(Above: more Rowe here).
It's always good to smell the Rowe cartoon and the napalm in the morning.
And what this morning heralds - yes the pond heard a kookaburra sounding off this day in the heart of Sydney town - is how the shadow boxing has already fatally weakened Abbott. It doesn't much matter whether he goes or stays, everything in the future will be refracted through the broken mirror of leadership speculation.
Is this issue enough to bring on a spill? Is that matter? Or the next Sir Duke farce which is sure to come given Abbott's haymaker form?
If he doesn't go in the next week, he will go slowly, by way of a thousand cuts, and the pond is torn between the paths. Is it better to have a featherduster quickly, or is making one slowly and carefully, by plucking and mounting each feather with individual care, the more rewarding way to go?
As for today, the reptiles are taking a bit of a breather. Oh sure the HUN is still on song:
But the reptiles at the Oz did their best to downplay the latest treacherous betrayal by that wretched rogue Arfur ... (nice little water board on offer Terry, we could work there for a song):
But the reptiles couldn't help themselves. Not when they could label as an EXCLUSIVE news that's been bleeding obvious to anyone who's paid the slightest attention to the drifting economy ...
No wonder that nervous nelly, the bouffant one, worried that the danger for Abbott remains.
The next budget is shaping up to blow all those promises about a balanced budget within a few years clear out of the water.
And there were others gnawing at the pain, and the loss of love, and the whole damn thing:
Now there's much delicious reading to be found in reptile la la land, as the poor things try to wrap their heads around the news that Abbott is on the nose, not just with the electorate, but also with many of his colleagues, but the pond today found Greg "the bromancer" Sheridan's the most exemplary of all.
For some strange reason, instead of focussing on the budget - it's the economy stupid - Sheridan decided the biggest problem was not being able to buy submarines from Japan:
And that's the best case Sheridan can mount.
Never mind that Abbott has done his best to make Australia a laughing stock abroad - with Bishop on hand to mop up the assorted messes the mice make - his going would make us a laughing stock, and then there's the submarines.
Yes we'll all be rooned in thousands of different areas, said Hanrahan, though surprisingly you'd look far and wide and come up empty to find this sort of nonsense in the reptiles' columns when they bayed and brayed for the blood of Rudd and Gillard, and urged on instability and Labor party chaos as a national sport.
Could it get any more pathetic, as a defence, or as a spectre of gloom? Well yes it could, because Sheridan invokes Italian politics as his next excuse for keeping on the Sir Duke man in his duties:
Uh huh. So the United States is laughing at Australia? Well go deal with a measles outbreak, and all the GOP comedy surrounding that farce ...
And wait a minute: is the bromancer, our possible man in Singapore singing a song of Abbott? Or is he covertly pointing out that maybe Julie Bishop, the one who's been actually running foreign policy without a shirtfront in sight, should be the one to replace the shirtfronter?
Nope, the bromancer is still for Abbott, and so he must hunt out others to blame.
Now many will have thought that the Pope cartoon the pond ran yesterday (remember there's always more Pope here) was a far-fetched, good natured jibe:
But what do you know? Here's Sheridan explaining that Abbott's woes are all the fault of "us":
Yes, we're just a bunch of ungovernable beasts in the field.
And there are all sorts of other problems, all things that have contributed to the hapless Abbott's situation, and nothing at all to do with his actions, deeds, policies, budget or capacity to communicate. What a bundle of excuses they make:
Many, many federal and state governments have struggled with a minority in the senate or their upper houses. They usually deal with it by negotiation - unless you happen to be given to acts of political bastardy like Malcolm Fraser - yet suddenly it's a huge problem.
And then there's the fiendish intertubes and all that wretched electronic graffiti:
Uh huh. The Murdochian propaganda wing of the Liberal party is helpless in front of the intellectually weak.
Perhaps because they have a donkey's ass like Sheridan scribbling for them.
On and on he rambles, in crisis and excuse mode, building to a final apocalypse:
Yes, before we know it, Adolf Hitler would be running the country. And that's what will happen if we get rid of a monarchist fop!
What do to, what to do? Well it seems that Abbott must do a good Catholic thing, and like Bill Clinton, repent. Oh sure he's said a few Our Fathers and Hail Marys but he needs to do a whole rosary in contemplative silence:
Throughout the piece, alternately gloomy and flinging blame around like confetti and conjuring up nonsensical 'what if' futures, the pond was haunted by a New Yorker cartoon:
The bromancer is in profound denial.
And he's not the only one. This day the Bolter spends his column wringing his hands, warning the agitators and provocateurs against any move, stepping back from the brink to argue better a woeful dog we know than a woeful one we don't.
But it's fellow reptile Niki Savva who doesn't hold back today:
And if that isn't enough, she puts the bromancer and his excuses firmly in their place:
Then comes a litany of complaints, repeated like a mantra:
Yes in Savva's world, there's no talk of dogs, homework, the internet, the senate or all the other excuses drummed up to forgive a politician who never worked out how to turn from nattering negativity and three word slogans into a communicative policy-maker in government:
And so the Liberals are gradually moving towards the man, much loved by many, who made a fool of himself over the Godwin Gretch utegate affair, is disliked intensely by the Nationals, and who at one time outraged climate denialists, and still upsets them, no matter how much he's tried to walk back with his 'let's give direct action a go' chatter.
Oh and he destroyed the NBN, so that one of the pond's family members can gloat about superfast speeds thanks to a private company installing a connection in his apartment block - just before the company was forced to withdraw the offering from the marketplace - while the pond already has its snail-placed 'broadband'. Gee thanks Optus, thanks big Mal.
Yes, it's a perfect storm, with much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and now the pond has a perfect storm of ex-Catholic guilt wondering if it's so very wrong to enjoy the chaos, and even, gasp, to hope that it endures so that the humiliation of Abbott is even more deep, more profound.
The more Abbott talks, in his three word slogan way about ending the chaos, the more Abbott confirms that chaos is afoot and all around him.
Sure, the pond's perversity might help fuck the country, but not as much as Abbott and co., and anyway, isn't that a small price to pay for the pond's ongoing pleasure?
But look, there's good news. The NT is back to normal. Yes, it's soft croc bondage day in the NT:
That surely inspired Pope today, and as noted above, remember to give Pope a hit here.
And now for a final flurry of floozies, the pond would just like to commemorate First Dog doing a Niki Savva yesterday. You can find it, and more First Dog at the Graudian here, where it springs to life full size, but in the meantime, for those who've missed it, the Dog gave Abbott a kind, nuanced, subtle and elegant farewell, which has forced the pond to ignore the embargo warning, though here you have to click on to enlarge: