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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.

Apples and Bananas

You can replace an apple with a banana but you can’t change an apple into a banana unless you're a magician or someone who can feed the multitudes with a few loaves of bread and fish. It’s pretty obvious when you think about it, so why are the words public housing, social housing and community housing interchangeable in the mouth of the Housing Minister, Martin Foley, and a host of other people who should know better?

Divided Nation

Words are everything in political debate. They mould attitudes and create social and political movements. When the word refugee becomes synonymous with political terrorism and the movement led by Pauline Hanson calls itself One Nation, you know things aren’t what they seem to be. The great majority of political refugees are trying to get away from political terrorists while the policies that are thrown into the political arena by One Nation are a recipe for a divided nation.

The Black Caucus: "Are They Friends of Yours?"

The sheer douchebaggery of this man is breathtaking. April Ryan has been a reporter for her entire career, a White House correspondent for the last 26 years, and starred in The Longest Journey. You don't need to congratulate her on sounding professional when she asks a question. The reason why people accuse you of anti-Semitism is that you surround yourself with anti-Semites and frequently retweet virulently anti-Semitic twitter accounts. The reason people accuse you of being racist is because that's literally your entire shtick.

What's good for the goose

Malcolm Turnbull has come a long way since he said the consequences of unchecked global warming would be catastrophic.

Today he leads a government that has cut $500 million from funding for clean energy, gutted the CSIRO, and continues to erroneously blame South Australia's use of renewable energy for power failures.

Turnbull's government remains steadfast in its support for the Adani coal mine and is contemplating a $1 billion loan for the project.

Eureka Australia Day Medal

What is the Eureka Australia Day Medal? For years I’ve been disgusted by the types of people who receive honours on Australia (Invasion) Day and yuck – the Queen’s Birthday. If I was really honest I can’t imagine two worse days for people to be honoured in this country, but that’s another topic. I’m not saying all Australians who are honoured on those days shouldn’t receive those honours, what I am saying is the usual suspects seem to receive the highest honours year after year after year – retired politicians, business people, celebrities etc etc.


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