The weekend thread is still kicking along with discussion about iPads and GM crops. Here’s a fresh home for new discussions – or feel free to bring over the old topics. As always, we’ll keep the links to the recent open threads in the sidebar to your right.

Since debating government-funded advertising is all the rage, I’ll make my contribution and invite your responses. I’ll start by saying that I think Rudd’s bogus “national emergency” claim is a pretty pathetic attempt to cover his backflip – and my position doesn’t have anything to do with opposition to the resource super-profits tax, but just the way he is prosecuting the case for it.

But it’s interesting how the debate is turning into each of the major parties trying to make the case that they are not quite as bad as the other. And as if to prove that this is nothing but a race to the bottom, let me show you something that arrived in my mailbox last week – on the back page of the latest newsletter from my local (National Party) MP:

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We noted several times last year (start here and work your way back) that the opposition and some conservative commentators were claiming that the new rules about parliamentary printing allowances were preventing taxpayer-funded criticism of the government. Judging by that spiffy clip-art and the “big new tax” update that filled the page before it, all on a newsletter that was “produced at Australian Government expense”, there’s still plenty of taxpayer-funded political commentary being published on both sides.

Get your Monday night TV line-up and Mad Monday highlights after the fold.

The Monday night line-up on the ABC includes:

  • The conclusion of a two-part Australian Story about an Australian soldier who was injured while on peacekeeping duties in Lebanon – I thought last week was brilliant and recommend anyone who has a chance catching it on iView;
  • a Four Corners episode looking at the high incidence of rape in South Africa and its effect on three victims;
  • Media Watch – I’ll try to keep an eye on Jonathan Holmes’ Twitter stream in case he previews tonight’s show; and
  • Q&A has Clare Bowditch, 20-year old law student Mitchell Grady, Miriam Lyons from the Centre for Policy Development, Maxine McKew and Senator Cory Bernardi.

Over in The Australianland, Glenn Milne is again divining all of the secret machinations of Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan – for someone who only two weeks ago wanted this election campaign to take the high road, he’s sure doing some top-notch hatchet work. Compare the level of his work to this commentary from MegaGeorge on the weekend. The Australian’s editorial line against the RSPT is bolstered by a column from Professor George Fane; meanwhile, David Burchell is still preoccupied with telling us how Christine Nixon does not live up to the standards of great historical leaders.

Have a good week, and have at it.

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