Rep McCaul Says The Taliban Are Holding Americans Hostage At An Airport In Afghanistan

Rep Michael McCaul(R-TX), the top Republican in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, appeared on Fox News Sunday(09/05/2021), where he made the bombshell claim that the Taliban are holding Americans, already seated in planes and awaiting departure, hostage at the Mazar-i-Sharif Airport in Afghanistan.

Rep McCaul’s full interview on Fox News Sunday is available here, but the relevant clip is below

Rep McCaul told host Chris Wallace: “We have six airplanes at Mazar-i-Sharif Airport, six airplanes, with American citizens on them as I speak, also with these interpreters, and the Taliban is holding them hostage for demands right now. State[Department] has cleared these flights, and the Taliban will not let them leave the airport…And that’s my concern…they[Taliban] are going to demand more and more, whether it be cash, or legitimacy as the government of Afghanistan…This is really turning into a hostage situation, where they are not going to allow American citizens to leave until they get full recognition from the United States of America.”

Needless to say, Americans being held hostage in a hostile foreign nation, will always be a big deal, or as TeamBiden would say, a “bfd”. It will be interesting to see how the Biden administration addresses this bombshell claim by the ranking Republican in the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

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AOC And Fellow House Democrats Want Annual Refugee Cap Raised To 200K

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) appeared on MSNBC’s ReidOut show(08/26/2021) to discuss the ongoing evacuation crisis in Afghanistan, and the plight of Afghan refugees currently trickling into the United States. Rep Ocasio-Cortez told host Joy Reid that she’s joining hands with about 70 other House Democrats, in urging the Biden administration to raise the annual refugee cap from the paltry 15,000 under former President Trump, to at least 200,000.

Rep Ocasio-Cortez told host Joy Reid:“When it comes to the devastation that we have seen in Afghanistan, the United States plays a role. We have a responsibility, and in order to… make good on the role that we have played in this violence, we have a responsibility to make a home for the people whose lives have been upended by interventionist U.S. foreign policy. And so, as a result, I’m proud to have co-written a letter with Rep Barbara Lee[D-CA], to ask and urge the Biden administration to, as they set their refugee quota, to make it no less that 200,000 in the upcoming year.”

You’ll remember the Trump administration dropped the annual refugee cap from 85,000 under President Obama, way down to a paltry 15,000.

Bottom line folks, as Rep Ocasio-Cortez correctly stated on ReidOut, we have a moral obligation to fulfill the promises we made to Afghans, whose help we enlisted in the fight against terrorism, and whose lives have been upended by the current state of affairs under Taliban rule. The least we can do, is raise our paltry annual refugee cap to at least 200,000, so that we can admit into the United States, as many of our Afghan allies as is possible. It’s also the moral thing to do, and one sincerely hopes the Biden administration will grant Rep Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow House Democrats, their noble request.

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Top DOJ Official Drafted Letter Bolstering Trump’s Election Fraud Claims

Jeffrey Clark, Former Acting Head Of DOJ’s Civil Division Under President Trump

A shocking report on MSNBC’s Ali Velshi show(08/15/2021) says that Jeffrey Clark, the former head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division, drafted a letter that he intended to send to the Republican-led Georgia legislature, which would have bolstered Trump’s false claim that the 2020 election results in Georgia were somehow fraudulent, thereby laying the groundwork for Trump to overturn the state’s results. If this reporting holds up, it will be one of Trump’s most egregious abuses of the Department of Justice, and grounds for an immediate investigation into Jeffrey Clark’s entire tenure at the department.

Host Velshi said:“The ex-President[Trump] was particularly obsessed with trying to overturn Biden’s victory in Georgia, and he managed to find someone who would help him do that. Enter Jeffrey Clark..He’s the former acting head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division…Clark’s scheme involved plans to send letters to the Republican-led Georgia legislature, claiming that the Justice Department was investigating possible voter fraud in Georgia. This was a lie, but Clark drafted those letters in a way that would have made them seem legitimate, with a Department of Justice letterhead up on the top…That letter would have laid the groundwork for Republicans in the state of Georgia to essentially invalidate as many votes as they wanted to, in order to overturn the will of the Georgia’s voters, and falsely declare the ex-President the winner.”

The letter would have read like this.

Velshi added that the reason Clark’s letter was never sent to the Georgia legislature, is that a few people at DOJ refused to go along with his potentially criminal scheme, and that then Acting AG Jeffrey Rosen, and his number two Richard Donoghue, also refused to sign off on Clark’s scheme.

Bottom line folks, Americans are increasingly getting impatient with U.S. Attorney General Garland’s seeming reluctance to go after crooks, both at DOJ and other federal agencies, who were complicit in Trump’s demonstrable corruption. As host Velshi correctly put it, “currently there are no legislative or legal guardrails in place that would prevent a scheme like Clark’s to be launched again in the future, which is why he and the other of the ex-President’s enablers must be held to account.” Americans turned out in record numbers, and stood in long lines at the polls, with the hope that a Biden administration would deal with the crooks who abused their government positions to aid and abet Trump. It is high time the Biden administration, and especially Garland’s DOJ, meet the voters halfway.

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Pompeo Confronted On Giving Taliban Legitimacy And Securing Their Release From Prison

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on Fox News Sunday(08/15/2021) to discuss the ongoing crisis unfolding in Afghanistan, following the decision by the Biden administration to withdraw U.S. troops from the country. Pompeo, who naturally was intent on slamming the Biden administration for the chaos in Afghanistan, was however confronted with his own record as Secretary of State, specifically, his role in legitimizing the Taliban, and forcing the Afghan government to release Taliban fighters from prison.

Pompeo’s full interview on Fox News Sunday is available here, but the relevant clip is below

Host Chris Wallace’s question to Pompeo: “You are the first American Secretary of State to ever meet with the Taliban, and you talked about how they had agreed to join us in the fight against terrorism…Do you regret giving the Taliban that legitimacy? Do you regret pressuring the Afghan government to release five thousand prisoners, which they did, some of whom are now back on the battlefield fighting with the Taliban?”

Pompeo responded that even though he enlisted Taliban forces in our fight against terrorism, specifically Al-Qaeda, he has never trusted them. He specifically said, “We never trusted the Taliban…We made abundantly clear if they did not live up to that peace of paper[deal], to the words that they had put on the ground, we weren’t going to allow them to just walk away from any deal that they had struck. We were going to crush them…We didn’t take the word of the Taliban. We watched their actions on the ground. When they did the right thing and they helped us against terror, that was all good, and when they didn’t, we crushed them.”

Pompeo’s response is shaky on several grounds, chief among them, the fact that it dodges the million dollar question at hand, and that is, whether the Taliban fighters he forced the Afghan government to release, are the same fighters now running over the country. Reasonable people will agree that some of the Taliban prisoners freed as a result of pressure from then Secretary Pompeo, are the same fighters now causing all the chaos in the country.

Bottom line folks, the operating principle has been, and still is, that in all our military engagements, the buck always stops with the sitting Commander-in-Chief, in this case, President Biden. Republicans have every right to lay the blame on the Biden administration for the chaos currently unfolding in Afghanistan. It is totally disingenuous however, for Pompeo and others in former President Trump’s cabinet, to act like they had nothing to do with the current mess in Afghanistan. Reasonable people will agree that some of the five thousand Taliban prisoners Pompeo pressured the Afghan government to release, are the same Taliban fighters now running over the country. Simply put Mike Pompeo, you have a hand in the Afghan mess!!

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Gov DeSantis Blames Florida Covid Surge On Migrants Coming Through the Texas-Mexico Border

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis On Fox News’ Ingraham Angle Show (08/04/2021)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis appeared on Fox News’ Ingraham Angle show(08/04/2021), where he made the ridiculous assertion that it is migrants coming through the Texas-Mexico border, who are to blame for the surge of covid-19’s delta variant in Florida. Yes, folks, Governor DeSantis, with a straight face, told host Laura Ingraham, that the Biden administration is apprehending covid-stricken migrants coming through the Texas-Mexico border, and shipping them to Florida.

Gov DeSantis’ full interview on Ingraham Angle is available here, but the relevant clip is below.

Gov DeSantis told host Laura Ingraham:“He[President Biden] is bringing in people from over a hundred different countries across the southern border. Every variant on this planet, some we don’t even know about, are absolutely coming into our country that way. What they are doing is, people are coming, and then they are farming them out all over the United States, putting them on buses, putting them on planes. So when he is lecturing people about imposing covid restrictions and lock down policies on the one hand, and yet not only doing nothing to stop the border surge, but actually facilitating it on the other hand, he just loses all credibility when it comes to covid.”

Governor DeSantis, noticing how ridiculous his assertion was, then tried to justify it, telling host Ingraham that migrants coming through the Texas-Mexico border have a particular affinity to Florida. He said, “I have[Florida] law enforcement there helping[Texas]Governor Abbott, and we’ve been there for a month, and they say of the illegal border crossers that they come in contact with, a majority of them are telling our guys that they want to end up in Florida…” Gov DeSantis’ totally made-up assertion that migrants coming through the Texas-Mexico border have a fixation with Florida was so ridiculous, even host Ingraham chuckled.

This is the kind of crazy talk one expects to hear from an obscure subreddit or Facebook page. However, when it is uttered by a Governor of a major U.S. state, one thought of as a serious presidential contender in 2024, it should be serious cause for alarm. It is not a lot to ask that a Governor of a major U.S. state like Florida, address a deadly global pandemic that has killed over half a million U.S. residents, and left many more with serious health complications, with the seriousness it deserves. Reasonable people will agree that Gov DeSantis’ argument, that the covid surge in Florida is caused by migrants shipped in from the Texas-Mexico border, is a totally frivolous argument, bordering on lunacy.

Bottom line folks, whether you are a Republican or Democrat, we are at a point where we can all agree that covid-19 is a deadly virus that demands serious attention from our leaders across the board. President Biden is absolutely correct in calling out Gov DeSantis for playing games in the face of this deadly pandemic, and urging him to either start leading, or step aside. Just so you know Governor DeSantis, there’s a very capable Floridian, ready and willing to take over, and help the Sunshine State defeat the deadly covid-19 pandemic.

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Fox News’ Hypocrisy Over Covid Vaccine Passports Exposed

Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Railing Against Covid Vaccine Passports To His Millions Of Viewers(06/01/21)

Turns out, per bombshell segment on CNN Newsroom (07/19/21), that the critical stance Fox News hosts routinely take regarding COVID-19 vaccine passports, is just another case of blatant hypocrisy by the network. Fox News has apparently had in place since June, a COVID-19 passport program, which means vaccine passport “critics” Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, are most likely fully vaccinated participants of the network’s vaccine passport program.

Senior Media Reporter Oliver Darcy said on CNN Newsroom: “This is more blatant hypocrisy from Fox News. Tucker Carlson, the main star over at Fox, he’s compared the idea of vaccine passports to Jim Crow laws, and other hosts have railed against the idea of vaccine passports–showing that you have received a vaccine and the employer being able to verify that. But Fox, we learn, has quietly back in June…rolled out a system where employees can input that they have received a vaccine, which dose of the vaccine they received, when they received it, and then they get special privileges. They don’t have to do the normal health screenings for instance, when they walk into the office. This is just more brazen hypocrisy from Fox.”

Think about that. There’s a very good chance that since June, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and other hosts at Fox News, have been discouraging their millions of viewers/followers from receiving the readily available COVID-19 vaccines, while hiding the fact that they, without hesitation, did what was best for the health and safety of their families–getting fully vaccinated. This is borderline criminal conduct by the Fox News hosts. CNN host Alisyn Camerota summed it best; “Some of the Fox hosts are vitriolic, but they are not crazy. They have been vaccinated. Chances are they have been vaccinated, they don’t want to die. But they don’t want to tell their viewers they have been vaccinated, so they have to rail against any sort of having to disclose if you have been vaccinated, or even [being] asked. I mean, Tucker has gone so far as to say it’s vulgar to ask someone if they have been vaccinated…”

Bottom line folks, there has to be some kind of retribution for the dangerous COVID-related lies that keep spewing out of Fox News. It is one thing for news hosts to express their philosophical opposition to vaccines on air, but it’s quite the other where, as here, the hosts are trashing a vaccine for a deadly disease, while hiding the fact that they have received it. The public must demand that Tucker Carlson, Hannity and Ingraham immediately disclose their COVID vaccination status, so their millions of viewers can fairly evaluate their criticism of the vaccines/vaccine passports. Anything short of this is borderline criminal misinformation, for which the hosts should be held accountable.

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Meeting Between Biden Admin Officials And Saudi Prince At Center Of Khashoggi Murder Raises Eyebrows

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Khalid bin Salman with Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan

Senior Biden administration officials, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, reportedly met with Saudi’s Prince Khalid bin Salman, who is the brother of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman(MBS), and former Ambassador to the United States. Prince Khalid’s high level welcome to the United States has naturally shocked and angered human rights activists because our very own CIA pinpointed him as one of the masterminds behind the killing of former Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Specifically, the CIA said that it was Prince Khalid who lured Khashoggi into the Istanbul consulate where he was later killed.

Washington Post Columnist and CNN Political Analyst Josh Rogin told New Day host John Berman:“The Biden administration is trying to have it’s cake and eat it too. They want to say that they are being tough on Saudi Arabia for it’s atrocious and worsening human rights record, at the same time they want to do business with Saudi Arabia on areas of mutual interest, and I get that. But the way that they decided to do that was by welcoming back the former Ambassador, Khalid bin Salman, the brother of Mohammed bin Salman[MBS], the guy who the CIA asserts was responsible for the murder and dismemberment of Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi. And the allegation by the U.S. intelligence services, is that his brother Khalid lured him into the Istanbul consulate where he was later murdered…..So it seems like a weird thing to invite the guy who was connected to the murder back to have a bunch of pictures and give him the red carpet treatment, and let him meet with Defense Secretary and the National Security Adviser. It sends the signal to the Saudis, and to the region, and to the human rights community frankly, that the Biden administration’s protestations against Saudi atrocities are just that, just words, and not actions. It signals a return to business as usual….It also insults the legacy of Jamal Khashoggi, and reneges on Biden’s promise to deliver justice to Jamal and his family.”

Bottom line folks, for a Biden administration that is usually very fine-tuned and on-message, one has to admit that granting Prince Khalid a high profile welcome despite the CIA’s findings on Khashoggi’s murder, was quite an uncharacteristic blunder by the administration. More importantly, this blunder unnecessarily dings the Biden administration’s stance and messaging on human rights. Surely somebody at Biden’s White House should have foreseen and prevented this “unforced error” of immense magnitude.

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NYT’s Maggie Haberman Addresses Backlash Over Trump Coverage

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman appeared on CNN NewDay (06/02/21), where she addressed the recent backlash on social media, over her reporting that former President Trump is telling his supporters he’ll be reinstated by August. Haberman, a constant target of liberals still seething with rage over her “role” in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss to Trump, took a lot of Twitter attacks from the same liberals, who accused her of helping deplatformed Trump spread his propaganda.

In her appearance on CNN’s NewDay, Haberman countered these accusations saying her reporting was newsworthy because it sheds light on the ongoing incitement by Trump and his allies(didn’t stop on Jan 6th). She also pushed back at her sharpest critics, Biden-loving liberals, who she said, have settled on an erroneous strategy of wishing Trump away. Haberman’s full segment on NewDay is available here, but the relevant clip is below

Haberman specifically said in response to her critics, “This is an ongoing incitement and I think that there’s a valid reason to use that term. Why people are attacking me for reporting this has always been a bit of a mystery. As I said before, people are in their own media ecosystems, and there are a lot of people around[President]Biden, and a lot of people who support Biden, who want to pretend that if they call Trump the former guy, and if you don’t say his name, that the only thing that would matter is if you give him attention. He’s the former President, he is in control of the Republican Party to a big extent, people in that party[Republican] are having a big debate that I would say is parallel to what we saw in 2015 which was, how do you deal with Trump, who according to Republican leaders at the time for the most part, had no chance of becoming the Republican nominee, and obviously that didn’t work out. Ignoring him was not the answer in 2015. Will it be the answer now? I guess we are going to find out….I think what a former President, and possible future nominee, as unlikely as that might be at the moment is saying…is newsworthy.”

Haberman is essentially arguing that whether liberals like it or not, Trump is still in many respects, the leader of the modern Republican Party, and what he says is newsworthy, especially in this case, where he appears to be inciting his supporters towards the same kind of violence we witnessed January 6th. She adds that efforts by establishment Republicans to ignore Trump into irrelevance in 2015, ended up with him scooping the GOP nomination and the presidency in 2016, and that it is foolhardy for liberals to repeat the same mistake, and expect a different outcome–probably her strongest argument.

Bottom line folks, even though I’m one of the aforementioned “liberals still seething with rage” over Haberman’s “role” in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss, I readily admit that on this issue, she’s absolutely right. As much as we liberals would like to wish Trump away, the fact of the matter is, he’s still in charge of the Republican Party. Where, as here, he appears to be inciting his supporters towards the same kind of violence we witnessed on January 6th, Maggie Haberman is being a good journalist in reporting that. Simply put, the Maggie-bashing on Twitter is totally unwarranted in this case.

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GOP’s Deficit Arguments Have Become So Ridiculous, They’re Laughable–LITERALLY!!

Chris Wallace, the host of Fox News Sunday, laughs at Sen Roy Blunt’s ridiculous response to a question about deficits (4/4/2021)

Senator Roy Blunt(R-MO) appeared on Fox News Sunday (4/4/2021) where host Chris Wallace asked him a direct question as to whether Republicans had lost all credibility regarding deficits, given the way they allowed spending to balloon under Trump, even before the covid-19 pandemic. Host Chris Wallace was basically asking Senator Blunt why the public should take GOP’s opposition to President Biden’s infrastructure proposal seriously, given their spending habits under Trump.

Chris Wallace asked Sen Blunt: “During the Trump presidency, even before the pandemic, the national debt increased by more than $3 trillion, and in 2017, every Republican in the Senate including you, voted for the big Trump tax cuts, which cut revenue by almost one and half trillion dollars, so I guess the question is….hasn’t the Republican Party lost credibility on this issue?”

Even though Chris Wallace’s question was specifically directed at GOP spending under Trump before the pandemic, Senator Blunt’s entire response focused on GOP’s actions after the pandemic. This was such a ridiculous dodge by Senator Blunt, that Chris Wallace burst out laughing, reiterating for the record, “I just want to make it clear. When I talked about the increase in debt during the Trump years, I did it purposely before the pandemic started.”

Bottom line folks, this should serve as a message to Democrats out there, freaking out about a “GOP Tsunami in 2022” brought about by some imaginary “deficits backlash” due to President Biden’s infrastructure plan. As Senator Blunt’s performance on Fox News Sunday clearly shows, Republicans have no legs to stand on when it comes to deficits, given their actions under Trump. Voters will treat such arguments in 2022 the same way host Chris Wallace did–laugh them off. Simply put, Democrats must go big and bold on infrastructure.

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Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Calling For A $10 Trillion Over 10 Years Infrastructure Plan

Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) On The Rachel Maddow Show (03/31/2021)

Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) appeared on the 03/31/2021 edition of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show(TRMS), to discuss the $2 trillion infrastructure plan President Biden had announced earlier the same day. Rep Ocasio-Cortez (aka AOC), told host Maddow that her Progressive colleagues in the House will “absolutely” push for a figure higher than the $2 trillion set out by President Biden, adding that her personal preference would be a $10 trillion over 10 years infrastructure plan.

AOC’s full interview on TRMS is available here, but the relevant clip is below.

Specifically, AOC told Maddow in response to a question as to whether Progressives in the House will push for a figure bigger than $2 trillion: “Absolutely. You know if we could wave a magic wand, and Progressives in the House were able to name any number and get it through, which obviously isn’t the case, but if we are looking at ideals and what we think is the actual investment that can create tens of millions of good union jobs in this country, that can shore up our healthcare, our infrastructure, our housing, and doing it in a way that draws down our carbon emissions to help us get in line with IPCC standards, we are talking about realistically, $10 trillion over 10 years.” AOC added that even though $10 trillion is an “eye popping” figure, it is not in any way unrealistic.

Basically, AOC’s message on TRMS was that even though House Progressives are very appreciative of President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure proposal, they are looking at the $2 trillion as a starting point, and not necessarily the ceiling. Progressives in the House will work hard for a higher figure. This promises to be quite an interesting battle in Congress, especially given the fact that in the recently passed American Rescue Plan(Covid), House negotiations began at $1.9 trillion and worked their way downwards. It appears for infrastructure, the House negotiations will begin at $2 trillion and possibly end up much higher. Will AOC’s $10 trillion wish come true? Hmm–time will tell.

Bottom line folks, as AOC correctly pointed out, if one considers the fact that for covid relief, Congress passed a one year $1.9 trillion package, it is not unreasonable to assume that for an infrastructure plan, we would need much more than the $2 trillion proposed by President Biden. It is a good thing that AOC threw the $10 trillion figure out there because it will inspire some imagination among House Democrats as to what’s possible–thinking big. Simply put, even though passing a “skinny” infrastructure plan is better than no infrastructure plan at all, House Democrats should not look at President Biden’s $2 trillion proposal as a limiting factor, but instead, like AOC, come up with their own imaginative ideas as to how to revamp our dilapidated infrastructure. All in all, let there be a robust infrastructure debate in Congress, and may the best ideas win.

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