(Above: the smirk from hell by the smirkmeister?)
It was, in every way, one of the great tone deaf interviews, and the pond heartily commends it. There was for example this:
The Poodle: I've got a great relationship with Glenn Lazarus and Clive Palmer and Dio Wong and I'm always prepared to talk with people ...
Sales: I think it's Dio Wang actually ...
The Poodle: Well some people pronounce it Wang, some people pronounce it Wong, it depends where you are in the spectrum ...
Yep, it depends whether you're slightly barking mad, or fully barking mad ...
The Poodle: But if you wish to pick me up on that Leigh that's a very small thing and I'm surprised that you would bother with it ... Nevertheless Dio and I are good friends ... and I intend to continue to try to get their support ...
I just don't know how to pronounce his funny, foreign, Asian-sounding name ... that's all ...
As for Glenn Lazarus, recipient of text messages and an Xmas card from the minister - how weird for a brick to have a poodle for a text stalker - that too was a bundle of laughs, and suddenly the pond thought the brick with eyes was sounding more sensible than a devious, shifty, blatantly misrepresenting poodle ...
And there had been other highlights earlier, as you can see here, when it came to outright lies, with the poodle asserting that everyone was on board with his schemes, and with no dissenters, even though earlier on the show, viewers had been treated to the inconvenient sight of Stephen Parker.
Parker has been a one-man poodle thrashing machine recently, as noted at Fairfax here, and with even the reptiles forced to make room for his trenchant criticisms:
Dissident vice-chancellor Stephen Parker has lashed the sector’s peak body for its support of the government’s deregulation agenda as parliament moves closer to a vote.
The University of Canberra’s Parker, the lone vice-chancellor to oppose the higher education package introduced by education minister Christopher Pyne, said Universities Australia “could not survive for long” if deregulation went ahead.
At a Sydney rally again the changes, Professor Parker revealed he would no longer attend meetings of the organisation, which he said had become afflicted by “with necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating bacteria)”.
“We have just seen a week of bizarre national adverts from UA, presumably aimed at six crossbench senators at the most, full of Orwellian doublespeak that the reforms are fair to students,” he said. “Whether it breaks up soon because the tensions are too great, or it survives until the interest group factions have no more use for it and spit it out, UA is doomed because it has lost its moral compass.” There are fears by some members of smaller and regional universities that deregulation would inevitably lead to a two-tier system, with more prestigious universities commanding higher fees, better researchers and more enrolments.
“Older universities, which have benefited from decades of public money, built a brand at taxpayer expense and who now want to run away with it, will raise their fees more, the stratification of institutions will intensify, competition and dog-eat-dog will be the order of the day,” Professor Parker said. (no link, google the text, a link would only lead to an importuning begging letter from the paupers of the press).
And so on. You don't have to look too far to discover Parker's views in detail. You can find the speech he made at the NAPU forum at Parker's blog, here.
Meanwhile, in the United States, student debt has soared towards a trillion in debt, there are millions in unpaid loans, and many defaults:
This is the system the poodle's seeking to emulate, a system now acknowledged to be in a deep debt crisis, and in a huge bubble, as noted at Mother Jones in The Student Loan Debt Crisis back in 2013.
Was there any upside? The pond always looks for a bright side to any story, and indeed there was, because the poodle was, in the end, immensely restrained, and didn't crack a joke that two Wongs don't make a Wang ...
And so thoughts and memories of Arthur Calwell could recede over the horizon ...
Okay, it's not much of a bright side, but it's the best the pond can do ...
Oh okay, there were other bright bits, because the pond's favourite cartoonist made out like a bandit. (and more Rowe here):
The portraits of the brick, Erica and the poodle are evocative, and what to make of those stains on the bed sheet ...
Meanwhile, how do things fare in reptile la la land?
Well Dame Slap had decided to wander off into foreign soil to defend the right of Pooh to be naked and Rudy Guliani to be stupid (and somehow merge the two), so naturally the pond's eye wandered, and immediately spotted further talk of revolt, and heroic radical, revolutionaries.
What's that you say, dangerous lefties are on the prowl, doing down all the best intentions of the Abbott government? Not really, it was this that was briefly at the top of the digital page:
“The economic briefing was good but convincing Coalition MPs and senators is not the issue — the issue is convincing members of the electorate that our policies are right,” one MP said. “On the one hand we’re saying that conditions are sound, on the other we’re saying there’s a budget emergency.” MPs also warned against the centralisation of power in the Prime Minister’s office, saying it limited access to Mr Abbott.
In a longstanding process, Coalition backbench committees must approve all draft legislation in talks with ministers before a full meeting of Nationals and Liberal MPs can formally endorse the bills so they can be put to parliament. On Monday night the economics committee, chaired by Victorian MP Tony Smith, was surprised by a late request from Finance Minister Mathias Cormann to tick off on a bill to set up the medical research future fund, which was to have been funded by the GP co-payment. Committee members objected to the short notice and refused to clear the bill, an extremely rare rejection. They turned down an initial request from Senator Cormann’s parliamentary secretary, Michael McCormack, and then did so again when the Finance Minister turned up to the committee after Monday’s cabinet meeting. “Tony ran it very well,” said one MP aware of the debate. “We’ve got to make sure we have these robust discussions to make sure that changes we put to parliament are properly considered.”
Another said ministers were being sent a message to improve their consultation rather than taking backbench support for granted. “There is a bit of a sense on the backbench that the committees are not going to be rubber stamps,” the MP said.
There was no criticism of Senator Cormann — “everybody has a high regard for Mathias’’, one MP said — but an insistence on the right of the backbench to be consulted. While Mr Abbott told yesterday’s Coalition partyroom meeting that the government had delivered results this year, MPs privately fumed at the government’s political woes.
One MP likened yesterday’s partyroom meeting to a film, The Stepford Wives, in which robotic women work without complaint.
And so on. The peasants are revolting ...
Yes, it's finally dawned on some of them that the messages have been mixed from the get go - everything sound and a budget emergency, the need to charge a co-payment to fix the emergency would instead be spent on a medical research future fund ... no doubt to the joy of big pharma. It helped explain why the surreal world of Alice was the go to reference for policy discussions ... at least until robotic women turned up ...
No doubt some of the unnamed gossipers and nervous nellies evoking the Peta-byte The Stepford Wives are in marginal seats, and they know that, even if the government were to be returned in the next election, even if Abbott managed to avoid being a one term Tony, there'd still be a lot of blood on the marginal floor. Theirs ...
Meanwhile, things are getting increasingly bizarre in reptile land, and no, the pond isn't referring to Chairman Rupert's tweets, though that's another field of delight.
Sure there was the bizarre sight of Dame Groan attempting some half-hearted criticism of the poodle and his policies:
But it was clearly such an alien thing for her to do that she fell at the first hurdle.
So the pond turned to the faithful one, the bouffant one, the fairest knob polisher and forelock tugger in the land:
The pond was immediately tempted.
But what a bust. Note first of all how the header changes, so that when you get to the actual story it's "Labor's hunger games":
So what's so strange about that?
Well it's the notion that somehow it's Labor's hunger games ... and all the taunting the work of zinger Bill Shorten.
But it was the pontificating reptiles that set the game afoot in an editorial:
The key player here must be the Treasurer but he has been all but invisible in past weeks and only a sporadic performer since the budget. If he wants to take the public with him, Joe Hockey needs to tell us where he is going... Each day he sails off message or is silent is a day he lets down his Prime Minister and the government. If he is not hungry enough for the task, he should hand over to Malcolm Turnbull. The stakes are too high for mediocre efforts or for Mr Abbott to run his second best team. Instead of throwing up its hands at Labor’s obstructionist and fiscally delusional approach, the Coalition should leverage this contrast to strengthen its arguments.
It's the reptiles' hunger games! It's the reptiles who were doubly hurtful to Hickey ... and now they're palming it off to zinger Bill.
So where does that leave us this day? Up the creek it seems, alienated and brooding, and refusing to listen:
Uh huh. But who could start listening to Pyne, except devotees of extreme comedy, where a smirking face and unintentional slapstick is all that's on offer?
Never mind, the pond is made of stern stuff, which is how we've made it through some really bad movies of late.
The pond has seen its very last Christopher Nolan movie with Interstellar, and as for Brad Pitt, he's off the list too, thanks to Fury ...
There seems to be no end to insular, offensively American movies, and you don't have to look far to work out why, just to the twitter oracle, who delivered this flurry of floozies and then fell silent:
And Jesus Christ was white and had blue eyes. Look: