This is the top of my Google feed this morning — it never ends. The people who are always wrong keep using their platform to shart out more wrongness to the world . Marci Wheeler has an excellent post this morning on another set of folks who got it wrong (at the State Department), getting a bunch of attention:
Rather than explaining why the government didn’t know that Ashraf Ghani was going to flee the country, allegedly with bags of cash, national security sources are busy suckering journalists to report that they warned of the quick demise of the Afghan military.
A positively egregious example is this piece from WSJ’s Vivian Salama. What it reports is that 23 people in the State Department concerned about the rapid collapse of the Afghan government warned that the collapse would happen after August 31 — that is, still eleven days in the future from today. It also reports that the Biden Administration was already hastening efforts to get allies out of Afghanistan the day after those 23 people warned Tony Blinken (meaning, State was already aware of and working on the urgency). […]
In other words, the story should be about how top Biden officials were already ahead of where the 23 people who signed this dissent cable were, and where they weren’t, they integrated the recommendations of the cable.
Read the whole thing.
I stand by my view that this will be a political nothingburger for Biden, despite best efforts of even the liberal press to shit on him for no good reason. Prime example, MSNBC — headline: “Polling shows public siding with Biden on Afghanistan (for now)”, subhead: “If there’s polling evidence of a public backlash against Biden’s policies in Afghanistan, it’s hiding well — at least for the time being”. Well, MSNBC, just keep fucking that chicken and we’ll see where we are in a month or two. If there’s any other issue where public opinion and elite DC press opinion diverge more than this one, I don’t know it, and MSNBC is just as bad as the rest on this issue.
Finally, spare me the elite tsk-tsking about Americans only caring about themselves and therefore not getting upset about Afghanistan. So far this year, we’ve had an almost-successful coup, salmon boiling in streams, towns decimated by forest fires, and the resurgence of a pandemic driven by deluded anti-vaxxers who are filling up hospitals. Pardon “the average American” for wanting to end a 20 year failure and concentrate their attention on the many problems we have in our own country, especially since “average Americans” are the ones sending their young men and women to be injured or die in a multi-decade folly.
It’s Afghanistan. The rest of the countries removed their troops long ago ?
Concur re politically mostly a nothingburger.
— Americans are not invested in Afghanistan the way they were in Vietnam, because it’s not THEIR kids / grandkids. Unfortunately, they/we tend now to “outsource” the costs of military action: “they knew what they were signing up for.”
— Likewise, Americans care only very little or not at all about the Afghan people. “Oh the poor dears. Now, what’s on the movie channel?”
— School is starting for kids, and vacation is ending for everyone.
— There’s that whole COVID thingy.
It’ll be 95% gone after Labor Day, except for some ritual howling in the right-wing fever swamps and the occasional desperate re-visit by some MSM front-pager to that lovely chicken.
Four Seasons Total Landscaping mistermix
@rikyrah: The piece, believe it or not, argues that our exit from Afghanistan shows Europeans that they are on their own, strategically. They now know “If the US says it’s over, it’s over.”
As if they didn’t know that already.
The New York Times Pitchbot headlines (thank you DougJ) just write themselves. A particularly egregious one this morning, to the effect of “can Biden save his presidency”?
Putting the contractors on tv and idenitifying them only by their military background is just egregious.
Seriously? They don’t see fit to tell their viewers that there’s huge financial incentives for these people to lobby to stay there forever?
According to the clickbait ad next to this article, “BIDEN IS ON A ROLL.” So who’s to say…
We need a war.
If we think we need a war.
A war to make us feel safe,
A war to make ’em feel sorry.
Whoever they are
@Lapassionara: “Is The _____ Administration A Failed Presidency?” headlines are regular as clockwork about 6 months into EVERY presidency I can remember, usually accompanied by sage nostrums about “the end of the honeymoon” and dire warnings about midterm elections. It’s typical lazy journalism, and it’s mostly meaningless except to the extent it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Biden actually had a longer run than most.
Also, it IS the Silly Season. That happens EVERY year around August, when nothing real is happening but the media still need to fill airtime. Afghanistan is actually real — probably explain why the media are reacting like a neurotic dog when the human comes come — but the reaction is still WAY too hair-trigger and over-the-top. Nothing for Biden to do about it, though; it’s how they are, it’s what they do.
matt the somewhat reasonable
It seems like US media never pay any price for being monsters who are completely against the people.
@bbleh: But is nothing really happenimg this August?
Also note that the Biden-is-senile and it’s-all-Biden’s-fault lies are surging on the right wing. I’m generally suspicious of ‘projection’ as an explanation of RW rhetoric, but jeezelouize.
The corporate media never met a war they didn’t like.
Few of these people currently wringing their hands about “the women” in Afghanistan actually care about the plight of women around the world. There are lots and lots of places where women are almost as bad off as they will be under the Taliban, yet we don’t hear a peep from these supposedly concerned people about them. You know who does care, and who does work on fixing it – feminists! Yet conservatives constantly pooh-pooh them as terrible people. It reminds of me of an experience I had a long time ago. In August 2001 I was arguing with a conservative woman online about Afghanistan and the Taliban, talking about how poorly women in particular were treated there and how we should work to do something about it, and she blew it off with a figurative wave of the hand and said something like “no one even knows where that country is, much less cares about anything that happens there, so it means nothing”. The Taliban and al Queda weren’t even on the conservative radar before 9-11 happened. I reminded her of the conversation a couple of months later, and she just hand waved it away as “everyone thought that then”. No, everyone didn’t – I didn’t think that! Feminists didn’t think that! After 9-11, every time there was talk about leaving Afghanistan one conservative argument I would see is that “the feminists” didn’t really care about women, and wanted to abandon them! Most of their arguments are nothing but bad faith.
That drives me crazy, too. Don’t tell me what these people were doing 10 years ago – tell me what their interests are NOW. If they work for Raytheon, or some contractor that made a buttload of money on some make-work project in Afghanistan or Iraq, TELL ME THAT!
So who are these people we are trying to get out of Afghanistan?
And why are they still there?
I genuinely do not know these answers.
Anonymous At Work
@bbleh: Also this August: school ending for kids, either for a month or more of quarantines, or a return to virtual.
I got good money on some dates, only safe side action.
Also, left unsaid, is the huge amount of damage the U.S. & allies did against the Afghan people in rural areas where most of the fighting occurred. Not pulling out and continuing the war might make a bunch of Americans & Afghans in Kabul richer, and would provide some security to urban middle class, including women, but far from perfect as Taliban bombs, IED, & raids made clear. Finally, you know the Blob has reached have exhausted all good arguments for a war when they reach for the old “Credibility” argument, e.g. “we have to keep bombing & shooting these people in (insert Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, etc.) so those other people over there will believe we could bomb & shoot them.” Believe me, anyone who does not think America won’t recklessly use force with our history since WW2 has simply not been paying attention.
Anonymous At Work
@bbleh: Also coming this August is “School ending for kids”, either for a month or two of quarantines or a return to virtual. Some places made it a week. Most will last 2-3 weeks. We’ll see teachers out or quit early in year after a bout with COVID, and too few teachers to handle classes.
Many of them are Afghans who worked as translators for us. It’s already hard for them to get visas to the U.S. because they’re Muslims (dumb, but we all know this is the truth). Then, with the Muslim ban, admissions of people like this slowed to almost nothing. Now, after having 6 months to fix the State Department, the press expects that Biden has completely fixed everything that was fucked up under TFG. If TFG had been competent, they would have started processing these people’s visa requests as soon as TFG signed the agreement with the Taliban in February 2020.
Oh, and some of them are stupid Americans who were told several months ago that they should leave, but instead decided to stay.
“and MSNBC is just as bad as the rest on this issue” Not a big fan of Maddow, but wow the past few nights. It might be the worst thing she has ever reported on. So horribly unjust and sad that a President finally had the guts to pull the plug on the forever war. Forget the exact numbers but the big three networks spent something like 20 minutes total reporting time on Afghanistan the past five years. When Trump announced the withdrawal it garnered about five minutes total from the three.
@bbleh: i don’t recall the jefista regime of american restoration getting that treatment — & six months into the maralago imperium we saw james alex fields, jr., riding dirty.
They are Afghans & their families who either worked directly for NATO (not just U.S. Forces) as employees or contractors, Special Operations Forces & Intelligence agents in Afghan military & Government, people who worked for State Department, USAID, & associated NGOs & media organizations. I think that about covers it.
Just huge conflicts of interests and none of it revealed.
@Mart: didn’t maddow spend the 80s & early 90s as a gqper, much like the heroically persistent elizabeth warren?
she’s just reverting to form.
“Oh, and some of them are stupid Americans who were told several months ago that they should leave, but instead decided to stay”
Whatever the Biden graphic or video was at the top, it seems to have disappeared upon my most recent page refresh.
@MattF: The latest word I heard was “shakey,” spoken by a media profile in courage.
@MontyTheClipArtMongoose: Being that she was a teenager in the late 80’s and early 90’s…I recall the same thing being said about Hillary Clinton(Goldwater Girl).
Punchbowl News: “White House officials believe they have most Americans out of Afghanistan already. There were 11,000 Americans registered with the U.S. embassy in Kabul before the Ghani government collapsed.”
“But the administration believes that some may have left the country before the Taliban takeover without telling the embassy. Furthermore, other American passport holders may stay; indeed, some Americans were there the last time the Taliban controlled the country from 1996 to 2001. The Biden administration believes that the vast majority of the remaining evacuees will be Afghans.”
Biden is expected to address the situation in public remarks at 1 p.m. ET
@MontyTheClipArtMongoose: that’s just silly
Thanks for this.
A tweet was going around yesterday that said the tweeter was looking for someone to say that the withdrawal wasn’t horrible and couldn’t find anyone. Out of curiosity, I wandered over to Stonekettle’s site to see his 30,000 word hot take on 8/16. He should have waited… He makes a lot of good points about TFG, but he’s wrong in calling it a “disaster” and screaming about massacres. That hasn’t happened yet, and might not. He should have resisted the sirens’ call for a hot take.
History can’t be rushed.
Biden is doing well. Once the US press is evacuated, the hot takes will pretty much end (how many hot takes do we see on Iraq every day? Biden supposedly has said we will have all troop out of there by the end of the year, so the doom and screaming will no doubt start up again then.).
We have to keep an eye on our elected representatives even when they’re on our team. But they’re doing a great job with leaving Afghanistan. How could it realistically be better??
Enhanced Voting Techniques
I think Yglesias summed it all best in this tweet.
@MontyTheClipArtMongoose: Nope. Maddow spent the 1980s being a child since she was born in 1973. In the early 1990s, she was a college student, then she was an AIDs activist and prison reform proponent. Are you sure YOU weren’t a GOPer? Spewing ignorant, unfounded accusations is sort of their thing…
(I’ve told this story before:) When I was a youngster in college, I would occasionally go to Spartacus Youth League meetings to argue with them about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan that had just happened. I don’t think I’ll ever forget one earnest guy there saying that we should support the invasion because the poor oppressed women there had TB and were being forced to wear veils that was making everything worse. We had to help them enter the 20th Century and fight backwards misogyny…!!1
The plight of women and infants (“they stole the incubators!!1”) is horrible in too many places, including the US. But it’s not a reason for military action; people pressing those things as reasons are showing that there aren’t good reasons and are going for emotions instead…
@bbleh: Sorry but “nothing real is happening” is just not the case.
You are 100% correct.
I am increasingly of the opinion that the most significant worldwide social change worldwide of arguably the last 500 years happened in the last 50 or so, and that is increasing liberation/freedom/opportunity for women, in the forms of birth control, education, falling workplace and financial barriers. When I was younger, I took it for granted. The older I get, the more I see that our politics and our lives — all over the world — are being driven by these dead-enders who do not know what to do with women as equal and active agents.
Further evidence that RegeneRon has badly misread the room:
The state’s largest school districts told him to fuck off, and now businesses that are super important to Florida’s economy are telling him to go pound sand too, overtly or not. Even Big Mouse reinstated indoor mask requirements.
Ella in New Mexico
I’m basically not watching ANY cable news or commentary shows right now because it’s all about yanking on people’s emotions as opposed to reporting facts. They’ve got too much time to fill so they have a steady stream of people who have a desperate need to give their opinion and to be honest, I don’t need to hear them anymore.
Of course the American people care about the human beings in Afghanistan, of course we want the men and women who risked their lives to work for us to be protected and of course we all wish we could wave a fucking magic wand over the whole world and make it a peaceful, loving, productive planet. Like I said in a previous post, I have patients who are refugees from Afghanistan who resettled in our community and they survived so much trauma and are safe now, but their bodies and their hearts and souls are damaged and will never be the same. Human heartbreak is something we should all want to keep from creating.
But this war and 20 years of nation building didn’t do a damn thing to create a permanent democracy there, and we’ve known this for like, 19.9 years. It was a waste of time, money and lives. We can accept reality. IT WAS PAST TIME TO LEAVE.
That’s the chicken I’M gonna keep fuckin’
Enhanced Voting Techniques
I’ve noticed the press seems to have lost interest in Afghanistan this morning. It seems like between this was Trump’s half assed deal with the Taliban and Military/State/Press all set the stage it that there is nothing to see here, move along.
I also suspect Biden having seen the BS the Blob was trying with Obama for eight years, realized The Withdraw would be a mess and deliberately did it this year rather than wait a year or two to fix the screwy Trump agreement so by the mid terms it would be old news.
So it sounds like Uncle Joe has everything well in hand. At some point I’d start worrying about pissing him off. He might just take that quiet competence of his and apply it to having some long-forgotten, beige-ish federal office investigate and shutdown your crappy little cable show for actual reasons that hold up in court.
I know, Uncle Joe is too nice for that.
I’ll tell you who Afghanistan is a disaster for (not that I need to): the punchbowl pundits, the White House Press corpse, and the editors/teevee show bookers farther up the line who labor mightily in pursuit of “is this the final disaster for the Biden Presidency” b/w “Today Donald Trump Became President” (we all remember THAT one, I’m sure).
Just as it’s a waste of breath to report on yet another instance of a Republican displaying arrant hypocrisy (although it seems like an endless bounden duty to a degree), it’s a waste of breath to highlight the fecklessness, journalistic incompetence, mean-girls piling on behavior, and “wired for Republicans” fake hot-takes from these people, because here it is, YET again, displayed in full, and covering Donald Trump has, sadly, taught them absolutely nothing.
Their reporting skills are desperately needed right now, which only amplifies their utter disregard (contempt, evidently, too) for the actual work of DEEPLY informing the public.
Reputationally, they’re ALL now no better than Fox News IMO; they’ve finally crossed a Rubicon for me this time. My disdain for them as a class is deeper than the Marianas Trench, and I thought it was low before this. Ptui.
When I was the editor, along with being a columnist, photographer, graphics artist, obit writer, education beat reporter and feature writer for our local weekly newspaper group (you wear a LOT of hats in the weekly newspaper game) I was a news junky. I listened to the local news radio station while I took my morning shower, watched CNN while I ate breakfast, watched the network evening news every day, and never failed to catch the Sabbath Gasbags on Sunday. These days, I never watch network or cable news, and seldom listen to news radio except to catch the weather report. Instead, I cruise Twitter and follow links, read three daily papers and my old local weekly, and check a daily list of blogs from Raw Story to this joint to Kos, Josh Marshall’s place, HuffPo, Crooks & Liars, No More Mister, and Yaz’s place at Rectification of Names, among others. If you listen to and take at face value network and cable news, you’re almost certainly misinformed. Often times, dangerously misinformed. It’s not easy to figure out what the truth is, but it IS out there. It’s just that as the years have passed, the sources we once relied on for accurate reporting are simply no longer reliable–ABC’s egregious edit of Joe Biden’s comment the other day about the Taliban an excellent example. I have no easy answers about what’s to be done about this situation, even after 30 years in the news business myself. And it’s tragic because this mania to frame the news (in efforts to do what, I’ve never been able to figure out–placate the right? Prove objectivity?) is, I think, an existential danger to the survival of constitutional government in the United States.
@Jharp: Some former bigwig at the UN has run an NGO for many years that runs schools in Afghanistan and was on the radio yesterday (“Here & Now”, I think it was). He said Taliban visited their offices and said they know there are there and want them to stay. They’re trying to get assurances and are telling their people (including Afghans that work for them) that they’re not leaving.
There are probably more than a few US people working in situations like that. Having a to-the-minute hard count of how many US people are there and are staying is probably impossible.
The only real Democratic crisis I can think of at the moment is Manchin and Sinema’s huddling with their House counterparts to torpedo the party leadership’s plans.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Yes, the way Politico is talking apparently Obama’s birthday party was a mortal blow to the Democratic party. It is getting harder and harder to tell the difference between Pitchbot and the real thing.
Which is all actually great for DeShithead. All the shit he does is performance for asshole primary voters. These people don’t care that the school districts and businesses are ignoring his anti-mandate mandate. In fact, they’re probably happy about it secretly. They just want an asshole in charge because they’re assholes. Whether or not he does a good job as governor just doesn’t enter into it.
...now I try to be amused
“President Bartlet’s a good man. He’s got a good heart. He doesn’t hold a grudge. That’s what he pays me for.” — Josh Lyman
I find no evidence of this. She was still in school. Born 1973. Rhodes scholar to oxford 1995 doctor of philosophy 2001. Thesis something about aids and prison reform.
Oh, I wish that were possible!
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I can’t find it now, because whatever Twitter was doing on Safari they’re now doing on Firefox and I can’t search, but yesterday I saw a tweet saying that Hillary Clinton was offering seats on a chartered jet the Clinton Foundation had in Kabul several months ago. Wasn’t clear if she was there herself.
@Mart: It was 5 minutes of reporting time – not even each year – that’s the total for all 5 years taken together – for all the top networks.
These people are trying to spin network ratings gold out of straw. Let’s hope they are less successful than the last guy.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@Soprano2: to be fair, one of the reasons the Afghani women are coming up, is the Afghani women themselves. My mother was talking about how the expatriate Afghani feminists in the US have been getting uppity and working to get people out.
Backlog of 17,000 applications. Because, Dolt45 wasn’t going to bring them anyway. I hope you grasp that.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@RAM: yes, this. And the weird part is the more the public gets outraged about framing the more the news media doubles down on it.
@Jharp: I have a post scheduled for that – it will go up at 12:45. I will add the LIVE feed as soon as it is available.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:
Also, too, the scenes of chaos have now been replaced with a more orderly withdrawal, and the expected disaster has failed to materialize. If there’s no disaster, they’re just going to go to find one elsewhere.
Alexandra Petri is still a fucking national treasure.
I would gladly drop our entire elite media into Helmand province and leave them there. That includes Rachel Maddow.
Now that we have at least a tiny bit of perspective on Afghanistan (well, a week’s worth), it’s helpful to ask some really basic questions. The argument is that Biden’s policy is a huge failure because (a) the government fell to the Taliban, and (b) the withdrawal was botched and left US citizens and allies (and equipment?) behind, creating a humanitarian crisis.
Re (a), what did Biden’s policies have to do with the Taliban’s victory? we all know that Trump surrendered to the Taliban 18 months ago, but did Biden do anything to speed up the government’s collapse? I don’t see it.
As for (b), while the Taliban taking over is a long-term crisis, is there actually an immediate humanitarian crisis? That’s what the media is claiming, but I’m not sure I see the evidence. THe takeover has been relatively bloodless, and apart from the incident with people swarming the airport, it doesn’t seem overly chaotic. But maybe I’m being pollyannaish.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: The press corpse is calling Biden “defiant” for sticking to his guns, but I think it’s the press corpse that is being defiant.
Why won’t he say what we want him to say? They have all lost the plot, and that’s a big part of the rise of T**** and why our country is as fucked up as it is today.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I am a fan of Maddow, and Nicolle Wallace, and they’ve both been pretty bad. Wallace and her guests were starting to walk back their doom and gloom, at least as far as domestic politics is concerned, yesterday. I’m ambivalent about O’Donnell, but he’s kept his perspective about this more than any other host as far as I can see.
@Another Scott: Hah! That brought back memories–the Sparts were on my campus too sometimes, though I never went to a meeting or anything.
Our media is trying really hard to get us President DeSantis
@Chief Oshkosh: It for sure pleases the pro-COVID Republican base, but other people are allowed to vote in the 2022 general election, so I think it’s a dumb and risky strategy for him to brand himself as pro-COVID and double and triple down on unpopular and extreme policies in the middle of a public health crisis.
It’s Florida, so maybe he gets away with it. But IMO, he’s moved his reelection prospects from “sure thing” to “probably.” It may be up to the Florida Democratic Party to once again field a candidate who can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
If we restored the universal military draft, especially the version implemented in 1970 which eliminated many of the loopholes which allowed more affluent kids to escape – war hawks and the military-industrial complex that profits form war would have a far harder time selling the American public on potentially open-ended foreign military misadventures. While the American public’s support for the Vietnam War was already eroding in 1970, it’s no coincidence that the erosion of public support accelerated with the initiation of the universal draft which eliminated college deferments.
I think there was a LOT of foreign aid coming in that will shut down. Not just the cash to fund imaginary government employees ( I think I read that 80% of the government budget there was from foreign aid of various kinds). I think food shortages may be coming.
@Another Scott: It is good to see the Chief writing long-form again, though.
Hm, am I the only one who can’t see the image? I just get a gray circle with a white line in it. Same thing on Chrome and Safari…
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Another Scott showed a solution (for Chrome) in a thread last night. You can do the same in Firefox by going to Tools | Settings | Privacy & Security | Cookies and Site Data | Manage Exceptions. Enter “https://www.twitter.com” and specify no cookies.
You’ll have to restart Firefox for the change to take effect.
@Betty Cracker: I dunno. Medicare Fraud was a two-time governor, wasn’t he? And then off to the Senate……
Dorothy A. Winsor
@Alison Rose: That’s what I get too
Right there with you.
English does not have a word for the raw disgust I feel for the entire profession after this sorry little display.
I am at the point where I’d like to see the entire country start mailing them dildos, Trump-brand kneepads and nasty letters, like they did for those wahoos out at Malheur Refuge…
@Jim, Foolish Literalist
Repeated from the wee hours.
I really, really hope someone sees fit to front page the first twelve minutes of Lawrence O’Donnell’s Thursday show.
Florida jackals, how would you fill in this blank: “__________ is rested and ready” ?
@Chief Oshkosh: But the 2022 primary doesn’t matter. The general election is what matters. And believe me, COVID ain’t the only pooch he’s screwed.
So a friend of mine went to his local school board meeting this week, to try and press for a mask mandate. It’s a rural school district and very Trumpy, but overall the school experience has been ok for his kids. He makes his pitch, using logic and science and how it’s important to keep everyone in the community safe, especially the kids. Later, he tries to rebut some false information and one of the board members who opposes masking in schools (or anywhere, really) tells him, “Clearly, you don’t know anything about education.”
My friend? A high school principal (different district).
(apparently the superintendent grabbed the guy’s arm and two other board members immediate started shaking their heads at the guy to cut him off at that point)
@RAM: It is definitely corroding our society.
After twenty years of watching the overwhelming majority of this nation get shouted down and outright ignored so the Beltway can go do yet another series on Conservative Feelings and Frustrations, not only do I NOT want to talk to these people, I am actively sick of listening to them.
The communications majors in charge of informing us are, perversely, strangling any desire for communication.
I got a begging email from Alan Grayson this morning, but he’s taking a crack at Rubio.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Been resting in peace for years.
Isn’t it amazing how that works? How did politics end up being like this??
We can’t fight them because it makes them stronger.
We can’t not fight them because it makes them stronger.
It’s weird, and there’s some truth to it, but its rage-inducing.
When I have more money than Gates and am Benevolent Despot I’m going to fund news outlets that point out that everything actually isn’t good news for St. John McCain and the GQP and the MotUs….
@Patrianakos: Sorry, Betty. I now see you beat me to the point.
@Suzanne: I was born in ummm…the fifties and the expectations of any woman at that time were so limited. Housewife, schoolteacher but not professor, nurse but not doctor, secretary but not management. Don’t show off, don’t be too smart, the boys don’t like it. Schools more than happy to enforce dress codes of skirts only.
How we ever managed to run a civilization with half the brainpower locked up is beyond me. Had women been more emancipated throughout history we might well be far more advanced from where we are now.
And remember that women went downhill for some time after the Middle Ages, when we could run businesses and belong to professional guilds. While the men were away on crusades women were running large estates. Deciding that women’s roles had to be purely decorative and reproductive was a huge step backwards.
One solid reason for a “socialist” safety network is that civilization, as opposed to society, has no idea where the brains, critical, and innovative thinking might lie and can’t afford to let any of it slide due to poverty or lack of opportunity.
@zhena gogolia: OT, are you still having issues viewing Twitter? I found a workaround if you’re interested.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Didn’t he manage to get himself excommunicated from the Episcopal Church?
@?BillinGlendaleCA: only took hillary at most four years to leave it behind.
credit to rachel for being quicker on the drop than warren, though.
@catclub: I was thinking even more short term…basically, the period overlapping with our withdrawal. I guess I’m trying to nail down exactly what the press is reacting to. Is it the images at the airport? Is it the idea that the last 20 years have been pointless? It’s easy to say that it’s 100% a bad faith attempt to create a Biden scandal — and of course that’s a big part of it — but I think there’s more to it than that. Many members of the media seem genuinely outraged. But why? About what?
@Betty Cracker: possibly.
my age 13-14 year(s) was spent following vladimir zhirinovsky.
Mike in NC
Naturally, the imbecile Marc Thiessen weighs in today with “Biden Blames Everybody But Himself“. This comes from a guy whose head was imbedded in Dubya’s butthole during the two failed wars he launched.
I’m not having the issues in Firefox, only Chrome, but I worry that it’s going to start on Firefox too.
Why don’t you tell everybody?
@MontyTheClipArtMongoose: Вы из России?
I’m pretty sure the media’s sudden interest in Afghanistan has more to do with Joe and Nancy getting their infrastructure bills going than anything that is actually happening outside the beltway. Just like with Clinton, the wag the dog is to make some military conflict the focus to take the public’s attention off the popularity of a successful administration – especially if those successes is making the previous GQP administration and/or Gingrich/McConnell look like the massive assholes they are. The media was all over Clinton decision to bomb Kosovo and then NOT engage in nation building and instead Christopher Warren and their team came up with an actual peace plan that worked with the Dayton Accord. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth occurred because the military only got to blow a few things up and the rest was all boring diplomacy and Hague trials. Christopher Warren deserved a Nobel Peace prize but instead the press had to make a Democratic military success go down the memory hold drain because Clenisgate was soooooo important to cover.
No solution from a Democrat is ever good enough for the GQP on military or economic issues. They have always engaged in revisionists history where it comes to their failures and the Dems successes. It will be the same with Biden’s decision here. But I’m betting the media will abandon this for some tan suit crisis sometime in the next week.
@Yutsano: that is hysterical! I’m not sure which is my favorite-maybe Amelia Earhart?
@NotMax: News I needed. I’ve had to step away from the news, because it is so grim. Mr. Rosenberry didn’t even receive his ten minutes of fame, once they found out his name.
Mr Rosenberry is how the Capitol Police addressed him. Domestic terrorist was another alternative, imo.
Fix for Firefox at #68.
@Mike in NC: Thiessen is, arguably, useful as a reliable repetition of the daily RW libel. But that’s it.
@zhena gogolia: Found this work around on a Reddit thread about the issue:
In Settings go to Cookies and Site Data. Search for Twitter in Cookies and delete all Twitter cookies. Make sure you’re not on a Twitter tab when you do this.
I had to close my browser and restart for it to work. This is Chrome for desktop. It has worked for me to view Twitter as I used to do without logging in with an account. Hope that helps.
@rp: Deflection? After all, someone might be rude enough to ask why the press missed several huge Afghanistan stories. For example they only started reporting the weakness of the government after it had collapsed.
@rp: They probably wanted to be able to do a Ted Kopple-esque daily/hourly countdown (“BREAKING NEWS! – 104 hours until America’s Longest War is over!”), have their million dollar talking heads reporting from the Kabul Waldorf Astoria balcony, etc., etc. Biden and the Taliban foiled their ability to sell ads for 2+ weeks , pump up their ratings, etc., with everything happening so fast.
That’s my guess.
Plus, they get to try, once again, to paint Democrats as feckless incompetents when it comes to military issues…
Nothing bad happens if you do this? I do not understand cookies. Except chocolate-chip.
@Yarrow: Thanks. See my question to Steep at 101.
@cmorenc: my husband and I were just discussing this. Would Americans accept a real draft anymore? With people willing to forge a vaccine card to avoid a health mandate, I imagine the health deferments for the draft would be huge.
@Steeplejack (phone): “Everybody” wouldn’t need the info.
@artem1s: Good points.
@zhena gogolia: Nope. It works fine. It’s a tiny bit slower to load I think, but otherwise works like normal. That annoying log in pop up is gone and you can click on a tweet on a thread and it switches over to that tweet like it used to do and you can read threads and replies, etc.
@NotMax: Whoa; thank you for that link. I was busy last night, and rarely watch him anyway, but that was spectacular.
@zhena gogolia: As long as you don’t have an account with Twitter, blocking their cookies has no bad effects.
[eta:] On a lark, I just tried blocking washingtonpost.com cookies in Chrome on Winders, and restarting Chrome, and it didn’t prevent them from asking for a login. So WaPo is doing something a little different (or using a different cookie or something).
@Eunicecycle: I dunno. The one about the Blitz and losing weight (London being on food rationing at the time) lands on the nose too.
@RAM: I’m with you. I work for a weekly newspaper too (covering government meetings and the odd feature), and I too cannot stand to watch or read most mainstream media anymore except through a heavily filtered lens. I try to self-medicate the despair I feel over no longer trusting most national or even regional news sources by reminding myself that the window of “most news is reliable news” that I grew up with has actually been a fairly narrow and recent one – that most newspapers and other news sources throughout history have had an obvious bias or slant to their coverage. But that’s pretty cold comfort.
@NotMax: wow. Thanks for the link, I second the front page motion.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
Since when does ending a forever war = “walking America away from the world stage”? Being involved in world affairs does not always mean boots on the ground. There’s such a thing as diplomacy and using leverage to do good things in the world
The Thin Black Duke
@rp: Their growing irrelevancy.
Did a little editing for ya.
@NotMax: That’s pretty much it in a nutshell, O’Donnell has been one of the few clear on this, I suspect because he’s older and remembers Viet Nam. I was listening to the Pod Save guys on my morning walk and even they are infected with this “Biden is mismanaging the defeat” meme. It’s utter nonsense.
Where was your weekly newspaper? I was the editor of one for three years in a community very close to where MisterMix lives.
I always used to joke with the guy who ran the other newspaper in the chain when the mail came in:
”Hey Mike, who’s the education editor. Oh wait, that’s me.”
(repeat some variation for sports editor, calendar editor, news editor, features editor, editorial page editor, local news editor)
I got to literally do everything: I covered news, features and sports and wrote a column. I did the layout every week and even did a redesign. I learned so much about how government at all levels worked and met a ton of really interesting people. My big boss ran a small printing company and viewed the two newspapers he owned as a tax write off and a service to the community. He gave me cart Blanche to run coverage as I saw fit as long as it didn’t cost a ton of money.
Incredible job, so happy I did it. So happy to move on to a PhD program that paid me about the same in a stipend with better health insurance.
and you know how people have that stress dream where they are naked in school and are taking a test they haven’t studied for? My version of that is it being Tuesday afternoon and having nothing to lay out for the paper that week.
West of the Rockies
Thank you. I watched it: LO’D nailed it.
CableTV industry in CRISIS!
@Steeplejack (phone): trying to track this while working, is there a fix for Safari? That a non-geek can understand? Thanks!
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka): The US military NOT bogged down in Vietnam or Afghanistan is more capable of exerting influence. Credibility is a false narrative.
The Horatio Sanz Lawsuit Is an Explosive Story About SNL, NBC, and Jimmy Fallon
@West of the Rockies:
yes. Important points in that segment
The only fix for Safari is using it to download a different browser.
@Betty Cracker: My personal theory, for what it’s worth, is that DeSantis and Abbott will be hurt by the spectacle of being defied and defeated by a bunch of school boards. It shows weakness, not strength, to be unable to impose your will on minor political actors, and weakness in a would-be GQP strongman is unforgivable.
another weekly newspaper journalist! What’s the longest meeting you’ve ever been stuck at?
On my phone I often use the Brave browser. It started the annoying pop up/login thing two days ago. I couldn’t find a way to stop just twitter cookies so I blocked all cookies as a test and that worked to stop the annoying Twitter login pop ups.
@NotMax: thank you I would like for a front pager to do this too.
@Yarrow: thanks. I don’t understand cookies but will take a look. Probably just as well Twitter is a nuisance to get on right now, I have an art show in two weeks & that will keep me out of rabbit holes.
Imagine that every time you walked into a store, the owner was allowed to inject tracking microchips into your blood…
@Yarrow: Thank you!
I e-mailed it to WaterGirl.
@Yarrow: For Brave on you phone, try this:. https://balloon-juice.com/2021/08/19/lazy-hazy-days/#comment-8262017
@Fake Irishman, @Miss Bianca, @RAM: My figurative hat is off to you who work, or HAVE worked, at weekly newspapers. I keep reading (from Boehlert, Froomkin et al.) that local news is the future that we urgently need but can’t have, due to $$ issues. Supposedly there’s a governmental move someplace to create a slush fund for local newspapers to help keep them afloat, a VERY good idea IMO. About the only local paper I subscribe to (apart from all the lefty newsletters) is Ark Valley Voice, and that’s solely because of Adam’s column. (come to think of it I’ve got a sub to a VERY local NYC paper here, that’s mostly advertising inserts, but I’d miss them if they were gone.)
Thank you for your work, I wish there were an active way to create more of it!
I don’t have Safari. Perhaps someone else will weigh in. There should be a way to turn off cookies for a single site.
@Another Scott: Thanks. I’ve looked at that page but it seems that Brave for desktop has more capability than Brave for mobile. On my phone I can’t figure out how to block cookies on specific sites. Haven’t really figured out what “Shields” are so not sure if that applies. If you know of specific steps for blocking cookies for specific sites on Brave mobile, I’m interested.
Everything went to hell when we started having 24 hour news. Once it became a corporate funded joint – it tilted right wing.
@zhena gogolia: You’re welcome. I hope it works for you too.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Yes, this, and all it reminds me of the point HBO’s Chernobyl was making that it was the culture of sticking to the official narrative no matter what, reality be damned, that led to the disaster when the narrative meet a force of nature that didn’t care.
@Steeplejack: I haven’t found a way to do that in Safari yet. :-(
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
That’s really the reward for Biden, though. Now his job will be to show them what an engaged and productive foreign policy would look like with without invading and occupying a country.
He’s opened it up. Now he can show the way. He isn’t, actually, an isolationist. There will be engagement. He writes the rest of the story.
@Yarrow: For what device and what browser?
@Yarrow: On my S20+ I had to go to Twitter.com, then click on the red lion shield near the address bar and do it through there. Click “Advanced controls” and you’ll see a line to Block Cookies. That seems to be all there is to it.
I have no idea why they made it seemingly impossible to do through the various menus…
@Another Scott: Thank you! I guess I didn’t click the red lion. Duh! That works great. Much appreciated.
I suspect my old paper went under, but it was never online, so I don’t know for sure.
I was an member of the NY Press Association. There were some incredible hyper local weekly papers down there in the city (I was near Rochester) covering individual neighborhoods (some really shitty ones too, but you take the bad with the good). One of my favorites was the Downtown Express, which always managed to get accurate, insightful stories on World Trade Center reconstruction planning before the New York Times. I once met a guy who covered 9/11 from the seat of his bicycle for a local located in Greenwich Village.
@zhena gogolia: Post up!
It is just so funny to me that Joe Biden, absolute insider who has spent his entire adult life in the federal government, is actually the transformative, breath of fresh air that Trump pretended to be.
This is why I stay engaged with US politics. Because of how endlessly weird and completely counterintutive it is :)
@WaterGirl: Chrome desktop, as I said in my comment.
@Steeplejack (phone): It appears to be all or nothing on Safari, but maybe someone with better google fu can prove me wrong.
@germy: That writer is overselling it IMO. Sanz sounds awful, but I’m not sure it’s as explosive as he claims re SNL, Fallon, and Michaels.
Oh, dear God…that would be a toss-up between the Fire Protection District Board and our Board of County Commissioners. I’ll go with the BOCC, because they appear to be sublimely unaware that there’s this little thing known as a “consent agenda” which, if they would use it, would mean that they didn’t have to sit around discussing whether or not they were going to be paying that month’s bills for 20 minutes…or whether they were going to ratify a signature on a grant application, ditto…and this tends to drag their meetings out to an unconscionable length. Also, they seem to think that they have to have department heads meet with them at public meetings *every month* to deliver their reports, rather than just, you know, emailing them and only going on the agenda if there’s an action item involving their department.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the old dumb conservative white dudes who have stumbled into power in my county just really, really like to hear themselves talk. And I have come to thank God fasting for both Zoom *and* indexed video of their meetings…
At the moment it’s working on Firefox without doing anything, but if that changes I will try it. I already transferred all my twitter bookmarks from Chrome to Firefox!
@Yarrow: sure enough! Reading fail
@Miss Bianca: Yes, this. I read a history of the LA Times many years ago after it became an accepted part of the news establishment, and wow, was it a right-wing anti-union biased rag when Harrison Gray Otis started it up.
@zhena gogolia: I think they’re rolling it out so beware it could happen on Firefox. It wasn’t happening on Brave on my phone and then it did a few days after it happened on Chrome on desktop.
@catclub: Makes you wonder whether American Exceptionalism is the ability to make the same military mistakes over and over again and never learn anything.
@dimmsdale: Whoa, you live in Chaffee County? Small world – why, I was one of the first writers for AVV – my friend Alison Brown started it as an alternative to the Mountain Mail.
At least, I used to write for them until they stopped being able to pay me, thanks to the COVID-inspired advertising drop-off…but I may go back to them someday!
ETA: Oh, and you can thank *me* for getting Adam on board at AVV. And Jan Wondra, the editor, for recognizing what he brought to the table. ; )
ms. Bianca’s right. The truth is a lot more complicated than that. The media is the US have often been coroporate funded, but fragmentation has played a role in the overt politicalization. a good serious book that covers that and other things about US media is Jonathan Ladd’s “why Americans hate the media” from 2011 or 2012 another good one that you can probably get on Amazon for a few bucks is by Daniel Hallin and a coauthor called “media systems” or something like that from 2004 which is a great for placing US media in historical context with its peers in industrialized democracies.
(I wrote a dissertation on the political effects of public broadcasting)
I might have to look at Brave (or Firefox). The Twitter problem has started happening on Chrome on my phone, and I can’t block individual sites’ cookies, just as I can’t in the Samsung browser. Maybe it’s a general Samsung thing. (My phone is an S10e.)
@Yarrow: Okay, I spoke too soon. I thought there was a more specific option. The options for blocking cookies, when clicking the red lion in Brave mobile, are still Block all cookies, Block cross-site cookies and Allow all cookies. No way I can see to block site specific cookies.
@Steeplejack (phone): For Brave on my phone it started happening. I blocked all cookies and it stopped. You could try that. Still can’t block site specific cookies on Brave mobile.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:The disturbing part is that the entire media system is entirely in on supporting these corrupt parts of the US military system that want us to give them hundreds of billions to kill the occasional more-or-less random Afghan. There’s some serious corruption going on there as well, a lot more than just “access journalism”.
People were asking what the Biden civil rights claim would be in the masking issue.
These are civil rights laws and people should think of them as civil rights laws:
The advocates who got federal protections for disabled children in public schools are not studied as civil rights heroes, but it’s an amazing story, they’re incredible and they should be.
oh dear God. I covered a Village board like that. I sat in back with my competitor and we gnashed our teeth in solidarity.
Town Clerks are worth their weight in gold for quietly making suggestions about how to keep things moving.
Do you have a Samsung phone, by chance? I wonder whether the “can’t block individual site cookies” thing is a Samsung thing or maybe a more general Android thing.
and now, since there is no competitor left, adjacent towns make sure to have their meetings coincide, so that there is no news coverage at all of one each month.
@Fake Irishman: Our Town Board meetings tend to run a lot faster and smoother than our BOCC meetings, so yeah…Town Clerks rule!
Yep, I saw someone copied a tweet from a TFG supporter saying he would have gotten all these Afghans out, and that person typed “HAHA” about a hundred times. That they actually believe this after the Muslim ban is beyond belief.
Villago Delenda Est
My nym. Over and over again.
I say we take off and nuke the entire Village from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.
@Betty Cracker: That entity is a well-known troll of Democratc blogs.
@waratah: I agree, please front page Larry O’Donnell and his commentary; it was extraordinary.
@Yarrow: I think the instructions above for Brave actually work for Twitter (even though the button says “Block all cookies”). If you now go to the general cookies section (Settings->Site Settings->Cookies) in Brave it should say that Twitter is an exception to block while the others should be allowed by default.
But you might need to reenter stuff for open tabs – I have needed to… We’ll see how it goes.
@Soprano2: “Oh, and some of them are stupid Americans who were told several months ago that they should leave, but instead decided to stay.”
They thought the blob would be able to whine ang complain enough to get our withdraw postponed indefinitely
Too bad for them that Biden has a spine of steel
@CODave: I agree!
@Kattails: hear, hear! Even from a purely cold-blooded economic standpoint, it’s inefficient to have sexism and racism close out opportunities. USPTO report on women inventors 2020
I reckon this will have much more backlash for Biden than there was backlash to Trump for betraying the Kurds, where all Trump had to do was ‘nothing’ to protect them.
J R in WV
I’m thinking one of those heroes was Hillary Rodham Clinton, who spent a lot of time getting disabled kids into schools in Arkansas back while Bill was killing time in the Governor’s mansion.
She’s actually a hero for so many reasons!
@Miss Bianca: Well then, I hereby thank you for A) working at local news AT ALL, and B) getting Adam wider exposure. Actually I’m back east in deBlasio country, but the beauty of online is that you can subscribe to righteous local voices wherever you are.
@Fake Irishman: Yeah, Downton Express, also SoHo News, both of which covered the 80s-90s culture as well as hard news. Both gone, as is the Village Voice obviously too, and if NYC had a heartbeat back then, they managed to cover it memorably. If NYC has a heartbeat now, I guess it’d be Time Out or blogs that would cover it; the paper I subscribe to, The Villager, has lost most of its writing staff and possibly a good bit of its news value, but they get my business just for trying to put out a dead-tree weekly at all these days.
Wasn’t he the Congressional candidate who accused his opponent’s daughter of going off to college to matriculate?? And then becoming a thespian???
Hoo weee, good times!
@Kayla Rudbek: caught that, thanks for the link. Interesting to see that 3M is a leader in this.
I seem to recall that Pepper, a Democrat, was the target of these preposterous attacks: it was his Republican opponent who called Pepper’s sister a thespian, Pepper’s brother a practising homo sapiens, and Pepper himself “red Pepper”.
@WaterGirl: It all goes back to a guy by the name of Alfred Harmsworth. Go look him up. He was the Murdoch of his day, but worse. The British Government thought he was a clown, then they thought they could use him, but he was using them. They could have shut him down. There would have been an upside and a downside. Their libel laws, and their tradition of hands off the press, are both stronger than ours. They let him run. In retrospect that was a crucial and irretrievable mistake. They should have crushed him like a bug.
@Kattails: you’re welcome! I always like to have data to support my cold-blooded, Jesuit-trained, creator-chasing intellectual property mode…?
OMG this. Not just your county government. Everywhere I have ever worked: salaried, consultant, education or nonprofit. Well except a few, which were extremely noteworthy because of the absence of exactly THIS.