Squiz Today / 23 January 2024

Squiz Today – 23 January 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 10.15 minutes

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Squiz Sayings

“I can’t believe you would dare to butcher a Banjo Patterson work. There are some things which are sacred in Australian society.”

Said respondent Ken Allen after reading a reworked version of The Man from Snowy River by vegan poet Marcus Ten Low. In Low’s version of the poem, the horses all evade capture, and the human dies. That sure would create some movement at the station…

DeSantis waves the white flag

The Squiz

It’s official: Ron DeSantis, the Republican rising star/Florida Governor, is out of the running to be the party’s presidential candidate. He pulled the pin yesterday after receiving a lower-than-expected result in Iowa last week, and in a video on social media, he said he couldn’t ask his supporters “to volunteer their time and donate their resources if we don’t have a clear path to victory”. And sure, he also misquoted Winston Churchill, but it was a big day… Despite attempts to tear him down, DeSantis is a reborn ally of Donald Trump – he says the former President is the man to lead the Republicans to victory in November’s election.

What went wrong for DeSantis? 

For the last year, 45yo DeSantis pitched himself as a younger/better version of Trump. He backed the same conservative policies, spearheading an “anti-woke” agenda with fewer stunts. That saw DeSantis positioned as Trump’s major rival in the race, even leading in some early polls. But it didn’t work… Analysts say the cracks formed early when technical issues plagued his campaign launch in May, which turned into a string of campaign errors. And reporters on the campaign trail say he wasn’t great with voters. “His most common response to learning a voter’s name was an excited ‘OK!’,” the New York Times noted yesterday. One unnamed adviser yesterday said that “every single thing that could have not gone as we had hoped or planned for went horribly wrong”. 

So what’s next?

Trump, for one, is looking ahead. Speaking at a rally in New Hampshire ahead of the primary vote (which starts tonight our time), he praised DeSantis, saying the Governor was “very gracious” and that he would “officially retire” the moniker he assigned to his competitor – Ron DeSanctimonious. And with DeSantis gone, all eyes are on former South Carolina Governor/UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s fortunes. She’s been campaigning hard in New Hampshire, but pundits say it probably won’t be enough. New Hampshire’s vote has been referred to as the anti-Trump supporters’ “last best hope”, but the latest polls have Haley trailing Trump significantly. We’ll all know a lot more by tomorrow arvo…

World News

Squiz the Rest

Dodgy Roger dead at 83yo

Roger Rogerson – the disgraced detective often called “Australia’s most corrupt cop” – has died in hospital after suffering a ruptured brain aneurysm in his prison cell late last week. He was serving a life sentence for murder – just one crime in his stranger-than-fiction life story… Rogerson joined the police cadets in 1958 at 17yo – but by the 1970s, he was fully immersed in Sydney’s notorious underworld, becoming buddies with drug dealers, hitmen and gangsters. He was the prime suspect in 2 killings and was acquitted of the attempted murder of a fellow cop who was about to testify against him. What brought him unstuck was the 2014 killing of Jamie Gao after the 20yo’s body resurfaced after being dumped at sea. Rogerson’s life and times was made into a TV series – and it’s one of the best things Aussie TV’s produced…

Australian News

On cyclone watch

Already sweating it out in a heatwave, Queensland is bracing for a storm that could turn into a cyclone today. The cyclone’s impacts are expected to be felt from Townsville to south of Mackay within 48 hours, potentially flash flooding to northern and central Queensland. Authorities have advised those on Cyclone Kirrily’s path to prepare for the possibility of flooding and to have enough food to last until next week. As the state also experiences high temperatures and humidity, the state’s Police Minister, Mark Ryan, has advised residents to stay safe, pay close attention to warnings, and be as prepared as possible.

Australian News Weather

Bosses brace for turbulence

Employers reckon this year is going to be a tough one, according to a survey of 320 members of the Australian Industry Group. About 40% of bosses reckon things will be worse than last year – and they also believe the Aussie economy could be heading for a slowdown similar to the 1970s when persistent inflation made everyone’s life difficult (and more expensive…). The AI Group’s CEO, Innes Willox, says, “industry expects to, at best, work through mediocre business conditions this year”. Staff shortages are still a big thing in most sectors, with 87% of industry leaders expecting to be scrambling for people. And in bad news for consumers, 57% of businesses plan to raise prices this year – mainly because their costs are increasing. What they will be investing in is tech and innovation to try to drive savings or find new markets.

Business & Finance Economy

A right royal health scare

Sarah Ferguson has been diagnosed with malignant melanoma just months after having surgery for breast cancer. The Duchess of York revealed her troubles after last week’s troubling health news from King Charles (who will receive treatment for an enlarged prostate) and the Princess of Wales (who remains in hospital after abdominal surgery). Ferguson’s doctors discovered the melanoma after removing several moles during reconstructive surgery after her mastectomy. A spokeswoman says, “clearly, another diagnosis so soon after treatment for breast cancer has been distressing, but the Duchess remains in good spirits”. Melanoma is often called “Australia’s national cancer”, with one Aussie diagnosed every 30 minutes. Surgery is usually the main initial treatment, but it could also include chemo, radiation or immunotherapy.

World News

Tay Tay’s boost to family harmony

Here’s a crossover moment we hadn’t seen coming… Taylor Swift’s romance with American football star Travis Kelce has created a new frontier of father-daughter bonding. Until the Kelce relationship came along, a lot of American dads were on the outer of their daughter’s obsession with the music superstar. But now that teen girls are tuning into the NFL to check out their idol’s boyfriend (Note: NBC reported a 53% increase in their viewership…), dads and daughters have found some common ground. “I spent the season trading Swift/Kelce memes with my 14yo daughter … which is freaking awesome,” said one father. Swift’s influence has even reached the menu for the NFL playoffs a la Bad Blood Waffle Fries and Karma Quesadillas. The latter is stuffed with chicken tenderloins, bacon and a coriander ranch dressing – then topped with a pork-belly chaser. Umm, you need to calm down…


Apropos of Nothing

An artist who spent 36 years making an intricate 5m replica of the Harbour Bridge has finally packed away the tools. Michael Gill’s version of the coathanger also doubles as the mother of all cocktail cabinets. Bottoms up… 

The show that made a star out of Simon Baker is celebrating its 35th birthday. E-Street ran from 1989-93 and gave Australia a whole bunch of teen idols, including Marcus Graham, Melissa Tkautz and Toni Pearen. There’s your Gen X content for today… 

And American Taylor Fritz’s girlfriend Morgan Riddle has followed through on her promise to eat a jar of Vegemite after he won his Sunday match over Stefanos Tsitsipas. We reckon it’s just as entertaining as the actual tennis…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

11.00pm (AEDT) – The first Democratic and second Republican presidential primary vote  – New Hampshire

ABS Data Release – Monthly Business Turnover Indicator, November

Anniversary of:

  • the Shaanxi Earthquake, the deadliest ever recorded that killed 830,000 in Shaanxi Province, China (1556)
  • the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame, including Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, and Elvis Presley (1986)

12.30am (AEDT) – Oscars nominations announced, broadcast live on their website

Squiz the Day

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