The good news is that Pope is back and more Pope here; the other good news is that Twitter has been down; and the further good news is that Malcolm Turnbull's HFC network is showing that it's not just turtles that know how to race hares ... so that the pond has been prepared this day at a pace a medieval monk working on an illustration for an illuminated manuscript would recognise.
Perhaps that explains the irritation.
Meanwhile, the nonsense flows on, unrefined and unchallenged.
LEIGH SALES: Many people in that sector and other sectors would tell you that the most critical thing for their business these days is a speedy internet. So why then do you continue to back a broadband network that relies on a decrepit copper network?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Why do - but that is just - with great respect, that is just completely wrong. I mean, I ...
LEIGH SALES: It relies on copper to get from the node to the house and that copper network's old. MALCOLM TURNBULL: Yeah. But it doesn't matter whether it's old or young as long as it works. We are - under the approach we are taking to the NBN, we will get the network completed six to eight years sooner than it would be under Labor's proposed method and $30 billion cheaper or at less expense to the Government, which makes broadband more affordable. I mean, it is remarkable - it doesn't matter how many facts are presented by the company on this issue, we still get the same - we still get the same assertions ...
LEIGH SALES: But the company - but a leak of - I don't want to get bogged down in NBN 'cause I want to get through a lot, ...
MALCOLM TURNBULL: No, I really don't.
LEIGH SALES: ... but there's a leak of internal NBN documents to The Australian newspaper showing that the copper network is in such poor shape that the company has to spend 10-fold what it had planned to spend to whip it into shape.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well that's simply not true.
LEIGH SALES: Alright. Let's move on.
That's simply not true, so Let's move on?
And that's it ...?
Not "well that's simply not true that that's not true, so why move on"?
Sales has a remarkable inability to lay a glove on the smarmy Malware.
The company building the government’s National Broadband Network is facing a $640 million bill to repair and replace parts of the decrepit copper network it bought from Telstra to underpin the nation’s biggest-ever infrastructure project.
Confidential NBN documents obtained by The Australian reveal the company is looking at a tenfold blowout on what it originally thought it would cost to remediate the old copper network that forms the basis of the Coalition’s fibre-to-the-node rollout.
The leaked documents for the first time reveal the cost that the NBN will incur to fix the copper network it bought from Telstra last year in an $11.2 billion deal.
NBN expects to spend $26,115 per node to fix Telstra’s copper lines to ensure it can deliver the speeds and service quality promised for Malcolm Turnbull’s mixed-technology network.
The documents make a mockery of the assumptions contained in a 2013 strategic review, prepared after the Coaliton won power, which put the cost of remediating copper connections at just $2685 for each node.
The release of NBN’s copper remediation costings is the second damaging leak to come from within the government-funded network builder in just a week.
Last week it was revealed the NBN had drawn up plans to replace the Optus cable network in a move that could cost the project $375m and make it miss its 2017 and 2018 connection targets.
The NBN paid $800m in 2012 for the Optus hybrid-fibre coaxial network — which is used to deliver broadband and pay-TV services — but the company has since discovered that large portions of the network are in such poor condition that they will need to be replaced to deliver super-fast internet access speeds.
Now if you can't be bothered googling the reptiles, try the reptiles' free version at Leaked documents reveal it could cost up to $641 million for NBN to fix ageing Telstra copper network.
That's simply not true and Let's move on?
Can we just pause to read ...
Our Prime Minister may have been factually inaccurate on 7:30 on NBN copper costs ...
What about a graph?
Is there anything more irritating than Turnbull yabbering on about being a futurist?
Yes, there is ...
LEIGH SALES: Alright. Let's move on.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: I - anyway. (Laughs)
LEIGH SALES: OK. Let's whip through a few other things. Your minister, Mal Brough, ... MALCOLM TURNBULL: You've lost interest in innovation, have you?
LEIGH SALES: (Laughs) I haven't lost interest, but there's a lotta things to get through and there's limited time.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Aunty ABC loses interest in innovation.
LEIGH SALES: I wish we had unlimited time.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Yes, well, there you go.
Uh huh, so where does Turnbull stand in relation to innovation?
Yes, that's him standing next to, and pandering to the vision of, Tony Abbott ... thanks meme-sters.
Of course in the trade, the business between Sales and Turnbull is known as "unresolved sexual tension" or UST, or, for the illiterate who can't understand "unresolved" is one word, it's "URST":
He’s a Socialist and a chauffeur. She’s a feminist and a socialite. Feisty and informed, Tom Branson and Lady Sybil Crawley share a love of progressive politics in Ye Olde England. They also share a tonne of URST: unresolved sexual tension. As fans of the deliciously melodramatic Downton Abbey, we pray the star-crossed lovebirds will overcome their class barrier and give in to their URST. But URST is not just the stuff of story, even though the term is an invention of storytellers. We’re willing to bet you have it with someone right now. The question is, should you take a gamble? When to play and when to fold? (and a lot more UST here).
Well, it didn't take long, after the UST, before we got to the bickering couple stage, though the domestic had as much oomph as a set-to with wet lettuce leafs:
LEIGH SALES: Has he offered to step down from the frontbench?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Look, I don't want to go, with great respect, into discussions between myself and ministers on this or any other matter.
LEIGH SALES: Is there a risk that this issue could turn into a running sore for you the way that, say, Craig Thomson turned into for Julia Gillard?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, Leigh, again, I'm sorry you've lost interest in innovation and it is ... LEIGH SALES: There's lots of issues. We can walk and chew gum at the same time.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: But, no, well, the problem is we can't. You see, we can't chew gum at the same time because ...
LEIGH SALES: Well we can, actually, because if - look, I - look, if every guest on the program came on and they only got to talk about what they wanted to talk about, it would be a very different program. Now listen, ...
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Do you - let me ask you this question: how interested do you think your audience are ...
LEIGH SALES: I ask the questions on this program. I think they're very - I think they're very interested, frankly.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Do you think they're more interested in innovation and jobs?
LEIGH SALES: Let's - I'll tell you what I think they're interested in. One of your colleagues resigning from the Liberal Party to join the National Party, Ian Macfarlane. A number of your colleagues have criticised him, including the Attorney-General George Brandis, who says it's left a bad taste in people's mouth. How do you feel about it?
Actually, with the greatest respect to the bickering couple, the pond would have been interested in the question of innovation and the nonsense of fraudband, but Sales had blown her chance, and descended, in the usual way, into the usual interest in sordid Canberra games of shuffling the deck chairs ...
Turnbull did the standard blocks - these matters are discussed internally - and then there was more of the usual blather for a closer:
Mining's not going out of fashion, but the boom days are over. What takes its place? It is the ideas boom, it is innovation, it is - it is taking advantage of the imagination, the creativity of Australians, all 24 million of us, and taking advantage of that human capital. And so that's the - that's the objective and what I've set out - I think everyone agrees with that - and then I've set out the measures that I believe will enable us to do it. And so, that's what I'm seeking to do: secure the future of our children, grandchildren and many generations to come. That's the direction in which a successful nation must go: innovation, imagination, technology, science.
As if we hadn't had enough of this earlier:
We have to think in a much more innovative way. We have to be prepared, and when I say "we", I mean the ABC, the Government, every business. We've got to be prepared to do things differently tomorrow than we did yesterday because the pace of change and the world in which we live is unprecedentedly fast and so we have to treat all of that change in the world as creating great opportunities. That's why I keep on saying, and it's true, there's never been a more exciting time to be an Australian.
And once again that agile hare got a run:
You see, again, key focuses of the Government: agility, dynamism, enterprise and all of these measures, over 20 of them in this agenda, are designed to enhance that.
Sales really should vacate the chair whenever Turnbull hovers into view, and they should put in someone less inclined to allow him to trot out the glib rhetoric.
It seems the pond must now turn for damning assessments of the Turnbull government to one of its most extreme, fierce, ferociously left-wing critics, a man who stands up to Turnbull at a time when the simpering cardigan wearers at the ABC quietly fold their tents and steal into the night:
Oh yes, the Bolter is really on a roll ...
Of course there's a media tragedy unfolding there too ...
Remember the glory days?
Yesterday, the pond was intrigued to see Senator Eric Abetz propose that to increase his ratings, the Bolter needed to focus on being increasingly objective and balanced if he was going to lift his ratings ...
Oh okay, the pond regularly goes down the rabbit hole with Alice.
TV Tonight: Insiders is now TV's highest rating morning show.
Well, let's leave the last word to the agile and innovative David Rowe, here.
At last it seems the agile, innovative AFR has learned not to cut out the words in his cartoons. How hard was that, you innovators you, making words disappear and then re-appearing?
Good old Broughy ... but he hasn't gone away, thanks to the meme-sters ...
And speaking of tastes that linger, what's changed, Ms Sales, in relation to Malcolm Turnbull's report card?
If you want to do more than simper and say you ask the questions, why not ask some actual questions?