be a problem not based on science but by agenda 21 of the UN in RioD in 1992 to create a world crisis to bring nations together. NOT based on true science. Do a little research. By the by, Ice take more space that water.... so when ice melts the sea levels....wait for it.... should go down not up.

Yep, there are some profoundly stupid people out there, and more than a fair share seem to share the Bolter's views ...

What else? Well there was the sight of John Brumby out there, spruiking and doing the hard yards to help Tony Abbott deliver a regressive flat tax increase which will be certain to punish the poor - as do the same regressive taxes in the United States, where they're applied by the states ...

So what's Brumby's advice to Tony?

“In my view the real debate about the GST is not about whether it needs to increase; I think that’s inevitable. The real debate is about the nature of the increase (base versus rate, or both), the compensation provided to low-income earners and pensioners, and the distribution of the proceeds (the states versus the rest).”

Yes, the real debate is how to screw the low-income earners and pensioners, and make them pay even more for their fresh food ...

Wasn't Brumby supposed to be Labor?

Oh sorry, that's Victorian Labor, of the 'let's fuck up the state in the same way NSW Labor fucked up NSW and let's see if we can do a better job" kind ...

And when the states are fucked, why then we can move on to do some quisling work with Tony Abbott ... by sagely explaining how you must screw the poor to make life better for the poor ...

What else? Well yesterday some fun was to be had watching Abbott fuck up yet again:

Er ... no Mr Abbott  (forced video at end of link) could become a comedy right up there with Knock, knock Sheldon, because Abbott's already got his Lou in the form of jolly Joe ...

Even the reptiles had to gently admonish their hero with a mind and memory of clay:

Mr Abbott was right to reflect on John Howard and Peter Costello’s first budget but, contrary to his recollection, the 1996 package was not unpopular. Rather, the Coalition’s solid, coherent economic arguments brought the public along on the fiscal repair task. Mr Abbott and Mr Hockey have begun less assuredly and made missteps. 

Et tu reptiles and editorialist? Surely there's room for some spin. Wouldn't want to sound like a twittering twit like Chairman Rupert:

Yet even with Senate shenanigans ahead, they must stick to their central aims, explain their intent and deliver difficult policy with a degree of competence. 

You can always rely on the reptile anonymous editorialist for a laugh, but that's a doozy. The man's so incompetent he can't remember a major piece of political history involving a government of which he was allegedly a  relatively new, fresh and alive member, and now the rag's urging him to sell a budget that stinks to high heaven with "a degree of competence"...

What say the runes?

Oh dear. Any last runes?

Oh come on lizards, fair suck of the prawn on the sauce bottle. Another rune please:

Sheesh, what else? Have any of the reptiles stayed true, and steered a proper course?

The pond is so glad you asked that.

Today is of course Caterist day, and who else is there that could bring us the news that living healthy and trying to prevent ill-health is just a rort ...

But you know, suddenly, reading the enormous stupidity that Nick Cater constitutes on a weekly basis, the pond felt weary, tired, a little numb ...

You might recall a little up the page the latest news from Antarctica.

Here's how the Caterist responds, that's if you can be bothered getting past the paywall - Caterist stupidity doesn't come cheap - and the risible header, Leftie health advocates winners in a dream budget:

The federal government must “take action now” to reduce carbon emissions. How? By continuing to fund Tim Flannery’s Climate Change Authority. Why? Because “the health consequences of climate change are extensive … more frequent heatwaves and floods, more intense fire seasons and droughts … changes to soil fertility … psychological conse­quences …” etc, etc.

Etc and bloody etc ...

Of course the Caterists are right. Everything's for the best in every possible way, and trying to improve public health is a shocking indulgence, when it's so much better that people turn up mired deep in sickness to test the skill of the hospital emergency award.

And while ostriches might not stick their heads in the sand, still it's an admirable meme.

It's been a very pleasant May in Sydney town, quite unseasonably warm, but sssh, whatever you do, don't mention climate change.

Or mention, or even contemplate a government willing to hop into bed with a dictator because it knows no decency and has no sense of shame, or a government that so fucked up its first budget even some of the reptiles have begun to howl at the pain of it all ...

But what fun for the cartoonists, and more of David Rowe here, and David Pope here..


  1. Thank you for yet again a top piece.

    On Cater I must show my Pommy phobia. Why is it necessary to import such a one to the Oz? Don't the locals have enough style in their turd polishing? Are The Bolter and Hanoi Piers only good enough for the tabloids? Or is it because they have to come up with someone, anyone, who isn't Shanahan or Sheridan? Maybe they're actually worried about alliterations, remembering another naughty word ending in **it, and the easy pickings?

    While I despise government by the polls and evening TV news grabs, which is what we have had fom Abbott and Rudd... there is a silver lining to the polls tanking so badly. It has forced Abbott and Hockey away from their comfort zone of cliches to actual interviews in perceived enemy territory. True, the ABC still has to develop some balls and it's doubtful if Tony Jones or Fran Kelly can do the job of the hard questions. But Sarah Ferguson has made a good start.

    Who knows? With polls even this bad and likely to continue... the Press Gallery might finally ask some questions about what is going on.

  2. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2014/05/conservatives-praise-antarctic-ice-sheet-melt-as-beautiful-expression-of-free-market.html

    A Bolt/Cater view?

  3. Anon the best bit in your link is the quote from Michelle Bachmann.

    "“The Ice Sheet melt is only a problem if you live in Antarctica, which, honestly, is a pretty dumb place to live,” she said. “Polar bears live in Antarctica because they have no choice, but we’re not polar bears.”

    Sadly Borowitz is a satirist.

  4. After Hockey's performance on QandA last night, some may have a degree of sympathy for Cater.

    Hockey boasted, time and again that the Coalition was increasing the accessibility of higher education. An extra 80K will attend some tertiary education within the next year or two. And if the young are not "earnin'", then they must be "leanin'".

    But Cater's thesis on the primary issue with Australia is the rise in the Educated New Class. The majority of his book (admittedly I only read about 6 chapters) arguses we need less education - certainly not more. If the LNP successfully implement their policy (this if probably gives Cater his last hope..), Australia will be in ruins. Completely devoid of the ingenuity that this lucky country was built on. A cess pit of educated elites.

    After all the work he has put in for the LNP, how could they turn on him like this?

  5. "Wasn't Brumby supposed to be Labor?

    Oh sorry, that's Victorian Labor, ..."

    Yair well, at least we benighted Vics never actually elected Brumby as Premier or anything in any way important. How often did you New South Welsherpersons elect Carr ?


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