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onetexan's Journal
onetexan's Journal
August 24, 2021

Rachel M: Americans eager to be part of Afghan rescue mission; Officials 'deluged' with help offers


This is so great - a chance to really help our Afghan brothers & sisters and their families resettle & rebuild their lives here in the US. If you are in TX please check out here: https://www.rstx.org/

August 20, 2021

AFL-CIO elects first woman president; first African-American for No. 2 job


Fri, August 20, 2021, 12:06 PM
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The AFL-CIO, the largest U.S. labor organization, on Friday elected Liz Shuler, a longtime trade unionist, to serve as the federation's first woman president, succeeding Richard Trumka, who died unexpectedly earlier this month.

The AFL-CIO's executive council also elected Fred Redmond, international vice president of the United Steelworkers (USW) union as secretary-treasurer, making him the first African- American to hold the organization's No. 2 office.

A woman for AFL-CIO President & a POC for exec council! Woohooo!!
August 20, 2021

And here it is folks: Admission by the Con's own lackeys that deal w Taliban was a bad one


But as Republicans continue to prosecute that case, something interesting keeps cropping up: former Trump administration officials seeking not just to bash Biden, but to distance themselves from the Trump administration’s own actions on this front.

That goes particularly for the deal the Trump administration cut with the Taliban last year. And we’re talking about many of its top foreign-policy figures.

(Christopher) Miller’s implication seems to be: We weren’t really going to do this thing that just plunged Afghanistan into chaos and allowed the Taliban to re-seize power. But it still meant the deal was in place and had to be dealt with by Biden, who has argued that it left him with a choice between full withdrawal and an escalation if he pulled out of the deal.

Miller has argued that Biden could have renegotiated the deal if he wanted to. But as the Associated Press rightly notes, Biden had little leverage as someone who had been pushing for a U.S. withdrawal for years.

And that’s something several key Trump foreign-policy hands seem to acknowledge.

Esper, too, has tried to play his part in crafting the public narrative of Trump’s deal with the Taliban — but not in a positive way for Trump. Esper said Trump undermined the agreement by continuing to withdraw troops despite the Taliban not living up to its end of the bargain, which was signed in Doha, Qatar, in February 2020. And he explicitly tied that the deal to what happened in recent days.

“Otherwise,” Esper said to CNN of his advice to Trump, “we would see a number of things play out, which are unfolding right now in many ways.”

Trump’s former national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, has been arguably the most brutal about the Taliban deal. Having in the past compared it to the infamous Munich agreement of 1938 which paved the way for Adolf Hitler’s rise, McMaster even more explicitly tied the events of the past week to it.

“Our secretary of state [Mike Pompeo] signed a surrender agreement with the Taliban,” McMaster told Bari Weiss. “This collapse goes back to the capitulation agreement of 2020. The Taliban didn’t defeat us. We defeated ourselves.”

No sh!t

August 16, 2021

Tom Nichols (The Atlantic): The American public now has what it wanted (Afghanistan)


And now those same Americans have the full withdrawal from Afghanistan they apparently want: Some 70 percent of the public supports a pullout. Not that they care that intensely about it; as the foreign-policy scholar Stephen Biddle recently observed, the war is practically an afterthought in U.S. politics. “You would need an electron microscope to detect the effect of Afghanistan on any congressional race in the last decade,” Biddle said early this year. “It’s been invisible.” But Presidents Obama, Trump, and Biden all ran on getting out of the war, and now we’re out.

What the public does care about, however, is using Afghanistan as raw material for cheap patriotism and partisan attacks (some right and some wrong, but few of them in good faith) on every president since 2001. After the worst attack on U.S. soil, Americans had no real interest in adult conversation about the reality of anti-terrorist operations in so harsh an environment as Afghanistan (which might have entailed a presence there long beyond 20 years), nor did they want to think about whether “draining the swamp” and modernizing and developing Afghanistan (which would mean a lot more than a few elections) was worth the cost and effort.

Nor did Americans ever consider whether or when Afghanistan, as a source of terrorist threats to the U.S., had been effectively neutralized. Nothing is perfect, and risks are never zero. But there was no time at which we all decided that “close enough” was good enough, and that we’d rather come home than stay. Obama made something like this case during the 2011 surge, and Donald Trump tried to make a similar argument, but because Trump was too stupid or too lazy to understand anything about international affairs (or much else), he made it purely as a weaponized political charge and, as with his inane attempts to engage North Korea, in a search for a splashy and quick win.

Biden’s policy, of course, is not that different from Trump’s, despite all the partisan howling about it from Republicans. As my colleague David Frum has put it: “For good or ill, the Biden policy on Afghanistan is the same as the Trump policy, only with less lying.”

But as comforting as it would be to blame Obama and Trump, we must look inward and admit that we told our elected leaders—of both parties—that they were facing a no-win political test. If they chose to leave, they would be cowards who abandoned Afghanistan. If they chose to stay, they were warmongers intent on pursuing “forever war.” And so here we are, in the place we were destined to be: resting on 20 years of safety from another 9/11, but with Afghanistan again in the hands of the Taliban.

I don't agree with the author's premise (towards the end of the article) that Biden's exit was shameful. I do agree that it's come to such a tragic end, but that was known, and agree with the rest of the article that it was the right thing to do. 2/3 of Americans don't want troops occupying Afghanistan. We have domestic terrorists here. Let's deal w/ those & leave the rest of the world to take care of itself for once while we sort out our own problems.

July 27, 2021

MSNBC Maddow: GOP rep eyes plan to kick Cheney, Kinzinger out of the party


Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), chair of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus, reportedly told his GOP colleagues during a conference meeting this morning that he's introducing a new resolution targeting Cheney and Kinzinger. As Politico reported, Biggs' proposal "would institute a rules change that would expel any member of the GOP conference if a House Republican accepted a committee assignment from Democrats."


Liz & Adam Kinzinger showed integrity & stuck to their principles. I hope they will become Dem-leaning independents!
July 8, 2021

MSNBC: AZ SoS seeks proble into trump election interference


Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs on Wednesday asked Attorney General Mark Brnovich to open a criminal investigation into possible efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to influence Maricopa County supervisors as the ballots were still being tallied. Hobbs said some of the communications "involve clear efforts to induce supervisors to refuse to comply with their duties," which could violate Arizona law.

Go Katie!!

July 6, 2021

NYT Krugman: It's morning in America


Last Tuesday President Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers published a blog post warning everyone not to make too much of any one month’s employment report. It presumably released this in advance of Friday’s report to fend off possible accusations that it was just trying to make excuses for a weak number. As it happened, however, the report came in strong: The economy added an impressive 850,000 jobs.

The job gain was especially impressive given widespread claims that businesses couldn’t expand because generous unemployment benefits were discouraging workers from taking jobs. (Recent benefit cuts in many states came too late to have affected this report.) Well, somehow employers are managing to hire a lot of people anyway.Oh, and so much for Donald Trump’s warnings that there would be a “Biden depression” if he weren’t re-elected.

That said, the council’s points were well taken. Covid-19 created huge dislocations in the economy, and as we recover from these dislocations economic data are unusually noisy — largely because the standard adjustments statisticians make to smooth out things like seasonal variation don’t work well in an economy still distorted by the pandemic.

At this point, however, we have enough data in hand to declare that the economy is booming. In fact, it’s booming so strongly that Republicans have pivoted from claiming (falsely) that we’re experiencing the worst job performance in decades to lauding the employment numbers and giving credit to … Trump’s 2017 tax cut.

MoJoe continues to deliver on his promises. Yes folks, the Biden Boom is here, increasing Dems chances for the midterms!!
Hail to our Chief!!

June 23, 2021

Article: Government health care is overtaking private coverage


A surge in Medicaid enrollment during the coronavirus pandemic is pushing the United States near a momentous tipping point: More people getting health care coverage through a government plan than through the private sector.

Here’s the math. A record 80.5 million Americans now get health coverage through Medicaid and a related program for children. Another 64 million are Medicare enrollees. The Affordable Care Act covers about 13 million Americans, the Pentagon’s Tricare system 9.6 million, and the Veterans Administration another 9 million. There are some duplicates, such as 11 million people who get both Medicaid and Medicare, and others who have coverage through the military as well as another plan. At a minimum, about 150 million Americans get coverage through a government plan, and the number could be several million higher.

Private-sector companies covered 158 million Americans in 2019, but job losses during the coronavirus pandemic probably cut that to around 153 million, including dependents. So the number of people covered through a company plan is very close to those covered by the government. Another 5 million or so buy private coverage on their own, with no government aid, but new federal subsidies in this part of the market will probably cut that number, too...

More government health care seems to be fine with voters. A recent Morning Consult poll found that 68% of respondents favor Biden’s public option, which, notably, leaves private insurance in place. Voters generally want new programs only if they’ll offer new benefits without taking away existing ones. Though nobody planned it that way, that’s how government-sponsored health care has evolved during the last 20 years or so.

All thanks to our great POTUS!!
Our young adult kids who work for smaller firms are on Obamacare. Long as they leave that in place i'm good

June 22, 2021

Reuters: U.S. appeals court puts on hold overturning of California assault weapon ban


U.S. appeals court puts on hold overturning of California assault weapon ban
(Reuters) - A U.S. federal appeals court on Monday put on hold a judge's ruling this month to overturn California's 32-year-old ban on assault weapons.

A three-judge panel in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay of U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez's June 4 order, after California officials had appealed the federal judge's decision to strike down the ban on assault-style weapons.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who had appealed against the decision to overturn the ban, said the state's assault weapons laws would remain in effect while appellate proceedings continue.

"We won't stop defending these life-saving laws," Bonta said https://bit.ly/3xFCQ6q on Twitter.

June 6, 2021

Yahoo Money: Stimulus led 'to dramatic declines in material hardship' amid the pandemic, data shows

"The last two stimulus packages significantly reduced the number of Americans suffering from hunger, financial hardship, anxiety and depression, a new study found.

Financial instability fell by 45% from December 2020 to April 2021, according to a new paper by Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan. Additionally, food insufficiency decreased over 40% and mental health symptoms dropped by 20%.

“Following the December COVID Relief bill and then again from the American Rescue Plan passed in March, you see dramatic declines in material hardship experienced by U.S. households,” Patrick Cooney, a professor at the University of Michigan who co-authored the study with Luke Shaefer, told Yahoo Finance Live (video above). “Just an amazing and dramatic sign that stimulus checks and expanded unemployment insurance are doing an awful long way to support U.S. households in the pandemic.”

As part of those packages, Americans received two rounds of stimulus checks — $600 per person checks were distributed in the winter and $1,400 per person payments were sent out in the spring. Additionally, unemployed workers received extra weekly benefits of $300 during the same period. Both measures helped alleviate financial hardship for U.S. households, according to Cooney, which, in turn, helped to lessen mental health issues.

Declines in material hardship were greatest among low-income households. At the end of 2020, 28.6% of households making below $25,000 reported that paying for usual household expenses was very difficult. That number dropped to 16.1% in April as the $1,400 checks were distributed.

Food scarcity also fell at a record pace, driven by a steep decline in hardship among low-income households. Between December 2020 and April 2021, the number of adults earning below $25,000 who reported food insufficiency fell by over 3 million. Additionally, food insecurity significantly dropped for households making between $50,000 and $100,000, the paper found.

‘In a better bargaining position to get higher wages going forward’
Improved mental health also coincided with the implementation of the two relief bills. More than two thirds of adults reported feeling nervous, anxious, or on edge in December, but six months later, just over half of adults felt that way.

Despite these benefits, critics now argue that the pandemic benefits — specifically the jobless programs — are keeping workers from returning to their jobs. Twenty-five GOP-led states plan to opt out of federal unemployment programs this month even though they expire on September 6.

Despite missing estimates in April and May, overall job growth has been faster than in past recessions, according to Cooney, and workers will come back as the economy reopens. They also may be able to negotiate higher wages, he said.

And these damn 25 red states are denying unemployment benefits to residents in between jobs

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