Thursday
Apr172014

#87 - Syrup of ICAC

The Focus Group laments, if only Barry had stuck to only talking to Gladys

We look back to Canberra to see how the pre-budget period is shaping up.

Stop The Press follows the visit of an unemployed man and his family and seeks clarity on dog fornicators.

Download "Syrup of ICAC"

Friday
Apr112014

#86 - Would Tony Abbott approve of this podcast?

This week, Dave and Jeremy try to upload a podcast to the Internet before insecurity gets the better of it (the Internet, not Dave or Jeremy).

THE FOCUS GROUP

  1. The WA election result is whatever you want it to be:
    • ALP lead candidate Bullock calls ALP members mad; threatens to leave if marriage equality is party policy (problem solves itself)
    • ALP says result proves voters hate Tony Abbott; Tony Abbott says result proves voters hate the carbon tax; Greens say result proves Scott Ludlum is literally the Messiah.
    • Voters “punish major parties”
    • Result totally unfair because Liberals won three seats fair and square and now it’s been taken from them just because voters in WA have had a chance to see them govern which WASN’T THE DEAL and frankly this is a stupid game and I’m going home.
    • The Australian editorial gets stuck into the real enemy: the “diishonest and cowardly” Scott Ludlum and the “protest party suited to by-elections, but not to the reality of government”, the Greens. HOW DARE YOU SCOTT TONY HAS GAY FRIENDS:
      The Greens, a quintessential protest party suited to by-elections, but not to the reality of government, polled well. But Greens senator Scott Ludlam’s campaign speech, delivered in the Senate and disseminated on the internet, was the most dishonest and cowardly of an unedifying campaign. He accused the Prime Minister of “waving homophobia” and “racist exploitation”. Mr Abbott is close to his gay sister, Christine Forster, and has had numerous close gay friends, including The Australian’s former columnist Christopher Pearson. His longstanding commitment to assisting remote Aborigines is well known.
    • Paul Sheehan thinks Milne “the luckiest politician in Australia” because when external factors favour the Greens, it means the result doesn’t count, in exactly the same way as when external factors don’t favour the Greens, that result totally does. WHY DID SHE NOT FEEL “CHASTENED” WHEN THE GREEN VOTE WENT DOWN IN TASMANIA?!
    • Bernard Keane points out the absurdity of Clive Palmer getting away with portraying himself as an “outsider”.
    • Professor George Williams explores “one of the best bets in town”, the way the Senate ticket system pretty much creates a lottery with a cheap entry price and a staggering prize:
      Which micro party actually wins comes down to chance, as it depends upon unknowable factors such as slight differences between the votes for the parties and the order in which they are excluded from the ballot. The contest is akin to a lottery in which candidates pay a $2000 Senate deposit to enter. The odds are good enough, and the power and perks of being a senator so great that it is one of the best bets in town.
    • Meanwhile, Bill Shorten to remove compulsory union membership rule for ALP membership.
  2. Stop putting ironic scare quotes around the words in “free trade agreement” just takes News.com.au’s cheering of the Australia-Japan FTA on its face, ignores that even the reduction in tariffs on our beef are only to 19.5% (“free trade”) and only over 15 years(!), and tries to forget just how badly Australia did out of the Liberals’ US-Australia FTA last time. Meanwhile Mr Denmore points out how absurdly stage-managed and fake it all is and dubs it “Lego journalism”.
  3. Freedom freedomer Tim Wilson freedoms some freedoms with freedom:
  4. Wages? What wages? reports on the ongoing war against greedy workers wanting fair remuneration for their labour.
  5. Game of SHUT THE HELL UP IP INFRINGEMENT IS THEFT - pressure on Brandis by copyright lobbyists to force ISPs to block sites like the Pirate Bay
  6. George Brandis slams Edward Snowden because letting people know what’s going on is anathema to democracy:
    Brandis also argues that advocates calling for governments to wind back surveillance overreach in the wake of the Snowden disclosures do not bear practical responsibility for the consequences of those actions. Civil libertarians arguing for wider limitations on the collection of intelligence “have the luxury of approaching the question from a largely philosophical or legalistic perspective”. By contrast, Brandis asserts that people who understand the evolving nature of modern terrorism threats “the capabilities and danger of sophisticated modern terrorism, would wish for fewer limitations on intelligence gathering”.
    Meanwhile, George has some interesting ideas about how his new race hate laws will work in practice.
  7. The Herald Sun’s Terry McCrann breathlessly reveals that climate change is over because a Galaxy Research poll reported that ONLY 37% of respondents agree human emissions are causing the world to warm. (I have saved a copy that I can wave at the sky during the next unprecedented record-breaking extreme climate event.)
  8. A Minute Or So Of Oh God Australia vs Refugees Oh God:

STOP THE PRESS

  1. Herald Sun deliberately giving bad MICF reviews to comics who have criticised it in the past
  2. Newspoll back to the front page of the Oz because a 51-49 2PP in favour of the Coalition is A MIGHTY ENDORSEMENT OF TONY ABBOTT. Now that they’re safely in the past and can be favourably contrasted with the present, we finally hear about a high Greens vote a fortnight ago and voter support for Abbott dropping fast.
  3. The Editor over at The Idiot Tax blog points out that Andrew Bolt is powered by your tears and maybe we should just ignore him. Jeremy is not sure that ignoring bullies always works.
  4. (But we can’t help being amused by Bolt’s demand to Ban Bendigo Bank after it told a group of “Stop the Mosque” cranks it didn’t want to hold their accounts any more. “Ban Bendigo Bank until it allows its customers to freely engage in public debate” says Bolt, just like he demanded Visa and MasterCard be boycotted after they blocked donations to Wikileaks because freedom. No, not really. We’re just waiting for his column damning Tony Abbott’s efforts to ban boycotts.)
  5. News.com.au declares war on Bob Carr’s, to be fair, quite laughable memoirs (for examples, complaints that first class air travel wasn’t part of the gig: “Pathetic that the public service rules reduce me to that, an upgrade for a middle-power foreign minister.”). (Meanwhile Julie Bishop tells Insiders that she would NEVER DO SUCH A THING, so keep that recording for use in five years. Michael Danby declares war on Bob Carr for suggesting that the “pro-Israel lobby” is oversensitive to criticism.
  6. Thwarted by friend of the podcast Ben Pobjie for the Age TV reviewer gig, former PM Julia Gillard recaps the first episode of season four of Game of Thrones for The Guardian. In another episode of “Jeremy Repeats Jokes He Made Earlier In The Week on Twitter”, Jeremy wonders what shows Hawke, Keating, Howard, and Rudd would recap.

Download "Would Tony Abbott approve of this podcast?"

Friday
Apr042014

#85 - The Unimportance of being Governor-General

Friday
Mar282014

#84 - Stop the Moats

This week, Sir Dave and Lord Jeremy are proud to present an all-new ROYAL GALA PERFORMANCE of SomethingWonky, produced by Baron Daniel Kaarma.

The Focus Group covers Knights and Dames, Polls and Ghettos, Repeal Days and final days, planes, trains, God and an Australia learning to be compassionate to the less fortunate. (ONE ITEM IN THAT LIST IS A LIE.)

  1. Land Of Hope And Glory wipes a patriotic tear from its eye.
  2. Polls polls polls
    • Checks in on South Australian, as the Advertiser put it, “chaos”, as the hung parliament loses one of the independents temporarily to sick leave
    • Then the other independent picks the ALP and gets death threats:

      “When I explained the situation would be 23-23 (if Mr Brock aligned with the Liberals), no-one could form government and explained the scenarios with the situation of caretaker mode, the consequences of that for the state, the consequences for the … business community, lack of confidence, and then he had a different idea of the whole thing,” he said. “If I had sided with the Liberal side, there wouldn’t have been a government in SA, full-stop.”
    • The Age suggests that maybe “legalisation of cannabis could be key issue in Western Australia Senate election”
    • Where Did Newspoll Go? is astonished to see Newspoll fail to make the front page of The Australian and has no idea why. Sure, the 2PP is now 52-48 in Labor’s favour, but as the Oz pointed out in the story (when you found it), “Tony Abbott support still strong despite Arthur Sinodinos stumble: Newspoll”. By “support still strong”, they meant 50% of voters are dissatisfied, but 40% are satisfied. STRONG SUPPORT. Greens vote up 2 points, which is weird because if I recall from last week Andrew Bolt had reported they were “finished”.
  3. In The Ghetto
  4. Does No-one Like Malcolm is saddened to learn that Malcolm’s been rolled by Tony on the appointment of a new SBS head, begging questions as to the future of a merit-based selection process for the ABC and SBS top jobs.
  5. REPEAL DAY HAVE YOU BOUGHT A CARD
  6. United We Stand checks in on some prominent ex-unionists (and others caught up in ICAC)
  7. Planes trains and THINGS JEREMY COULDN’T FIND A CATEGORY FOR
  8. Not Exactly What Jesus Talked About checks in on the Christians sabotaging their religion’s reputation
  9. You Really Love us is saddened to discover that actually, people from around the world thoroughly dispute our image of ourselves as “caring, friendly, hospitable people”.
  10. Oh god Manus Island oh god

Stop The Press is OBSESSED WITH THE AUSTRALIAN just like Paul Barry, wonders if Natalie Barr perhaps ought to actually talk to some feminists before unloading on the subject, and MUCH MORE.

  1. The Australian asks itself what it thinks of Media Watch and publishes findings of survey of “Senior News Corporation editors” in totally newsworthy article “Paul Barry slammed by editors for obsession with News Corp
  2. Our new segment Jeremy reads The Weekend Australian
  3. FEMINISM SOLVED as privileged white woman, Sunrise “news presenter” Natalie Barr asks Daily Telegraph readers “AM I the only woman who’s not angry at men? I’m a woman and I have never felt discriminated against. There. I’ve said it. I’m not angry at men.” She calls on women to not “blame men for their troubles”. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT FEMINISTISTS TOTALLY DO. (Good retort in Daily Life on why Natalie’s myopic focus on her individual story undermines efforts to tackle the real systemic problems.) And here’s a personal anecdote in which this “journalist” totally misses the lede.
    I chose to take just a few months off after I had each of my boys. I wasn’t earning much but I sat down with my husband and we decided that it was worth taking a financial hit, paying a big chunk of my wage on childcare. Our reasoning was if I kept working and was able to climb up the ladder, I might get paid more. I’ve always thought that if you take years off work to raise your kids, whether you’re a man or a woman, it’ll be hard to get back into the workforce and certainly at the level you were before. It’s great that many people have the choice to stay home with their children, but I also personally believe each choice we make comes with consequences that we have to live with.
  4. Are you happy now admonishes Twitter for being so mean to Chris Kenny he had to shut down his account (and admires his suggestion, and then mild retraction, of BRINGING TWITTER INTO LINE)
  5. Paul Sheehan dubs Scott Ludlum “king of the trolls” and points out he has no legitimacy bc 90% of Australians voted against him. Then goes on to point out that Tony Abbott has no legitimacy bc 55% of Australians voted againts him HA NO HE DOESN’T.
  6. Lachlan Murdoch quits Ten, rejoins the family business over at famed meritocracy, News Corporation.
  7. Hold Something Back For Later admires the restraint of the Australian media, charging off with “FOUND?” headlines when a bit of debris was found in the Indian Ocean.
  8. We Miss You Guys hopes that things are alright over at Crikey, with First Dog On The Moon leaving for The Guardian and it turning out that lots of the senior people we once knew there have recently left.

Download "Stop the Moats"

Friday
Mar212014

#83 Sign of the times

THE FOCUS GROUP

  1. As the AFR reports that Tony Abbott’s having the worst poll start for a new government in 40 years, Finally some real polls checks in with the voters casting actual votes.
  2. Let’s See Them Scrutinise 8000 At Once checks out the Liberals’ “Repeal Day” on March 26.
  3. ANZAC ANZAC ANZAC tries to make excuses for “larrikin” commandos filming themselves doing dumb stuff that puts themselves and other people (inside and outside the army) in danger
  4. Can We Have A Blokes Question Now cringes with Tony Abbott as year nine students ask him much tougher questions than the Canberra Press Gallery. (Also: is it alright for students to still be leftists in Year Nine? Should they all be sent for some more religious education? Another thirty hours on the ANZACs perhaps?)
  5. We Have Signs Too checks in on the lefties as they try to fight back with - March in March.
  6. Stop Embarrassing Jeremy visits his home state of Victoria
  7. Friends And Enemies admires Liberal governments’ democratic commitment to punishing critics
  8. Three minutes of Oh God Manus Island Oh God

STOP THE PRESS

  1. Andrew Bolt calls hypocrite first on the ABC for not publishing fringe anti-Abbott photos, “presenting only its good side”, just ordinary anti-Abbott photos. As opposed to Bolt whose coverage was TOTALLY BALANCED.
  2. Andrew still upset at Q and A being mean to him. Demands ABC apologise, while the Herald Sun prints a page of fringe readers pleading with Andrew to fight on, (a) because too many brave conservatives are fleeing the field and leaving it to the left, and (b) because the left is losing and becomes really vicious when it’s on the back foot. QandA to apologise
  3. Marcia Langton explains her comments in detail.
  4. Mark Dreyfus explains why Andrew Bolt fell afoul of section 18C
  5. Richard Ackland calls Andrew a thin skinned sook
  6. Bolt predicts the Greens are “finished”. Again.

Download "Sign of the times"