Spare a thought for poor old Barry O'Farrell. Just when he is trying to build transport networks and balance the budget, a long-simmering factional brawl within the NSW Liberals is threatening to derail his plans.
The beastly outburst of Senator Cory Bernardi has upset many -- not least my jack-russell-cross Roxy, who clings to the hope her love for me will one day be sanctified. It's hard to resist such jokes -- Bernardi's comments were so extreme as to be risible. However, for the Coalition their impact will be deadly serious.
Malcolm Turnbull has all the luxury of reminding Australians of he would do for the country, while Tony Abbott wears something more like a grimace -- one that became considerably worse after Monday's Newspoll showed Labor and the Coalition at a two-party-preferred vote of 50:50.
While names like Rinehart, Forest and Palmer dominate headlines in the mining sector, and business leaders and politicians are prominent in economic debates, it can be hard to identify those who speak for the sector that is fundamentally transforming Australian business and society as we move into a digital age.
Conservative powerbroker Nick Minchin has berated the head of Channel Seven Adelaide for publicly backing a candidate contesting the Liberal Party senate seat vacated by Mary Jo Fisher.
Speaking under parliamentary privilege, Craig Thomson made a series of allegations against key figures as being complicit in a prostitute conspiracy, and for leading a lynch mob against him. Here's the line-up of who he named:
Most power players have oodles of charm and charisma, so it's no wonder they collect some unlikely allies on their way to the top. Here are six power partnerships that cross the ideological and generational divide.
Diplomats move around the corridors of power in Canberra, rarely seen. But with access to ministers, politicians and senior bureaucrats, they can achieve one of their key mandates: to influence Australian government policy.
Support from Alan Jones, Barnaby Joyce and Michael Korger wasn't enough to save Tony Abbott's chief Senate whip, Helen Kroger, from being demoted on the Liberals' Victorian Senate ticket.
Paul Barry felt ever so important after receiving an invitation to lunch at Melbourne's iconic palace of power, the Australian Club. But once inside, he had to question where all the members had gone, and just what he was supposed to do there given talking business is banned.
It's flack against flack as PR legend John Connolly sues Libs polling king Mark Textor over an errant 140 characters.
Casino mogul and political donor James Packer has distanced himself from Bob Katter's much-maligned gay marriage ads.
Ray Hadley celebrates 30 years in radio, Janet Albrechtsen dusts off The Latham Diaries, Alan Jones spruiks for his buddy James Packer.
Mark Textor is the most domineering, divisive pollster this country's ever seen – and the most powerful. Even his Labor adversaries admit no-one on their side of politics can match him.
Toby Ralph has no office, no job title and no qualms about spinning for the forces of darkness. Tobacco companies, the nuclear waste industry and banks wanting to kill off the four pillars policy are some of the flamboyant freelancer's controversial past clients.
John Roskam is the whip smart and media savvy executive director of the Institute of Public Affairs, the loudest – and most right wing – think tank in the country.
Who are the intellectuals most influencing our public debate? Next week we're counting down the Top 10 Most Powerful Thinkers. Here, Tom Cowie presents the shortlist.
Two of the country's top public relations operatives, Kevin07 adman Neil Lawrence and spin doctor Sue Cato, are joining forces to take on Clubs Australia's campaign against poker machine reforms.
Tony Abbott would rather the issue of IR reform just go away, yet it's shaping up as one of the year's biggest political stoushes. So who has kept the flame of workplace flexibility burning bright?
When it comes to wielding influence in the Liberal Party, Brian Loughnane and Peta Credlin put many well-known members of Tony Abbott's shadow cabinet to shame. The husband and wife are two of the opposition leader's most trusted advisers on strategy and policy, and both can take credit for the Libs' soaring popularity in the polls.