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The Shambling Mound's Sixth Week

My goodness, has the orange monster, Lord Dampnut, made through six whole weeks as mayor of the world's most important local council? And what a strange week it was, an ongoing war on the media, Russian connection claims that just will not go away, and big promises in a congressional speech that showed and aversion to facts.

Thanks Julia

Now into its 4th year the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse has kicked the door open on the question most Australians have not been willing to acknowledge, let alone deal with. Day after day the Royal Commissioners are confronted with harrowing tales of sexual predators being allowed by religious groups of all dominations to continue to abuse children, in some cases for decades.

All Guns Blazing

The Turnbull led government has had a significant impact on the Fair Work Commission’s decision to significantly reduce penalty rates in the hospitality and retail sector. Penalty rates for Australian workers working on days and times other Australians traditionally have off, is one way some of Australia’s most poorly paid workers are able to make ends meet. Removing penalty rates is a direct attack on some of the poorest and least organised workers in this country.

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.

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