Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Monday, August 30, 2021
Sunday, August 29, 2021
Saturday, August 28, 2021
President Biden on Thursday essentially blamed his generals for the Bagram pullout. “They concluded—the military—that Bagram was not much value added, that it was much wiser to focus on Kabul,” he said. “And so, I followed that recommendation.” What Mr. Biden neglected to mention is that the President sets the constraints under which the military draws up plans and evaluates options.
Friday, August 27, 2021
Thursday, August 26, 2021
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
The White House is unfamiliar with what it’s like to be on the receiving end of the kind of media feeding frenzy that Florida governor Ron DeSantis experiences every other day (almost always involving spurious storylines).But on Afghanistan, Joe Biden in effect set out to test how much shameless incompetence and dishonesty the media would accept. The answer? Not nearly enough.The press is blatantly biased and has become even more so over time, repeatedly propagating false narratives that have shredded its credibility. Still, there are limits beyond which even it can’t be pushed.
Monday, August 23, 2021
A week later, on July 2, Biden, in an ebullient mood, gathered a small group of reporters to celebrate new jobs numbers that he said showed that his economic recovery plan was working. But all the questions he received were about news from Afghanistan that the United States had abandoned Bagram Airfield, with little to no notice to the Afghans.“It’s a rational drawdown with our allies,” he insisted, “so there’s nothing unusual about it.”But as the questions persisted, on Afghanistan rather than the economy, he grew visibly annoyed. He recalled Ghani’s visit and said, “I think they have the capacity to be able to sustain the government,” although he added that there would have to be negotiations with the Taliban.Then, for the first time, he was pressed on what the administration would do to save Kabul if it came under direct attack. “I want to talk about happy things, man,” he said.
Sunday, August 22, 2021
Earlier, according to participants at a meeting of party members, Merkel said she believed the US decision to press ahead with the withdrawal was taken for “domestic political reasons” were partly to blame.The leader of her party, Armin Laschet, went further, calling the entire Afghanistan operation a failure and the withdrawal “the biggest debacle that NATO has suffered since its founding.”
The pandemic was a godsend, allowing him to hide in his basement for months and avoid unscripted questions. He won the election by making himself as small and low-profile as he needed to be. Opinion polls for much of this year have shown him enjoying a honeymoon period with voters tired of Trump who are happy to have an absentee president for a while.Biden’s handling of Afghanistan has exposed all of that. Presidents can remain aloof from Capitol Hill. They can send out underlings to handle public-health guidance, lawsuits, or new regulations. But foreign crises demand active, personal leadership. That has gone badly. Everyone who said for decades that Biden was a lightweight ill-equipped to handle a major crisis has been vindicated.
Saturday, August 21, 2021
Friday, August 20, 2021
"It just seems the reality and the rhetoric are miles apart," @IanPannell tells @DavidMuir.— ABC News (@ABC) August 20, 2021
"I'm not quite sure what advice the president is receiving. But the truth on the ground is that these people who are in fear of their lives can't get through." https://t.co/PCh0P9Jg9R https://t.co/xhbnbveuOO
Thursday, August 19, 2021
Wall Street Journal exclusive: "Internal State Department Cable Warned of Kabul Collapse" - "July memo shows that administration officials were cautioned about Taliban’s quick advance."
WASHINGTON—An internal State Department memo last month warned top agency officials of the potential collapse of Kabul soon after the U.S.’s Aug. 31 troop withdrawal deadline in Afghanistan, according to a U.S. official and a person familiar with the document.
The classified cable represents the clearest evidence yet that the administration had been warned by its own officials on the ground that the Taliban’s advance was imminent and Afghanistan’s military may be unable to stop it.
Keep lying, Joe. These stories are just going to proliferate.
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Q Mr. President, thank you very much. Your own intelligence community has assessed that the Afghan government will likely collapse.THE PRESIDENT: That is not true.Q Is it — can you please clarify what they have told you about whether that will happen or not?THE PRESIDENT: That is not true. They did not — they didn’t — did not reach that conclusion.
Federalist: "The Media Can’t Hide From Their Terrible Afghanistan Reporting" - "Biden's failure to fulfill corporate media's promises of his competence has made them look deeply foolish as he displays the folly they predicted of Trump."
I have to say though: the media has been pretty brutal on Biden over the last 24 hours. It's almost like they're trying to regain some credibility.
Until Sunday, Europe thought Joe Biden was an expert on foreign policy.Now, the American president’s decision to allow Afghanistan to collapse into the arms of the Taliban has European officials worried he has unwittingly accelerated what his predecessor Donald Trump started: the degradation of the Western alliance and everything it is supposed to stand for in the world.Across Europe, officials have reacted with a mix of disbelief and a sense of betrayal. Even those who cheered Biden’s election and believed he could ease the recent tensions in the transatlantic relationship said they regarded the withdrawal from Afghanistan as nothing short of a mistake of historic magnitude.
Monday, August 16, 2021
"Any political settlement that the Afghans pursue to avert bloodshed must include having women at the table. The fate of women and girls in Afghanistan is critical to the future of Afghanistan. As we strive to assist women, we must recognize that their voices are important, and all must listen to them for solutions, respectful of their culture."
At a park in Kabul, transformed since last week into a shelter for the displaced, families told the AP on Friday that girls riding home in a motorized rickshaw in the northern Takhar province were stopped and lashed for wearing “revealing sandals.”
Sunday, August 15, 2021
For much of that election year, Obama had included a line of celebration in his standard stump speech, one that among an electorate exhausted by more than a decade of war always drew a rousing applause: “Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq,” Obama proclaimed in Bowling Green, Ohio, in September 2012, and did nearly every day after until the election. “We did.”
On Thursday, Obama addressed reporters in the White House Briefing Room about Iraq’s latest crisis. “Do you wish you had left a residual force in Iraq? Any regrets about that decision in 2011?” a reporter asked. “Well, keep in mind that wasn’t a decision made by me,” Obama said. “That was a decision made by the Iraqi government.”
There seems to be a fun consensus forming that Biden was under some obligation to keep Trump's deal with the Taliban in place, while jettisoning every other executive order Trump made.— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) August 15, 2021
Saturday, August 14, 2021
In multiple provinces, the Taliban have already begun burning down schools that accepted girls as students. In Takhar province earlier this week, three women who were riding home in a rickshaw were stopped by Taliban fighters and lashed and beaten in the street for wearing “revealing sandals.”It’s still possible that we’ll pull off this evacuation without any additional loss of life to Americans or the Afghan workers inside the green zone. But it’s also possible that we won’t. As I’ve said here in the past, right now is a time for action, but when all of this is said and done, we will need to have full congressional hearings to determine how the planning for this exit was botched so badly and who should have had the foresight to know that the Taliban was always going to do precisely what they are doing right now.
Friday, August 13, 2021
Thursday, August 12, 2021
This National Review story "Afghanistan for the Layman" links to this Vox piece "How is the Taliban gaining so fast in Afghanistan? - An expert on the Taliban’s sweep and what it means for Afghanistan."
One thing to note is that, yes, the Taliban is gaining in these remote regional capitals but it's not like there's a strong government presence there anyway:
One Afghan government official told them some of these districts fell when 10 Taliban fighters showed up. A lot of this was just the collapse of government authority, and if it could collapse in the face of 10 Taliban fighters, we have to be honest: It was barely there to begin with.
I'm with Joe Biden with this one: we've been nation-building in this no-win country for two decades. The United States has poured billions into propping up the Afghan forces. Time to step up or slide back into the 12th century again.
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
Monday, August 09, 2021
Wow, this great song came up on my shuffle and I don't think I've heard it since 1984. Chaka Khan's smooth ballad "Through the Fire" only hit #60 on the Billboard chart and got overshadowed by her megahit "I Feel For You" (written by Prince).
But this song is smoooth and soulful. Check it out.
Sunday, August 08, 2021
Saturday, August 07, 2021
Friday, August 06, 2021
Thursday, August 05, 2021
Consequently, by unilaterally decreeing a moratorium extension in the teeth of that ruling, President Biden is acting in bad faith. It is now a constitutional offense. Specifically, and in blatant violation of his solemn duty to execute the laws faithfully, Biden has usurped Congress’s legislative authority and declared the power to legislate. He is running roughshod over the separation of powers, which is the foundation of our constitutional framework, limiting power and preserving liberty.That is why this is a constitutional violation, one even more profound than a theorized violation stemming from the Commerce Clause — since Biden has been admonished by the Supreme Court that what he is now doing would be wrong. Moreover, the administration publicly conceded on Monday that there was no “legal authority for even new, targeted eviction moratoriums.”There is also no doubt that Democrats, who twice impeached President Trump for abusing his office, would be calling for the impeachment of a Republican president who did such a thing.
If the Trump administration had ignored a direct warning from the Supreme Court, Democrats would rightfully line up to condemn the president. Mr. Biden does not get a pass on the rule of law because his heart is in the right place.
In a sane world, impeachable. https://t.co/KXjAWs2A0G— Mollie (@MZHemingway) August 5, 2021
Wednesday, August 04, 2021
Tuesday, August 03, 2021
President Biden knows that the CDC’s eviction moratorium is illegal, having, per Gene Sperling, “not only kicked the tires,” but “double, triple, quadruple checked.” He also knows that the Supreme Court has ruled that it is illegal, and that the majority of the legal scholars he has consulted think that the Court is correct.And yet, because a bunch of progressives have spent the day complaining, Biden announced just now that he intends to violate his oath and reissue the order anyway. “The bulk of the constitutional scholars,” Biden admitted at his press conference just now, “say it’s not likely to pass constitutional muster.” Then he said that he was prepared to try his luck anyway.Big day for the “norms” crowd.
In other words, he knows it’s unconstitutional and it wouldn’t be upheld but he knows that legal action against this extension will take time, so he’s going to try to do it anyway and then blame others and the courts when he’s sued and he loses. Can we talk about how wrong this is? He doesn’t care that it’s illegal. He knows it’s contrary to what the Supreme Court has already indicated yet he’s flying in their face anyway, something that just defies belief.
Monday, August 02, 2021
Still, city employees, including police officers and firefighters, are heavily represented among those who’ve yet to get vaccinated against COVID-19, which has already killed more than 33,500 New Yorkers.Some of the city’s largest agencies have lower vaccination rates than the general public. Of NYPD’s 54,000 uniformed and civilian workforce, only 43% are vaccinated, the New York Post reported last week, also finding that the FDNY has a 55% vaccination rate. Roughly 42% of city Department of Correction workers are vaccinated, the agency told THE CITY, based on information it has about those who were vaccinated in the five boroughs.Both the city’s 135,000 public school employees and 42,000 public hospital workers have a 60% vaccination rate.