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House Bill 610 makes some large changes.

House Bill 610 makes some large changes.

The Shambling Mound's Fifth Week

The lurching continues! The week began with the savvy explanation by Lord Dampnut that the media is the enemy of the people. Several individuals made the point that describing a press independent of the government in such a way is usually a rather totalitarian attitude.

The Deplorable Care Act

We now have an outline of the GOP's replacement plan for the ACA. The key points:

Julie points the finger

Julie Bishop, the Australian Foreign Minister, is right to be “deeply concerned” about atrocities carried out in Myanmar on Rohingya Muslims and expects a “thorough, credible and impartial investigation” into what is happening in that country. Institutionalised discrimination against Rohingya people in Myanmar is a decades old problem. Gang rapes, disappearances and killings have been a hallmark of Myanmar’s military response to any resistance by Rohingya people to the treatment that is regularly meted out to them.

NASA Announces Exciting New Discovery

Breaking news: NASA has called a press conference to announce the discovery of a parallel universe. “We have long speculated about the existence of parallel universes”, a NASA spokesperson said, “now for the first time we have evidence”.

Finally al-Bab

SYRIA UPDATE: After four months of fighting, Turkey has finally taken al-Bab from ISIS. They also took the nearby towns of Qabasin, Bzaa, and Tadef, where ISIS had been holding out for ages.

Freaking finally.

Current state of the fight against ISIS

The Kurds are carving up the area around Raqqa. The plan was for them to actually take the city, but Trump put that on hold.

Turkey still hasn't taken al-Bab. They started trying in November. They have made substantial progress lately, largely due to Assad doing them a favor and gaining fire control over the supply route. For reasons that are unclear to me, they've also elaborately arranged the front lines to look like an enormous phallus, possibly as a display of dominance.

East Mosul has been fully liberated, but is still being targeted by ISIS drone strikes.

Milo Yiannopulos: Even Nazis Should Be Offended

For those who were confused by people's overwhelmingly negative reaction to Milo Yiannopulos, it's because of shit like this.

For those who are confused by people's overwhelmingly negative reaction to Steve Bannon, it's because he looked at this guy and thought, "Yes, this is who I want to write for my website."

For those who are confused by people's overwhelmingly negative reaction to Donald Trump, it's because he looked at Bannon and thought, "Yes, this is who I want in charge of my political strategy, and also on the National Security Council."

Political Hemlock

The Victorian branch of the Australian Labor Party is about to commit political suicide. Hard pressed by the Greens in over half a dozen inner city seats – including Richmond, Brunswick, Northcote, Flemington, Albert Park and Williamstown, to name a few – they have hitched their wagon to Minister Foley’s public housing suicide mission.

The Shambling Mound's Fourth Week

One must admire, if only from an aesthetic level, the sheer chutzpah of Lord Dampnut who holds press conference to claim "I turn on the TV, open the newspapers, and I see stories of chaos. Chaos. Yet it is the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine." Ahhh, Lord Dampnut. The art of the double-down, where reality can be altered by sheer will power and bluster.

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