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babylonsister

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Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 08:54 PM
Number of posts: 170,117

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Growing number of governors tell Biden admin they're ready to welcome Afghan families

This warmed my heart.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/8/19/2046890/--Oregon-stands-ready-to-help-Growing-number-of-states-say-they-re-eager-to-welcome-Afghan-refugees

Growing number of governors tell Biden admin they're ready to welcome Afghan families
Gabe Ortiz
Daily Kos Staff
Thursday August 19, 2021 · 11:33 AM EDT


A growing number of bipartisan governors have said Afghan allies and family members are welcome to build new lives in their states and communities. In Oregon, Democratic Gov. Kate Brown said that the state “stands ready to help the federal government resettle Afghan refugee families,” KDRV reported.

"In Oregon, we welcome refugees from around the world, recognizing that resettlement is a lifeline our country provides for survivors of violence and oppression,” Brown said. “We all thrive when we accept refugees into our communities. We benefit from the diversity of thought, opinion, and culture that refugee families bring. Oregon has welcomed more than 75,000 refugees since 1975. And these communities are a vital part of the fabric of Oregon’s history, culture, and economy.”


Gov. Brown’s statement followed a letter led by state lawmakers, including the state House speaker and state Senate president, urging the speedy evacuation of Afghan allies who remain in danger following Afghanistan’s fall to the Taliban. “What we are facing now is a humanitarian crisis, and we must meet this moment with the urgency it demands,” lawmakers said. “Together, we call on the Biden administration to lift the refugee admission caps and take other emergency humanitarian actions that will save lives at this pivotal time.”

ABC 7 News reports that Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom said California is “a state of refuge. I'm proud of the fact over the last decade California has taken in more refugees than any other state in America, and I'm proud of the fact a disproportionate number of Afghani refugees are here in Northern California, not just here in the south, but also up in Sacramento County. We're already working in terms of a lot of those refugees coming in and working with CBOs and non-profit organizations to make sure that they feel welcome and celebrated as members of our community.”

Wisconsin is home to a number of military bases across the U.S. where allies and family members will initially arrive before being resettled elsewhere in the U.S. Wisconsin State Journal reports that while its unclear how many families will arrive to Fort McCoy, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said the state is “ready to assist.”

“Many Afghan people now fleeing their homes have bravely contributed to work in Afghanistan over the past two decades. Just as they protected us in serving our country and helped keep our troops safe, we owe it to them to protect and keep them safe,” the Wisconsin State Journal reports Evers said. “We have been in contact with federal partners about resettlement efforts for Afghan people who are seeking refuge at Fort McCoy. As we learn more information, Wisconsin is ready to assist these efforts and help these individuals who served our country and are now seeking refuge.”


While there’s been a mainstream media effort to gin up a fight over welcoming refugees by quoting the absolute worst of the worst (like noted white supremacist Stephen Miller), it’s just a fact that there’s bipartisan support. In Utah, Republican Gov. Spencer Cox issued a letter to the Biden administration expressing the state’s “desire in helping those who are fleeing Afghanistan.” In Maryland, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said “[m]any of these Afghan citizens—our allies—bravely risked their lives to provide invaluable support for many years to our efforts as interpreters and support staff, and we have a moral obligation to help them,” NBC News reported.

Axios reported that Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds similarly said she wants to resettle Afghan refugees in Iowa. However, her stance when it comes to vulnerable people along the southern border has been the complete opposite.

Last month, the nonborder state sent troops to the southern border as part of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s Very Serious disaster declaration. Your first thoughts might be that the “disaster” perhaps refers to the state’s energy grid or maybe the delta variant, but no: He means asylum-seeking families. Reynolds also joined Abbott in promoting the racist “immigrants bring disease” trope, falsely claiming that “[p]art of the problem is the southern border is open and we’ve got 88 countries that are coming across the border and they don’t have vaccines," NBC News reported. Once again, “[n]o, the surge in coronavirus cases is not because of hundreds of thousands of migrants,” Phillip Bump recently reported for The Washington Post. And, again, the Biden administration has kept in place the Miller policy that’s used the pandemic as an excuse to quickly deport asylum-seekers.

When it comes to refugees and Texas, remember that Abbott back in 2020 told the previous administration that the state would not be accepting any refugees under an unlawful executive order that purported to give states the authority to reject them. But this time around it’s not up to Abbott, with the Biden administration saying that hundreds of Afghan allies and families could be expected to arrive in the state soon. “The Austin office of Refugee Services already resettled a family of seven this weekend and plans to welcome at least four more families this week,” KXAN reported.

"Oregon is ready to welcome our refugee sisters and brothers from Afghanistan, and the rest of the world,” Brown continued in her statement, urging the Biden administration to “lift refugee admission caps and take other emergency humanitarian actions to save lives. It’s critical that the United States take steps to evacuate as many people in danger from Afghanistan as quickly as possible, including expediting the visa approval process, particularly for those Afghans and their families who have risked their lives in service of this country.” For more information about what you can do to help in our own community, see this link from the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Aug 20, 2021, 08:45 AM (4 replies)

U.S. transport ship and field hospitals heading to Haiti for quake relief

Beats throwing paper towels.


U.S. transport ship and field hospitals heading to Haiti for quake relief
The ship is carrying a fleet surgical team, 200 marines, two helicopters and a landing craft unit.
By JONATHAN CUSTODIO
08/19/2021 10:02 PM EDT


The United States has dispatched a massive transport ship and begun delivering field hospitals to Haiti after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the southwestern part of the island Saturday, crumbling homes, destroying roads and killing more than 2,000 people.

The USS Arlington, a transport dock ship, left Naval Station Norfolk, Va. on Tuesday and is scheduled to reach Haiti by Sunday, according to a spokesperson with U.S. Southern Command. The ship is carrying a fleet surgical team, 200 marines, two helicopters and a landing craft unit.

Haiti continued to reel Thursday from the earthquake, the worst since 2010, when a 7.0-magnitude quake claimed more than 250,000 likes mostly in the capital of Port-au-Prince. Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency said the death toll from Saturday’s quake had risen to almost 2,200 with more than 12,000 injured. Hospitals in the hardest-hit areas have been largely incapacitated, increasing the desperate need for more medical care and assistance, Haitian officials said.

SOUTHCOM’s Joint Task Force-Haiti planned to deliver a field surgical hospital to the southern city of Les Cayes on Thursday. It will be operated by Samaritan’s Purse, a nongovernmental organization that provides spiritual and physical aid globally. On Tuesday, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said four field hospitals were expected to be set up this week.

Since Saturday, the U.S. military has deployed three Coast Guard helicopters that have assisted hundreds of people and transported nearly 7,000 pounds of medical supplies and three U.S. Coast Guard cutters to Haiti. The U.S. also provided eight military helicopters from Joint Task Force-Bravo in Honduras.

more...

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/08/19/us-transport-ship-haiti-aid-506342
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Aug 20, 2021, 08:40 AM (3 replies)

America's Anti-Vaxxers Are Getting More Dangerous

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/08/americas-anti-vaxxers-are-getting-more-dangerous/

2 hours ago
America’s Anti-Vaxxers Are Getting More Dangerous
“One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine.”
Nathalie Baptiste

snip//

But there’s still a frightening number of people who are refusing to get the shot for no good reason. As I’ve looked at their Twitter feeds and public statements, it seems that at least three distinct groups with three very different reasons are endangering public health. Some are motivated by political convictions, others by accepting scientific misinformation, and a third group has bought into conspiracy theories. Clearly there are no bright lines distinguishing them, and the Venn diagram might have a few intersections, but the unholy trinity can be found whining to reporters, delivering delusional speeches at City Hall meetings, or loudly protesting outside local schools.

snip//

Those who have refused to get vaccinated for whatever reason now find themselves facing restricted access in some places. New York City, for example, plans to require vaccination proof to enter restaurants, gyms, and other businesses. San Francisco is requiring vaccine proof for certain indoor businesses as well. Brian Kilmeade, a host of Fox & Friends, had a solution! He told viewers in New York City to purchase a fake vaccine card. Isn’t it better, really, for the unvaccinated to commit a crime than get the shot?
https://twitter.com/LisPower1/status/1427981380726702091
What all these people have in common is the dire consequences of their actions. Their refusal can and already has harmed vulnerable people. The surge and the backlash have coincided with school reopenings, with some teachers refusing to get vaccinated and placing children under 12, who are not eligible for the vaccine, and their families at risk. School districts in Mississippi and Alabama have already had to shut down because of outbreaks. Clearly, nursing homes are another incredibly vulnerable population. In a Washington Post op-ed, New Jersey–based writer Louise Dubin described an outbreak in her father’s nursing home because of unvaccinated nursing staff that led to the deaths of two residents—though her father survived.

The most alarming part isn’t that they don’t care about collective health; after all, individualism is one of the founding principles of American conservatism. Rather it’s astonishing to see how little regard they seem to have for their own lives. Denial is a powerful move. Purposely remaining unvaccinated increases your chance of hospitalization and death. Oftentimes the reality of the situation doesn’t become clear until anti-vaxxers are near death. “One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine,” Alabama doctor Brytney Cobia told the Washington Post about her patients suffering from COVID-19. “I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late.” This is collateral damage from the tyranny of the anti-vaxxers. In the end, we’re all more vulnerable than we ever were.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Aug 20, 2021, 08:34 AM (27 replies)

Ex-Official: Trump Knew Afghan Army Would Surrender, Made Deal Anyway

https://crooksandliars.com/2021/08/john-ratcliffe-taliban-trump


8/19/21 3:58pm
Ex-Official: Trump Knew Afghan Army Would Surrender, Made Deal Anyway
Former Natl. Sec. Dir. John Ratcliffe said that Trump knew that the Afghan military would fall to the Taliban within 48 hours but negotiated a deal to pull U.S. troops out of the country anyway.
By David


Former National Security Director John Ratcliffe on Thursday revealed that former President Donald Trump knew that the Afghan military would fall to the Taliban within 48 hours but negotiated a deal to pull U.S. troops out of the country anyway.

Ratcliffe made the remarks during an appearance on Fox News.

"We had that intelligence when I was DNI," he explained. "All of the discussions including with some of the same military leaders that are still there was if we don't follow these conditions and the Afghan forces are left on their own, how long will this last and the consensus with everyone in the room was not very long."

"And I remember President Trump saying, 'I don't think they'll last two days,'" he added. "And that's why those conditions that [Fox News host Bill Hemmer] mentioned are so important."


Under the original conditions that the Trump administration negotiated with the Taliban, U.S. forces would have withdrawn from Afghanistan in May. President Joe Biden extended that exit until August.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Aug 20, 2021, 07:34 AM (18 replies)

digby: No, George W. Bush doesn't deserve a pass on Afghanistan

No, George W. Bush doesn't deserve a pass on Afghanistan
The former president has shown an incredible lack of self-reflection in the twenty years since his war of revenge
By Heather Digby Parton
Published August 18, 2021 10:27AM (EDT)


It seems like only yesterday that the President of the United States was standing on the pile of rubble of the World Trade Center with a bullhorn telling the world, "I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon." That iconic image of President George W. Bush promising vengeance 20 years ago was America's primal scream in the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the echoes of that scream still reverberate today.

But to watch the febrile pundits on TV and read the agitated screeds of hundreds of observers and experts over the past few days, you would never know that the Afghanistan "mission" came out of such a primitive war cry. The sad truth is the war was an act of revenge. The attacks of 9/11 were truly terrifying and wanting to hit back was a natural human response. But leaders are supposed to rise above such emotions and make rational decisions in the national interest. Clearly, that doesn't always happen. For a variety of reasons, they instead start wars, which are the most irrational human activity of all. America has been acting irrationally about Afghanistan ever since.

snip//

But perhaps the most cynical of all the rationales they offered in those early days before they pivoted to Iraq and pretty much put Afghanistan on cruise control was the unctuous, insincere, marketing campaign they launched to convince the American people that they were fighting the war on behalf of Afghan women. On November 17, 2001, just a few weeks after the attacks, they sent out First Lady Laura Bush to make a speech about the repressive Taliban regime's treatment of women, all of which was true but was clearly designed to make the war into something nobler than the crude act of vengeance it really was. After all, feminists and others had been speaking out about Taliban oppression of women for years. A year and a half before the attacks, the New York Times had featured a hair-raising interview with two sisters by Katha Pollitt, chronicling the truly brave work by RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, called "Tearing the Veil." American feminists had been agitating for Afghan women's rights for some time. There was zero interest in the issue on the right until the Bush administration decided to make it a central rationale for the war in Afghanistan.

snip//

But it's George W. Bush who bears the most responsibility for the mess in Afghanistan. He was the man who started that war to fulfill America's hunger to hit back and set the U.S. and Afghanistan on the road to two long decades of losses in blood and treasure that accomplished almost nothing in the end.

more...

https://www.salon.com/2021/08/18/no-george-w-bush-doesnt-deserve-a-pass-on-afghanistan/
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Aug 19, 2021, 10:11 AM (1 replies)

digby: No, George W. Bush doesn't deserve a pass on Afghanistan


No, George W. Bush doesn't deserve a pass on Afghanistan
The former president has shown an incredible lack of self-reflection in the twenty years since his war of revenge
By Heather Digby Parton
Published August 18, 2021 10:27AM (EDT)


It seems like only yesterday that the President of the United States was standing on the pile of rubble of the World Trade Center with a bullhorn telling the world, "I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon." That iconic image of President George W. Bush promising vengeance 20 years ago was America's primal scream in the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the echoes of that scream still reverberate today.

But to watch the febrile pundits on TV and read the agitated screeds of hundreds of observers and experts over the past few days, you would never know that the Afghanistan "mission" came out of such a primitive war cry. The sad truth is the war was an act of revenge. The attacks of 9/11 were truly terrifying and wanting to hit back was a natural human response. But leaders are supposed to rise above such emotions and make rational decisions in the national interest. Clearly, that doesn't always happen. For a variety of reasons, they instead start wars, which are the most irrational human activity of all. America has been acting irrationally about Afghanistan ever since.

snip//

But perhaps the most cynical of all the rationales they offered in those early days before they pivoted to Iraq and pretty much put Afghanistan on cruise control was the unctuous, insincere, marketing campaign they launched to convince the American people that they were fighting the war on behalf of Afghan women. On November 17, 2001, just a few weeks after the attacks, they sent out First Lady Laura Bush to make a speech about the repressive Taliban regime's treatment of women, all of which was true but was clearly designed to make the war into something nobler than the crude act of vengeance it really was. After all, feminists and others had been speaking out about Taliban oppression of women for years. A year and a half before the attacks, the New York Times had featured a hair-raising interview with two sisters by Katha Pollitt, chronicling the truly brave work by RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, called "Tearing the Veil." American feminists had been agitating for Afghan women's rights for some time. There was zero interest in the issue on the right until the Bush administration decided to make it a central rationale for the war in Afghanistan.

snip//

But it's George W. Bush who bears the most responsibility for the mess in Afghanistan. He was the man who started that war to fulfill America's hunger to hit back and set the U.S. and Afghanistan on the road to two long decades of losses in blood and treasure that accomplished almost nothing in the end.

more...

https://www.salon.com/2021/08/18/no-george-w-bush-doesnt-deserve-a-pass-on-afghanistan/
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Aug 19, 2021, 09:11 AM (11 replies)

Eric Boehlert: The media's summer of discontent -- waging war on Biden

https://pressrun.media/p/the-medias-summer-of-discontent-waging

The media's summer of discontent — waging war on Biden
The excited pile-on
Eric Boehlert
2 hr ago

snip//

Commenting on Biden’s Monday address to the nation and the cultural disconnect between the public and the press, MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace observed, “"95% of the American people will agree with everything [President Biden] just said. 95% of the press covering this White House will disagree."

The question is, why? Why is there such a chasm between the public and the press. (Prior to the withdrawal, Americans overwhelmingly supported Biden’s plan to bring U.S. troops home.) Why has the Beltway media covered the Afghanistan story with an unrestrained frenzy that so far outweighs the facts in play?

Laser focused on blaming Biden for a military defeat two decades in the making, while wildly overplaying the evacuation story in terms of historical context, the press seems genuinely eager to echo GOP spin and denounce the White House, as well as demand weird public acts of contrition.

snip//

The press should absolutely hold public officials accountable. But it’s not possible to watch the last several days and suggest the administration has refused to explain and detail what’s unfolding in Afghanistan. Unlike the previous administration, which lied to the press nonstop about every conceivable topic, the Biden White House has been offering serious, specific, and factual responses to all inquiries. It’s just that the press, just like the GOP, doesn’t like the answers.

snip//

This is also the same press corps that two weeks ago largely looked away when the U.S. economy shocked analysts by posting nearly one million new jobs. Two of the three network evening newscasts didn’t even bother covering the blockbuster jobs report.

Good news for Biden is often treated as no news by the press, which is far more interested in pushing “crisis” stories. It’s a key reason why they leaned so hard into the Afghanistan story.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Aug 19, 2021, 09:02 AM (6 replies)

Nikki Haley Is Not Too Terribly Bright, Part Infinity

https://crooksandliars.com/2021/08/nikki-haley-not-too-terribly-bright-part

8/19/21 5:31am
Nikki Haley Is Not Too Terribly Bright, Part Infinity
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is very distressed about negotiations with the Taliban.
By Karoli Kuns


Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is very distressed about negotiations with the Taliban.
https://twitter.com/NikkiHaley/status/1428080638658289668
Terrible to be negotiating with the Taliban! How bad Biden and his administration are for dancing with the devil, negotiating with terrorists, and doing the thing that Donald Trump did a year ago! The thing she was fully aware of at the time it was done! What an awful business.

How stupid do you have to be to tweet something like this? Twitter pounced, sending some timely reminders of exactly who negotiated what with the Taliban, and who cheered from the sidelines at the time.

snip//

https://twitter.com/FPWellman/status/1428083423730708487
https://twitter.com/itsJeffTiedrich/status/1428092475302895619

Nikki, the internet always remembers. Even if you don't.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Aug 19, 2021, 08:09 AM (32 replies)

Biden Throws Down The Gauntlet At Wingnut Governors

https://crooksandliars.com/2021/08/biden-teachers-salaries-covid


8/18/21 4:24pm
Biden Throws Down The Gauntlet At Wingnut Governors
The president won't allow GOP governors to threaten teachers with an unthinkable choice.
By Aliza Worthington


The Death Cult party is doing all it can to ensure the Delta variant of COVID finds our children in the states they govern. Florida and Texas lead the way, with those governors doing all they can, down to issuing threats to not pay teachers and employees in school districts with mask mandates. President Joe Biden has mentioned before that he will not allow educators to go unpaid, but in today's COVID briefing, he dug in and threw down the gauntlet to Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis, in particular.

"Intimidation and threats we are seeing across the country are WRONG. They're unacceptable," insisted Biden.

"I've said before, this isn't about politics. It's about keeping our children safe. It's about taking on the virus together. United. I've made it clear that I will stand with those who are trying to do the right thing," said Biden, before describing phone calls he'd made to school superintendents in Florida and Arizona. Each was requiring masks in their classrooms, and he thanked them. "One of them said, 'We teach science. So we follow the science.' The other said they have a guiding principle: 'Students first.' I just couldn't agree more with what they both said."


Then Biden made it clear he would not tolerate anyone trying to stand in their way.

"That's why today I'm directing the Secretary of Education, an educator himself, to take additional steps to protect our children. This includes using all of his oversight authority, and legal action, if appropriate, against governors who are trying to block and intimidate local school officials and educators," Biden warned.


He's looking at you, DeSantis, Abbott, and Ducey.

Biden reassured teachers that these psychotic threats from the GOP governors would have absolutely no financial teeth to them.

"You know, we're not going to sit by as governors try to block and intimidate educators trying to protect our children. For example, if a governor wants to cut the pay of a hard-working education leader who requires masks in the classroom, the money from the American Rescue Plan can be used to pay that person's salary, 100%," he said.


The GOP has been anti-education. anti-teacher, and frankly, anti-child for decades. It's unspeakably hard to be an educator during COVID times. To have the threat of your salary taken away because you're protecting everyone in the classroom with masks is beyond demeaning, beyond insulting, beyond professionally taxing. It's ordering teachers — especially elementary school teachers — to let their students die in return for their paycheck.

Thank god the Biden administration won't allow it to happen.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Aug 18, 2021, 08:32 PM (9 replies)

Why Biden was so set on withdrawing from Afghanistan



Why Biden was so set on withdrawing from Afghanistan
Even in 2009, he didn’t believe the military had a strategy for victory.
By Andrew Prokopandrew@vox.com Aug 18, 2021, 8:00am EDT


To understand President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan against the advice of the US military establishment, you need to go back to a debate that played out more than a decade ago, during the early years of Barack Obama’s presidency.

In 2009, the new Obama administration debated whether to “surge” troop levels in Afghanistan after nearly eight years of war had failed to quell the insurgency from the overthrown Taliban forces. Top generals asked early that year for 17,000 more US troops and then, having gotten those, asked for an additional 40,000 to try to weaken the Taliban and strengthen the Afghan government.

Then-Vice President Biden was consistently one of the biggest skeptics of the military’s recommendations. Throughout months of debate, he repeatedly raised the inconvenient point that the generals’ preferred strategy seemed extremely unlikely to lead to actual victory. “We have not thought through our strategic goals!” he shouted during the Obama administration’s first meeting on the war in Afghanistan.

All this was documented at the time in Bob Woodward’s deeply reported 2010 book Obama’s Wars. Biden did not actually support withdrawal at the time — he pushed for a more limited mission focused on counterterrorism, accompanied by a smaller troop surge than the military wanted.

But his dark view of the long-term picture was clearly vindicated in the decade since. Now that Biden is president and has actually withdrawn from the war — leading to a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan — it’s worth revisiting that past debate, as outlined in Woodward’s book, to understand why his mind was so firmly made up.

more...

https://www.vox.com/2021/8/18/22629135/biden-afghanistan-withdrawal-reasons
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Aug 18, 2021, 10:19 AM (22 replies)
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