The pond was kicking back, relaxing and wildly celebrating the other day, all in one go.
Heck, the Sydney Water bill - the parsimonious mob who cheap skated Arthur Sinodinos - Arthur Sinodinos defends $200,000 salary at ICAC - had just landed, and notified the pond of a magnificent $9.93 carbon tax rebate, which it turned out was for the July 2014-June 2015 tax year.
At first the pond thought of a decent bottle of French champagne. Sure the pond's on the wagon, but this sort of munificence, this cornucopia of a tax cut, needed to be celebrated in style. That's when the pond experienced toxic champers bottle pricing shock.
But hey at least the pond slept peacefully, knowing that climate science was an international fraud and conspiracy - absolute crap according to our current, if temporary, fearless leader - and direct action was going to kick in so that taxpayers could forward money directly to wealthy companies, and so sort out the absolute crap. And luckily Australia might meet its targets if the economy kept on going down the gurgler ...
Well who wouldn't want a glass of champers to celebrate the Sir Duke way of governing?
As it is, the pond decided to spend the savings on a couple of cups of coffee, or maybe use the rebate as seed capital for the next big intertubes sensation, when the pond joins the digital economy in the next decade or so, thanks to Mal "copper is good for you" Turnbull ...
What else on the week in review?
Well it turned out that Cardinal Pell might have been a Catholic, but that didn't make him a Christian (the ABC here), as if anyone doubted the notion - easier for a poor person than the filthy rich Sistine Chapel to get through the gate ...
Then there was the fundamentalist Jewish community preferring pedophilia to dobbing (Our community's shame); and there was the matter of a child bride Islamic wedding ceremony came up for sentencing (Muslim child 'bride' was pregnant, court told), and then there was another terrorist attack, this time in Copenhagen, at a freedom of speech conference attended by a Swedish cartoonist, with an attendee ending up dead.
No wonder when god is asked her religion in the census, She always writes "Atheist". Who'd want to take the credit for the behaviour of the various creatures who claim to be in touch with Her ways?
And while we're at it, the pond would just like to mention Mattathias Schwartz's The Whole Haystack, for The New Yorker, on the subject of metadata. It can be found here, currently outside the paywall, and it deals with the matter in depth, in a way the pond can only admire and not emulate, but here's the last sentence or two as a teaser ...
The Paris attacks offered yet another opportunity to argue for the value of Section 215. Senator Bob Corker, of Tennessee, said that his priority was “insuring we don’t overly hamstring the N.S.A.’s ability to collect this kind of information.” Senator Chuck Grassley, of Iowa, said, “If it can happen in Paris, it can happen in New York again, or Washington, D.C.” The Senators focussed on attacks that Section 215 had not stopped and imagined attacks that it could theoretically stop. There was no mention of what it had actually stopped, or of Basaaly Moalin.
Coming soon to Australia, thanks to Tony Abbott and the quislings of the Labor Party.
But enough of this brooding. These days, it's always crows over the wheat fields time:
So what are the crows cawing about?
Of course this can only involve the lesser reptiles, the vulgar ones that congregate at the wretched tabloid Sunday Terror and try to peck out the eyes of any passing lamb.
And what do you know, three of the five slots featured in the fickle finger of rotating digital infamy concerned the 'no recriminations' man.
First up was Samantha Maiden:
The contents needn't delay us long here. It's just another bout of Peta Credlin bashing, and Abbott's fatal loyalty, full of musings about why Ruddock was sacked, and the state of leadership play:
Public chest beating that his cabinet is universally united behind his leadership is utterly hollow. There are 39 votes outside of the ministry for change and now there are a growing number within his executive who are openly disloyal or who have set the deadline of the May budget as “the trigger point’’. Frankly, I can count to the 52 voters required right now, when you include ministers who do not believe he will survive to the next election.
The question of whether the candidate is Malcolm Turnbull or Julie Bishop is not as entirely settled as some would believe. There is still the prospect that Bishop could come through the middle of deep concerns within Liberal ranks over his style of leadership. But while Bishop is more inclusive, it is Turnbull who most believe is the most fully formed candidate. His polling numbers are also much better.
Yes, it just won't go away, this question, and every incident - like the 'no recriminations' sacking - is a fresh excuse to drag out the entrails, and give them another inspection. And always, somewhere in the entrails, there's Peta Credlin looking like an unwanted burst appendix ...
Even Miranda the Devine was at it, though she had a clever wrinkle at the start, designed to throw the hounds off the scent:
Ironically enough, Tony Abbott’s enemies are doing him a favour. All the hyperventilating over “holocaust” and gotcha moments have become so ludicrous that the pendulum of public sympathy will surely swing back in the Prime Minister’s favour.
So far, so fair, it would seem, as the Devine hovers through the foggy, filthy air.
But what's this? Immediately the Devine piles on, and sounds like one of Abbott's enemies:
But his axing of Philip Ruddock as chief whip on Friday is perplexing.
What happened to no recriminations?
This wasn’t the personnel change that the PM’s colleagues had been pushing. They wanted the chief of staff gone, and maybe the treasurer.
Ruddock on the other hand, what has he done wrong?
One of the reasons emanating from the PM’s office is that he didn’t adequately prepare the PM for the shock of Monday’s spill motion vote.
But, as I wrote last Sunday, the PM’s office was telling MPs that the renegades advocating for a spill had about 40 votes, which was spot on, given the final vote was 39-61, with one informal vote. So no surprises there.
The other reason given is that Ruddock failed adequately to warn the Prime Minister of the disquiet on his backbench. What a joke.
One thing the PM cannot complain about is inadequate warning. Everyone was telling him he was in trouble. Why else the mea culpa press conference at the end of last year?
Ministers and backbenchers told him in person, editorials appeared in newspapers, his electorate office was flooded with feedback.
The PM may have chosen to fly blind to voter sentiment by dispensing with the polling services of Mark Textor after the 2013 election, but that was hardly Ruddock’s fault.
That the government was on the nose with the electorate was not exactly a secret. You’d have to be drinking some pretty strong Canberra Kool-Aid not to know.
What's this? A reptile revealing the hidden truth about the kool-aid? Well it seems that the Murdochians now have their own brand which treats all sorts of viruses, but exposes certain bacteria to sunlight:
So neither of those excuses stacks up. We are left with an act of immense disrespect showed to a loyal Liberal Party elder, a cursory press release from the PM’s office issued at 5.40pm on Friday.
A man of 71 who has devoted himself to service of his nation does not deserve to be dispatched this way. Ruddock played a crucial part in the government’s most successful policy to date. He helped Scott Morrison develop the suite of measures which stopped the boats. If only Peter Costello and Joe Hockey had collaborated so well on the last budget. What makes the timing of Ruddock’s ousting even more inexplicable is that the government is again under siege from moral poseurs using the office of the Human Rights Commission to wage war against its border protection policies.
Phew, thank the long absent lord. The Devine is on safer turf, and after a big swig of the kool aid, she's off berating Labor and its fellow pseuds, and moral poseurs - what's the harm in the odd gulag or children in prison? - and heaping praise on Ruddock and scorn on the HRC, and eek, there's a terrorist in the next door garage, roll on metadata, and yet, even after all the standard ritual abuse, came this mournful closer:
The challenge for the Abbott government is hard enough without discarding a stalwart such as Ruddock.
Et tu 'no recriminations' man?
And then there came Akker Dakker, a relentless typing machine, always on hand cawing and sighing at the worst of times:
Uh huh. Akker Dakker is spooked.
The irrational barbarians are at the gates, and the boiling oil and tar supplies are running down, along with the acidic vituperation.
The portly one might pose like a splendid military warrior, but he's got a real attack of the vapours:
Come sir, this is no time for portentous portly posing with arms crossed, we're facing a catastrophic effect on Australia's global standing, which as everyone knows is at an all-time high thanks to the shirtfronting man doing secret deals with Japan and so slotting into the deputy sheriff role for the United States in their war against China ...
It is of course all the fault of Fairfax and the ABC.
At this point, readers are asked not to chortle with glee in an unseemly way:
... the ceaseless denigration of the Coalition by the ABC and the Fairfax media is undoubtedly having an effect.
Yes, it's always best to shoot the messenger, it's the only way to distract from the sight of the stumblebum stumbling down the street.
The pond understands it was a thoughtless Fairfax sub-editor who erased Philip Ruddock when he happened across an ancient bottle of white out ... and it was an ABC hack who typed up the press release and issued it from the PMO.
How can an immortal, even a Tony Abbott, deal with this level of conspiracy?
A narrow win by the Baird government might not be enough to save Abbott, and a hung parliament or a loss would seal his fate.
Ironically, these grim findings come at the end of week in which Abbott and his team went a long way to restoring their credibility despite the usual savaging from the Leftist ABC and Fairfax media. Abbott did manage to make peace of sorts with his divisively frisky backbenchers but then he sacked long-serving former minister Philip Ruddock from the Chief Whip role late on Friday, causing more questions to be asked about his sense of political timing and judgment.
Damn you Fairfax, damn you ABC, how dare you report Ruddock's departure.
It could only lead to questions about Abbott's sense of political timing and judgement, and that must be left to Akker Dakker, who can balance matters by praising Abbott and savaging the pseuds on the matter of the submarines and the Captain's Call and secret deals with the Japanese:
Reflecting the adolescent attitudes of their Twitter-addicted editors and commentators, neither the ABC nor Fairfax has taken the national interest into account.
Abbott owes it to Baird (as he does the nation) to perform at his very best. South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria are mendicant states. Queensland will soon join them, Western Australia is marginal, but NSW is performing best of all.
The nation simply cannot afford another Labor state.
Mendicants! We'll all be rooned, said Hanrahan and Akker Dakker ...
When you get that sort of hysteria, that ripe hand wringing and keening and moaning and sackcloth and ashes, you realise the crows are doing it really tough in Murdoch wheat fields la la land ...
There's almost nothing for the pond to do. The white anting, the destabilising, the assault on Abbott from reptiles once soothed by the soma power of the kool aid is magnificent to behold ...
Time then for a cartoon which asks a trick question often asked by Twitter addicts: