here as the Dog celebrates the work of that twittering tweet Sharri Markson).
(And more Markson twittering tweetishness here, and more on Markson anon).
The pond had been wondering, was perhaps even a little worried, about jolly Joe.
Had he lost his ticker? Had he taken the road less travelled?
There were all the other key Liberals setting the pace - the PM sucking up to Rupert Murdoch in such spectacular style that the noble art of sucking was getting a bad name, Scott Morrison looking like a weak imitation of Sly Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger with his border force art, the poodle Pyne in hasty retreat when everyone knows that if you spoil the child and spare the rod, you end up with a bunch of Liberals, and there was George "bigot" Brandis leading the "privacy? what privacy" charge, and let's not forget big Mal diligently going about the business of trashing the NBN.
But where was jolly Joe?
Well like a brave heart, he wasn't going to take it lying down, he stepped up to the plate, he did the yards, and he went rogue.
He was going to slash and burn, and by hook or by crook he was going to do it with or without parliament, and if necessary he'd do a Guy Fawkes and make the bloody knobs on the hill totally irrelevant.
Come hell or high water, he was going to get the budget into shape, and sure enough the next thing you know, the headlines were reading Liberal frontbenchers sour on Joe Hockey after threat to order spending cuts.
Lack of judgment, unwise, gift to Labor, own goal, ill-discipline, mixed messaging, and so on, and worse still, another distraction, a radical libertarian Liberal in the senatorial ranks, and so to another day of chaos, and confusion, and chicken littles scuttling about ...
Oh those wicked Fairfaxians with their idle, mischievous reporting, which sometimes can almost be as bad as the ABC. How difficult it makes the job of the diligent knob polishers and hagiographers.
What's wrong with ignoring parliament? Doesn't the world need a new Oliver Cromwell every so often? Why not jolly Joe?
But where were his defenders?
Sadly, of late, the knob polishers have been busy polishing their own knobs, and so have been most distracted.
The pond, for example, never got around to celebrating the already immortal Sharri Markson at work early in the week.
That wretched dissident and ne'er do well Jonathan Holmes dared to award, in Pomp and flattery as The Australian celebrates its 50th year, the knob polishers the title of Australia's bitchiest newspaper, while also marvelling at and honouring Markson's gushing at capo di tutti capi Mitchell:
As his new media editor, Sharri Markson, wrote in Monday’s Media section:
“When pushed on the way he chooses and then drives The Australian’s campaigns, and how as editor he seems to set out to shape not only the national debate but the future of the country, [Mitchell] reluctantly admits his leadership role … He executes campaigns and chases stories that other editors are too weak to pursue …”
That breathless excerpt is representative of a three-and-a-half thousand word encomium (paywall affected) that most editors would ban from their own newspaper, lest they seem too fond of flattery.
Chris Mitchell seems immune to such doubts...
Yes, there it is, gushing like a geyser or a wildcat oil rig:
Challenge the ruling class? Ah, yet another billionaire Trot, just like billionaire Trot Clive Palmer, and never you mind those financial regulations to protect the weak and the gullible (how could the pond have failed to honour hot contender Mathias Cormann for his bold, brave work, giving CBA its just reward?)
The pond often wonders what will happen to the likes of Markson when they wake up, in due course, after years on the kool aid, and the day after, contemplate just what the fuck they'd been drinking.
Will they feel ashamed or wretched or badly hung over at their childish, youthful excesses, or will they see it as the sort of thing that needed to be done to get ahead?
Whatever, all the partying has been a major distraction to the major job of confusing reporting with opinion making, but happily today David Crowe shows how it's done in Rich will bear load of fuel excise change (behind the paywall so the rich can bear the load of funding the Murdochians).
This load of twaddle was designed to present the government as a bunch of Robin Hoods robbin' from the rich to give to the poor:
Oh it's a gushing effort, the geyers work tirelessly like the geothermals of Rotorua (phew, is that the smell of sulphur in the air, are we in hell yet?), until the mug punter comes to the acknowledgment that the statistics have been scammed:
Households in the lowest 20 per cent of the country by income spend $16.36 a week on petrol while those in the top 20 per cent spend $53.87, according to the government conclusions, based on official statistics.
However, the figures do not take into account that the impost would be a greater share of household income for those in the lowest-income brackets.
So Crowe could just as easily have headed his story Poor will unfairly bear additional load from fuel excise change.
But that's not the Oz way.
The entire piece is in fact just another bit of forelock tugging and for all the talk of it being an EXCLUSIVE, it actually reads more like a government press release, with assorted figures trotted out to say "government four legs good, senate bad" and let us now mourn the persecution and assassination of hapless Joe Hockey, as performed by the inmates of the asylum of the senate under the direction of the Pup meister and his puppets.
What else? Well it seems that the cruel blows being suffered by the Abbott government have unhinged the mind of Greg "bromance" Sheridan, who this very day suffers a public existential crisis and meltdown.
Yes, the Oz seems finally to have discovered the crisis and the challenges posed by climate science:
Hah, that might have got a few going, but if you can be bothered evading the paywall to read World is still intact but global malaise is palpable - the pond will understand if you can't - all you'll find is that Sheridan has run out of forelock tugging hagiographic excesses about the astonishing skill of Tony Abbott as an international statesman.
Instead the paranoid Sheridan sees persecution and problems everywhere, things fall apart, the right wing lunatics cannot hold the centre, chaos is unleashed, or some such thing, and guess who's suffering?
Which is of course distinct from the convergence of right-wing populism on the lawns of Canberra to ditch the witch, a vicious, cynical nihilism, cheered on by the reptiles, which resulted in more than a niche reward for its major player. Yes, he instead scored the keys to the palace, without benefit of coherent philosophy and without benefit of political adulthood, but sssh, don't remind the bromancer or try to remove the scales from the eyes ...
Never mind. The pond now faithfully reproduces word for word the completely incoherent ranting and raving of Sheridan on the matter of climate science, which explains why the world is indeed likely to be fucked, and why the reptiles and Tony Abbott have vastly helped and facilitated the decline and fall:
The world’s efforts to combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions are equally flawed. The chief proposed international mechanism, a global emissions trading scheme, in which notional carbon emissions forgone are traded globally — to provide an incentive to forgo carbon emissions — is so obviously a fantasy that it has given global governance a bad name across the board. The three practical base-load energy sources that are low carbon — nuclear, hydro and gas — are ferociously opposed by the powerful Green parties around the world. The Greens block nuclear for theological reasons, fracking gas is a Wall Street conspiracy, and dams, which enable hydro power, are an offence against rivers.
Investing in cleaner-coal technology and reducing clearance of tropical forests are the two measures that would have the most immediate effect on reducing emissions.
The real solutions, however, if solutions there are, will come from markets — real markets not fantasy carbon markets — interacting with technology.
Although relevant technology will quickly spread internationally the critical government actions will be national governance acting internally.
The greatest carbon emitter is China, responsible for nearly a quarter of global emissions. Soon it will be the greatest historical emitter. Its cumulative emissions will be greater than any other nation’s. It runs a few meaningless local emissions trading schemes while opening new coal-fired power stations without even nominating a year, however distant, when its emissions will peak.
However, China will eventually take serious action for its own internal reasons to reduce its own pollution.
But nothing about the climate change issue offers much confidence in the world’s ability to deal with a difficult issue. The fracking revolution, and the growth of green coal technology, do, however, offer cause for belief in the ability of commerce and technology to solve problems.
Geostrategic crises and governance failures have not brought the world to its knees. But the sense of entropy and malaise in the global system are palpable.
Yes, as a commenter said, it's another day on Planet Greg.
It's as if he entirely missed the point of Tony Abbott not giving a flying fuck about the climate science doing the rounds, and instead defiantly leading Australia away from any engagement with the rest of the world, and anyone that take the matter seriously.
It's as if Sheridan had his hands over his ears as his fearless master did a Sky interview that has gone viral, because he was caught recycling various bits of denialism:
'What's the way Australia should approach this (climate change) issue?'
Murdoch said: 'Well I think we should approach this with great skepticism.'
'If the sea level rises six inches, that's a big deal in the world, the Maldives might disappear or something, but OK, we can't mitigate that, we can't stop it,' he said. 'We have to stop building vast houses on seashores ... we can be the low-cost energy country in the world. We shouldn't be building windmills and all that rubbish.'
'The world has been changing for thousands and thousands of years. It's just a lot more complicated because we are so much more advanced.'
He called on Australians to be skeptical about the science of climate change, and said because the nation basically contributes 'nothing' to the global warming compared to the rest of the world, there was very little Australia should be doing.
'Climate change has been going on as long we have been here ... things are happening, but how much are we doing, with emissions and so on? Well as far as Australia goes nothing in the overall picture.' (it was the Daily Mail that spelled it skeptical, your honour, click here at your DM peril).
Entropy? Malaise? Palpable?
Bah humbug, who cares if we lose the Maldives, except for a few useless Maldivians ....
But if a malaise does exist, why didn't Sheridan look into the heart of darkness? Into the words, thoughts and deeds of denialist central?
If Sheridan wants some governance - sssh let's not get planet Janet hysterical about the UN and world government - how about a bit of governance of the reptiles? Instead of the repulsive hagiographic excesses of Sharri Markson worshipping the denialist Chris Mitchell at one with the thoughts of denialist Chairman Rupert ...
But hey, it's wonderful that Sheridan should believe in the ability of technology to solve problems.
Hey, how about we cut more than $110 million out of the CSIRO budget, and avoid having a science minister, that should help technology step up to the plate and sort things out ... oh dear, and this very morning the pips are shrieking and the gravel-voiced one came in to try to hose it all down - they were spending some money on a ship, wasn't that enough - and still Forestry research cuts spark industry protests ...
Yep, the world might be fucked, but when will Sheridan realise he and his bromance buddy are heading the charge of the fuckers?
(Below: but the pond believes it should never send a reader who's reached this far away without a cheerful cartoon that'll put a smile on the dial of even the most grumpy crocodile, and naturally it features that man of the hour, jolly Joe, and inevitably you can find more David Rowe here).