(Above: more Pope here).
David Pope gets the day's business underway by spotting an errant Yoda burbling away in the sky, followed by a dirigible or blimp which constantly threatens to deflate.
Could it have anything to do with news of climate science?
But first let's get the pond's new word for the day out of the way.
Omphaloskeptic seems like the perfect word to describe the pond's daily activities.
But then the pond was torn by a realisation that navel gazing could in fact result in a dire case of herpetophobia.
It's easy to understand how a fear of reptiles comes about. This is the pitiful way that the reptiles of Oz this day try to dress up, or dress down, a poll result which is not good:
here, and it's back to 55/45, and the only sign of hope for the reptiles is that Abbott's record dissatisfaction level fell from a high of 68 to a mind-numbing 63, meaning his net satisfaction rating is -35. And amazingly, zinger Bill's satisfaction rating rose by four points to 39% - meaning his net satisfaction rating is -3.
Now the pond realises that polling is gibberish, and the only poll that counts is the poll on the day yadda yadda, but the reptiles had been most excited by the dead cat bounce in recent polling, and many were expecting or hoping that the dead Yoda would continue to bounce. Instead:
The latest Newspoll, taken exclusively for The Australian at the weekend, marks 18 months since the Coalition won power and shows if an election was called today Labor would start as clear favourite to return to office with a commanding two-party lead of 55 per cent to 45 per cent.
Since the September 2013 election, and in particular since last year’s poorly received budget, support for the Coalition has plunged by eight percentage points in both primary and two-party terms.
Labor has been in front of the Coalition in two-party terms for 19 consecutive Newspoll surveys and Bill Shorten, who also enjoyed a rise in his personal ratings, has led Mr Abbott as voters’ preferred prime minister since November.
Naturally the pond, being of an inquiring mind, had to ask:
Thanks Julius. Give us a mad scientist impression:
It turns out one of the reasons explaining why it is so is embedded in the reptiles' poll story:
Liberal backbenchers yesterday warned the next budget “battleground” would be over plans to reduce pension indexation from mid-2017, with Queensland MP Andrew Laming telling Fairfax Media there were “a couple of large missiles, Exocets and torpedoes aimed at this policy”.
But Mr Abbott, who yesterday made his first visit to Western Australia since two Liberal MPs from that state moved the spill motion against him, said he had no plans to make any further changes to the pension.
There's a simple enough bottom line here.
The parliamentary budget office estimates the change would save the Government $22.8 billion over the next decade.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist, Julius, to work out that a saving for the government equals a loss for pensioners.
Yes it's that pesky Andrew Laming back in the news at the ABC with Liberal MP Andrew Laming says missiles and 'torpedoes' aimed at Abbott's pension policy.
The only question is how soon before Abbott does his now perfected and patented backflip.
Right now we're in the set up phase:
...Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he was standing by the policy.
"There are no plans to make any changes to the age pension, other than those that were announced in the budget last year," he said.
"We think it's a perfectly reasonable measure to put in place for a period of time until the budgetary position is substantially improved."
Uh huh. That'd be the peachy keen budget loved by all.
As compensation? Pie in the sky in the bye and bye when things get better, but in the meantime, let me stand bold and resolute, so that the back down can be even more exquisite.
What's remarkable is that it's taken the doddery old senior citizens in the land to work out that that they're in the firing line.
Silly old buggers are often inclined to be conservative - oh that boofhead Tony Abbott is such a nice man - but they're also inclined to be canny, and they can recognise a tap on the purse or the wallet, and so can their representatives:
And if that wasn't enough, jolly Joe Hockey, dirigible at large, came out with what could only be described as an absent-minded thought bubble, making superannuation as much of an issue as pensions.
Sorry, the pond stands corrected:
This idea is certainly not an innovation and is not responsible enough even to be considered a thought bubble.
Yes, jolly Joe has brought down the wrath of Paul Keating in double-barrelled mode in Hockey plans to smash a world-class superannuation system.
Naturally the pond is leery about standing between Keating and Hockey when Keating launches such a fine assault, but sorry Julius, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that if the young splash the cash early in their life on a home (or an apartment, with its added annual costs), they're likely to end up asset rich and cash poor in old age.
Of course the only solution then is to add a greater burden to the aged pension, or to sell the home and shift into a cardboard box, or best of all - and you can see why the Liberals are slavering and slobbering at the idea - force the young 'uns turned oldies into a nicely profitable reverse mortgage situation where their castle gradually becomes the property of the banks and financial institutions ...
And then there's Keating:
Breaking what is now a national consensus on the principle of preservation, where savings cannot be drawn down till age 55, would amount to the wilful destruction of one of the best retirement systems in the world...
...The Liberals have always hated national superannuation for the broad workforce. And mandatory superannuation gets right up their nose. Their objection to superannuation is ideological. They would prefer to see broad increments to national wealth in such places as stock markets accumulate only to their top end wealthy constituency. In other words, superannuation, limited as it used to be before 1985 – for the top end of industry and the public service only.
Uh huh. So what was Abbott's response to the dirigible's bubble that couldn't be called a thought?
On Monday Prime Minister Tony Abbott supported Mr Hockey, saying his suggestion was "a perfectly good and respectable idea" and he hoped Australians keep debating it.
"I can remember back in the early '90s when I was helping John Hewson to draft the 'fightback' statement, putting in a suggestion to this effect," Mr Abbott said.
"It is something that I am very happy to see further debated but there are obviously some issues around it and let's fully consider it. At this stage we don't have any plans to introduce it."
Yes it's that bloody Yoda floating in the air jibber jabbering away and flying kites and wanting debates, as if it's all just a discussion starter on a TV science show...
Already the debate's dragged out David Murray to front the ABC cameras with a genteel reprimand, while others have crunched the numbers:
David Whiteley, the chief executive of Industry Super Australia, says a typical $40,000 deposit for a first home would wipe out completely the first nine years of a young adult's super savings and reduce their retirement savings by $140,000 in current prices - with $100,000 lost in compound interest.
Mr Keating also makes this point in his column.
$40,000 typical? Well sure if you want to buy a garage in Sydney, but do go on:
"Any meaningful housing deposit taken from the accumulated savings of younger savers would effectively eliminate or near eliminate the base from which the important compounding [of earnings] would otherwise occur," Mr Keating writes.
Saul Eslake, the chief economist of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, says if young adults used their super savings to buy a home they may be compensated later in life by increases in the value of that home, but that could not be guaranteed.
Well indeed Saul, especially as the chicken littles frequently circle the wagons and squawk about housing bubbles, and especially if you end up asset rich and cash poor and look to the aged pension for relief ... what else can they do now that Bank of America's got out of the reverse mortgage game? (here).
But wait, there's more.
You see, the man who follows a gruesome death cult, with a crucifixion, stigmata, vinegar and wafer and wine turned actual flesh and blood cannibalism at its core, has in recent days been waxing lyrical about how the Australian government is going to lead fundie Islamics away from a dangerous death cult.
How does he propose to do it?
Why by slagging off the UN for its tedious blather about human rights.
It's all there in Fairfax's Tony Abbott: Australians 'sick of being lectured to' by United Nations, after report finds anti-torture breach (with forced video).
Indeed. No doubt fundie Islamics are pleased to follow Abbott, berate soft touchy feely human rights do gooders, denounce the UN for its lecturing and hectoring ways, and carry on doing what fundamentalists like to do, whether it involves monuments, museums, music, gays, women, or refugees flung on to the seas by the desperate situation in Iraq and Syria ... a desperate situation the western alliance did its very best to bring about by a counter-productive war ...
And all with the collective noun thrown about wildly, as in 'Australians are sick of being lectured to', when in fact there's a considerable bunch of Australians sick of listening to Abbott's confused and chaotic rhetoric, talking down fundies one minute, and then dissing human rights in the next breath, and all the while using security issues to infringe on all kinds of rights ...
Well the pond has managed to get through this piece without once experiencing herpetophobia, so it's time to head back into the nest of festering reptiles for a typical experience from a man who once purported to be Labor but now makes Genghis Khan sound like a moderate greenie leftie:
What to say?
Well by a strange and weird coincidence, yesterday the reptiles locked this editorial behind the paywall:
The reptiles backing Obama's strategy? Will wonders never cease?
So is Gary Johns the only one not alive to the way Netanyahu is an existential threat not just to Israel but to events in the Middle West?
Seems like it, and amazingly even the reptiles are a little askance:
So could a more modern, outward-looking Israel, but then that's asking for Gary Johns to sound a little less hawkish, and long ago that was scientifically proven to be impossible ...
What else? Well no need to ask why it's so, let's just continue the debate, thanks to Petty, and more Petty here.