Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Scribbling for Murdoch? That's a paddlin', right there ...

(Above: combine Tony Abbott, Charlton Heston - you'll have to prise the title PM from my cold, dead hands - and that wondrous statue of liberty - with the pond's favourite nonsense genre, and you have a Pope masterwork, and more Pope here).

The pond is pleased to advise that a competitive evaluation process is a process whereby things are competitively evaluated.

It is not a competitive tender, though if things are tendered, they may be competitively evaluated in a process that is not a tender.

Now that the pond has cleared it all up - thanks to the insights of much greater minds than the pond - let the subs go to Japan and Sean Edwards be declared a gullible goose willing to be force fed any corn to hand and let the day's reptile proceedings commence.

Oh yes, the geese are cackling ...

On with the rest of the day, and first up is yet another high culture reference, thanks to the immortal David Rowe (and more Rowe here):

Ah, Das Boot, about the best thing Wolfgang Petersen ever directed, and the claustrophobia it induced as the rivets popped in the depths is nothing, at least up against the fear the pond felt when Kevin Andrews announced he was in charge of a decision-making process which would resonate for the next fifty years in terms of national security.

Should we just organise a competitive evaluation process and sell the country to the Chinese?

But enough of the comedy.

High today on the agenda is Mr. Abbott's acknowledgement that dibbers and dobbers on staff speaking against noble, hard-working MPs, just doing their duty, are up for the sack.

It reminded the pond of that immortal Simpsons' line by Jasper Beardley:

"Talking out of turn? That's a paddlin'. Lookin' out the window? That's a paddlin'. Staring at my sandals? That's a paddlin'. Paddlin' the school canoe? Oh, you better believe that's a paddlin'." (Simpsons' wiki here).

Dammit, those camp cultural references just keep on flowing when contemplating Abbott's Canberra.

Never mind, today the reptiles are preoccupied with giving Peta Credlin a paddling, while also gnawing at the bone of big Mal becoming Treasurer, and never mind what happens to that epic hectoring and lecturing failure, jolly Joe Hockey.

First up with the paddling is the reptile editorialist at the lizard Oz, but they also manage to work big Mal into the mix.

The result is a wondrous stew of warped logic and weirdness, replete with a little bashing of the Labor government to make the bitter pill easier to swallow:

Now roll that one around on your tongue: 

"The chief of staff needs to be sidelined; preferably removed altogether, but at least pushed sideways to encourage other avenues of advice and feedback".

Now apply that logic to other chief of staff style jobs. How about this? 

The editor Chris Mitchell needs to be sidelined; preferably removed altogether, but at least pushed sideways to encourage other avenues of journalism and reptile columnists".

Yes, you can just imagine a furious Chris Mitchell explaining how he wouldn't wear being pushed sideways. There's no point in having a COS that doesn't function as a COS, just as there shouldn't be fighting in the war room.

You either have a COS or you don't.

But that's the sort of fuzzy 'pushed sideways' logic and enormously stupid advice that Abbott keeps getting from the reptiles, and it possibly explains why he's in so much trouble.

And then the reptiles double down:

Yes, Credlin should get out of the way - code for resign - and Abbott should accept that 200k a year man Arthur Sinodinos as his de facto COS.

And so to the matter of Turnbull.

How desperate is the notion that Turnbull should just be given a bit of frippery - a badge titled "digital economy" - so he can roam far and wide in the economic debate, because no one's listening to jolly Joe, though jolly Joe still suffers from the delusion that he's the best person for the job, and he's going to deliver a ripper second budget.

Amen to that. You can see why the reptiles are lathered in sweat and fear.

There's a storm coming, but can it be settled by big Mal blathering about a digital economy.

What a pity that assumes the nation has got a decent digital economy, thanks to a decent digital hook-up.

Now the pond doesn't want to go down the bitter path of reminding the reptiles of their ferocious campaign against the NBN. But this blather about a digital economy, based on a fucked NBN, is really too much for anyone to bear.

A US study has delivered an unwelcome finding about Australian internet speeds, finding that they are well behind the international pack. 
One engineering expert said the nation would continue to tumble down in world rankings if the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) continues in its current form. 
The State of the Internet Report from cloud service provider Akamai ranks Australia 44th for average connection speed. 
The US-based company produces the quarterly report looking at connection speeds and broadband adoption around the world. Dr Mark Gregory, a network engineering expert from RMIT University, said the Akamai report was a reputable review.  
"In the latest report, Australia has dropped a couple of places down to the 44th position, which is a pretty big drop really over such a short period of time," he said. Dr Gregory said Australia's relative decline was because many other countries were moving forward apace with new and upgraded networks. (more at the ABC here).

Uh huh. And the cheeky fuckers have the cheek to talk about a digital economy. And why are things so desperate?

Dr Gregory said the Federal Government's decision to switch from fibre-to-the-home to a mixed fibre/copper network was part of the reason for the decline. 
"One of the reasons is that we're falling down the list [is] that we're moving towards utilising a copper-based access network," he said. 
"Whereas previously, under the Labor government, we were moving towards an all fibre-based network, which is what most of our competitors are now doing.
"And we're also seeing this drop because, as we keep changing direction with the NBN, we're putting in large delays before the rollout is actually occurring." 
New Zealand is one of the nations now ranked ahead of Australia, with faster average internet speeds. Dr Gregory said that was largely because it has stuck with a fibre-to-the-home network. 
"The key difference between New Zealand and Australia is that New Zealand made the decision to do fibre-to-the-premise, they've stuck with that decision," he said. 
Even though Australia is much larger geographically, Dr Gregory said fibre-to-the-home should be financially viable for a network to cover the vast bulk of the population. "Fibre-to-the-premise is viable in Australia, mainly because most Australians are clustered around the coast," he said.

Uh huh. There's that Victorian copper again, backed up by vintage cable.

Roll that concept around on your tongue. The cheeky reptiles want a man who has - in kow towing to a luddite, done his best to drag the digital economy into the mud - they want this forelock tugger to be given a free-ranging chook brief to speak on the economy at large, because no one's listening to jolly Joe.

And there in a nutshell is why this government, and the country is fucked. Because if that's the sort of advice you can find in the editorial pages of the lizard Oz, you wouldn't trust them with running a chook raffle in Wests League club.

What else?

Well the Fairfaxians are also banging on about big Mal as the cure-all, as you can read in Malcolm Turnbull was approached before the Treasury portfolio even before Monday's spill.

Along the way that story provided a reminder of why the Oz reptiles are so nervous about having the adults in charge, what with good government now supposed to be in its second day:

A number of Liberals argue Mr Hockey should be replaced with Mr Turnbull as the key marker of Mr Abbott's new approach to government. 
Others say it is impossible to sack a treasurer and it would cause "mayhem" internally. 
Nonetheless, there are signs of distancing between Mr Abbott and his Treasurer, such as the frank admission on Monday that the budget had been a political failure that was "too bold and ambitious" and contained initiatives that were never explained well enough to voters. 
The fallout from Monday's failed leadership spill has sparked fresh recriminations within the government, brought allegations of treachery among cabinet ministers, and caused confusion over a votes-for-subs scandal associated with the future submarines project. 
Just one day after Mr Abbott survived the move, dissatisfaction has broadened to include Mr Hockey's performance as the government's most senior economic minister. 
One Liberal cited the Prime Minister's comments on the budget as code for recognising the budget had been "a political disaster". 
Liberals are now looking to Mr Abbott to make "concrete" changes to the government to back up his promises to improve consultation and build community support for economic policy instead of forcing changes through. 
"Look, this thing has been bungled politically from the start - if both Tony and Joe, the two architects of it, just stay where they are, it is really no change at all," said one MP who remains unconvinced by promises of improved consultation. 
Though it is understood Mr Turnbull was not opposed to the suggestion in principle, the revelation is likely to add to internal friction and fuel suspicion that Mr Hockey is being undermined.

What a nest of snakes and worms, daily on parade in the press.

No wonder jolly Joe felt the need to turn up on 7.30 and pat back down the pitch a series of under arm lolly pops from the resident soft soaper ...

What else?

Well today Graham Lloyd, climate conspiracist, is at it again in the lizard Oz.

The entire angle, throughout Lloyd's story, is that the figures have been cooked and that there's a conspiracy afoot, and the conspiracy has been found out, and it brings everything into question.

Climate authorities have been challenged over decisions to ­revise and homogenise data, often by reducing historic temperatures, making temperature rises since 1950 appear more ­dramatic. Questions have been raised about temperature data sets in North America, the North Pole, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand, with some claiming the changes amount to fraud or criminal behaviour.

Yes, NASA and the NOAA and other climate authorities are full of criminals indulging in fraudulent and criminal behaviour, and can the black helicopters and world government and the UN be far behind? Well, there has to be some motivation for the fraud and criminal behaviour ...

Could it get any more pathetic?

Well yes, when you put it at the top of the digital page and label it an EXCLUSIVE.

It's about as EXCLUSIVE as the view of a male stripper's genitals in a hen's night out ...

Where does this put the reptiles of Oz?

Well over in the corner with the UK Daily Terror's Christopher Booker, the Drudge report, Fox and sundry other ratbags.

The story was covered by Media Matters here, which provides a link to Ars Technica here.

Being pretty low on the conservative food chain, it took awhile to surface in the Oz, but surface it did, and the way that it works makes for a fascinating study.

First Lloyd runs wild with all the charges, of fraud and criminal behaviour, and of deliberate malicious distortions of the record in Iceland and Paraguay and the Arctic.

Saucy doubts and fears are rampant.

Then in the second half of the story, having set up the conspiracists for a fall, the standard denials by NASA, Kevin Cowtan, the NOAA and others are trotted out by Lloyd, to produce a semblance of balance, which in turn allows the lizard Oz's editorialist to assert that they believe in climate science as an item of religious faith ...

The report by Robert Rohde, Zeke Hausfather and Steve Mosher said it was possible to find ­stations that homogenisation had warmed and others that had cooled. 
It was also possible to find ­select entire continents that had warmed and others where the ­opposite was the case. 
“Globally, however, the effect of adjustments is minor. It’s minor because on average the biases that require adjustments mostly cancel each other out,” the report said. 
In a statement to The Australian, NOAA said it was understandable there was a lot of interest in the homogenisation changes. 
“Numerous peer-­reviewed studies continue to find that NOAA’s temperature record is ­reliable,” NOAA spokesman Brady Phillips said. 
“To ensure accuracy of the ­record, scientists use peer-­reviewed methods called homo­g­enisation to adjust temperature readings to account for a variety of non-­climate related effects such as changes in station location, changes in observation methods, changes in instrumentation such as thermometers, and the growth of urban heat islands that occur through time,” he said. 
Mr Phillips said such changes in observing systems cause false shifts in temperature readings. “Paraguay is one example of where these false shifts artificially lower the true station temperature trend,” he said. 
Mr Phillips said the largest ­adjustment in the global surface temperature record occurs over the oceans. “Adjustments to ­account for the transition in sea surface temperature observing methods actually lowers global temperature trends,” he said.

It all begins to sound quite normal and reasonable ... until you remember that these are the very same climate authorities guilty of fraud and criminal activities, and involved in a gigantic conspiracy and hoax ...

And that's how it works. First the hysteria and the wild-eyed accusations, and then after evil Edward Hyde has done the damage, it's back to parading as Dr. Jekyll ...

It's in this context that the pond is indebted to a reader providing a link to Bjorn Lomborg think tank funder revealed as billionaire 'vulture capitalist', though credit should also go to Desmogblog, which claimed it as an 'exclusive' here.

The story features vulture capitalist Paul Singer providing 200k to the lizard Oz's favourite climate change columnist, Bjorn Lomborg and his Copenhagen Consensus Centre.

Consensus? Yes that's what you call something when you're in search of exquisite irony:

How pathetic was the defence that was offered?

Roland Mathiasson, Executive Vice President at the Copenhagen Consensus Center, told DeSmogBlog: “Not one dollar of this grant has been spent. It's for a potential future project, pending support from a broad range of political perspectives to underline the non-political nature of the project. 
 “It is a project for the public conversation, so obviously there will be a lot of communication once broad support is secured, and the project is launched.” 
 Mathiasson declined to provide further details.

Paul Singer - Mr 1% himself - backing a non-political project?

It turns out that Lomborg managed to draw down almost a cool million in a couple of years scribbling words designed as a kind of climate denialist fog or blanket which could be draped over climate science and reduce it to a minor matter of no real concern ... so the looting of the planet and the burning of the coal can continue unabated.

Nice work for Mr Lomborg - if you can get it - and no doubt he will go on being featured in the lizard Oz, without any regard for the sources of his funding, or the implications arising therefrom.

So once again the reptiles at the lizard Oz, with a sly wink and a nudge, can confirm the rag as the natural home of climate denialism in Murdoch la la land ... though maybe the WSJ, another home for Lomborg, could beat it in a three legged race ...

And yes, the world's greatest climate scientist, Moorice Newman, continues as chairman of Tony Abbott's business advisory panel ...

Perhaps Abbott could give Malcolm Turnbull the honorary title of Minister for digital climate science, and allow him to roam around the country,  waxing lyrical on the benefits of emissions trading schemes ...

(Below: and more Moir here).

The pond's advice? Well for once we can agree with an Anglican, and perhaps share a cucumber and cheese sandwich while waiting:


  1. Yesterday Devine got kicked out of Parliament for not having the correct pass. Couldn't have happened to a nicer person.

  2. From the SMH’s Lisa Cox:

    “In an interview with Sky News on Tuesday, senator Sean Edwards was asked to clear up the confusion over whether Mr Abbott promised an "open tender" or a so-called "competitive evaluation process" in a bid to secure votes to defeat Monday's leadership spill. However, he was unable to clearly explain what he was promised, and ultimately observed that: "You know, you never get a second chance to ask your uncle to your wedding."

    Looks like Sean Edwards hasn’t read “How To Avoid Being Sold a Dud for Dummies”

  3. You know, you could get a bit depressed reading the Oz' on a regular basis....if you took the shit-bag seriously!

    1. If you read the comments at the Catalaxy blog you see the type of person that the OZ writes for.

      The commenters and the bloggers have cleaned up their act recently, but the level of bile and irrational shouting and stupid childish abuse shows what sort of character The Australian readers have not to mention the intellectual level on which they choose to interact with each other.

      It certainly is not a good idea to take any of those loons seriously. The loons who come here to roost are a different kettle of fish - not sorry about the mixed metaphor.

      One overseas libertarian minded blogger that I check on occasionally advised his readers a few months ago that there were no libertarian blogs in Australia worth reading and that the comments on the right wing blogs that we have would make your 'eyes water'.

      Who can take any thing seriously these days?

      There's Hockey on my TV telling me he had "no choice" but .... I have been told so many times by the glibertarians that people always have a choice. And these people once called themselves economic rationalists.

  4. Joe Hockey? The best man for the job? Ah, remember the Access card, he only spent a lazy billion along the way to producing nowt...
    I think it's fair to say that our Joe has a bit of a history with failure.

  5. Am I the only one to see the answer to Abbotts PMO problem?

    Give Peta the arse and give the job to Arfur Icac, problem sorted.

  6. What perfect timing, DP. A couple of plotters, harbouring sharp instruments, in the slammer. The presser should, on current trends, feature a manly PM strutting his cred alongside a variety of uniformed, if not armed, personnel. Will Campbell Newman be available to add more gravitas?
    I'm half expecting Abbott to approve the shooting-by-cop of that poor woman yesterday. Yes, citizens, you will comply with our demands or be eliminated. Even if you happen to be crippled by psychosis and unable to comprehend simple shouts.

  7. And Dot not to overburden you with more reptilian behaviour but I have to mention this climate change denier called Graham; Graham Young of the Online Opinion website

    Check out the insane denial tactics he employs against the commenter who tries to explain what cherry picking the data is.

    For years he has actively supported the right to 'free speech' by the most sexist racist and offensive old men on his site but recently my comment was taken down and I was immediately blocked from making any further comments without any explanation or advice about how I can have my right to speak freely on his site.

    He also has the absolute hide - as my mother would say - to write an article for this issue of his online publication and say it is about economics! Bahaha again like my mum would say; "the man has a hide like an elephant" and I say Oh the hypocrisy of the Christians in our midst.

  8. Another boon for the neocon crazy from Kirribilli! Today's 'Closing the Gap' report puts the blame for failures squarely on the recipients of all that government largesse. They aren't making their kids go to school! What hope is there for them, DP? Will we continue to waste good money on programs that do not meet the PM's convenient benchmarks? I say NO!
    Now, I do not want to expose my ignorance of political philosophy, but aboriginal leaders need to know the difference between Neoliberal and Neoconservative policies.

    1. UC, COALition members Andrew Nikolic, Russell Broadbent, Angus Taylor, John Cobb, Ken O'Dowd and Melissa Price walked out on Blib Snoozer's closing the gap speech... Indigenous leaders present responded with silence to Abbortt's speech, but clapped Snooten's.

  9. "(A) wondrous stew of warped logic and weirdness", DP? Not really, when you consider the Oz is the publicity arm of the Liberal party. This is standard output, like any press release we have seen from the government since September 2013. That is, full of shite.

  10. But I'm also astonished to hear that the "debacle" that was the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years was not due to the dysfunction in the ALP, but to those pesky staffers!

    As Dawn Lake used to say: "what a relevation!"

  11. DP - "The entire angle, throughout Lloyd's story, is that the figures have been cooked..."

    Gee, thanks to the Conman and jolly Joe things are really smokin'. Yep, a burning ruin:

    Price Waterhouse Cooper's G20 in 2050:

    2.United States
    11.United Kingdom
    17.South Korea
    18.Saudi Arabia

    G83? xx. Australia

    lolz... Purely academic of course as per the PWC report GDP big business as usual growth predictions see climate warm by 6 degrees. PWC, bought and sold by the one-percenters naturally think Carbon Capture and Storage from 2020 may lower the warming.... BwahahahahahahahahahHaHaHa-ho-ho-Ho - What a hoot!


      "more plausible and affordable 'gradual greening' scenario" ... CCS - invisible solution to invisible problem - is more plausible than what? A smokey Joe budget surplus?

  12. Is that "Disgraced Junior Minister Sinodinos" or "Obeid Business Associate Sinodinos" or is it time to promote him to "Colourful Sydney Identity Sinodinos"?


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