Monthly border encounters with migrants attempting to illegally enter the U.S. decreased slightly in August for the first time since President Joe Biden took office but remain near record highs, according to Customs and Border Protection data.
Border officials encountered nearly 209,000 migrants at the southern border in August, down from a record high of 213,500 people in July, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Officials encountered a record-high number of migrants compared to 50,000 in August 2020 and 62,700 in August 2019.
However, a “larger-than-usual number of migrants” are attempting to illegally cross the border several times so “total encounters somewhat overstate the number of unique individuals arriving at the border,” CBP announced. Officials encountered 156,600 unique individuals in August and 25% of them had at least one prior encounter in the last 12 months.
Events this weekend showcased the intense bifurcation of America into two separate realities. As our country observed the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, former presidents gathered, sans Donald Trump, in New York for a solemn ceremony — wearing masks even though they are fully vaccinated and were outside. In Shanksville, Pa., George W. Bush leveraged the occasion to take a not-very-veiled shot at the MAGA movement, comparing its most fervent adherents to the 9/11 terrorists.
Meanwhile, at stadiums across America, massive crowds of rowdy, unmasked college football fans tailgated, packed into stadiums, and also recalled the grim events of 2001, but in far more boisterous displays of patriotism.
This same-day divergence highlights the sharply divided nation of 2021. That chasm will now only widen as Joe Biden targets many of those same people, the ones unwilling to live under the thumb of onerous government virus mitigation restrictions. These ineffective mandates may nominally emanate from science, but they moreover stem from a preference for coercion and control by Democrat politicians, all with the assistance of powerful business interests, including Big Tech and Big Pharma.
Americans are tapped out. They are struggling to pay for higher prices at the pump, the grocery store, and just about everywhere else. Friday’s Bureau of Labor Statistics August Producer Price Indexes report showed on an unadjusted basis, the final demand index rose 8.3 percent for the 12 months ended in August, the largest advance since 12-month data were first calculated in November 2010.
The Producer Price Index is a precursor to what retail prices will be doing in months ahead, and the August report is more bad news. The 8.3 percent annual increase in final demand signals that Americans will be paying much more for goods and services in coming months and verifies what everyone who pays their own bills already knows, Joe Biden’s America is a much more expensive place to live and it is going to get worse.
It is time for Congress to just put a stop to the madness and refuse to pass the budget reconciliation bill. Our nation cannot afford to hit the accelerator when we are already feeling the inflation pain from our prior debt excesses.
When the Taliban assumed control of Afghanistan last month, the group took possession of a U.S.-funded weapons stockpile worth tens of billions of dollars.
The U.S. invested nearly $83 billion in bolstering the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), more than $24 billion of which went to funding weapons, vehicles and other equipment, according to a Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) report published in July. The amount of funding for weapons, vehicles and equipment is based on a 2017 Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimate that roughly 70% of the investment went towards other budget items like training.
In the aftermath of the shocking collapse of the Western-backed Afghan government last month, U.S. defense officials estimated that Taliban militants took dozens of aircraft including Blackhawk helicopters and thousands of vehicles, communications equipment and weapons. Republican lawmakers demanded the Biden administration provide them with a full accounting of the equipment that was in the Taliban’s possession while GOP members of the House Armed Services Committee introduced a bill requiring the White House to share the information with Congress.
“Get vaccinated,” whispered the doddering, white-haired failure of a president before beating a hasty retreat from the podium. Reporters barked questions at him which neither he nor his handlers had interest in answering, because they have no answers.
Joe Biden has no answers for COVID-19. What Joe Biden has is blame and Otherization for Americans not invested in the tired narratives of his handlers and the managerial elite he represents so badly.
That’s clear. It’s the only true takeaway from the disgraceful, alarming speech Biden gave Thursday.
As Joe Biden launches via executive order a sweeping vaccine mandate for all federal government workers, and now a brand-new initiative for private-sector mandates, the issue has once again risen to the forefront of the national dialogue.
United Airlines, for example, recently became the first U.S. airline to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for all its employees. United Airlines’ mandate takes effect on September 27, and it might augur a broader trend: A poll conducted last month by insurance and advisory firm Willis Towers Watson, for example, suggests that 52 percent of private-sector employers surveyed expect to have a workplace vaccine mandate by the end of 2021. As Biden’s brand-new announcement of a Department of Labor rule for private sector vaccination requirements now makes clear, that poll was prescient.
Against this backdrop, several Republican-leaning states have advanced laws or executive orders that prohibit private sector vaccine mandates for employees, customers, or in some other respect. That tally is now at least eight states: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Texas, South Carolina, and South Dakota. The legal mechanics and specifics differ from state to state. But the highest-profile and most mechanically straightforward Republican-led assault on vaccine mandates is the one in my new home state, Florida.
President Joe Biden on Thursday announced the withdrawal of his controversial nominee, David Chipman, to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Several leading Republicans were outspoken opponents of Chipman for his past anti-gun comments and more aggressive gun control policies as well as connections to gun control groups. No new nominee has been announced.
“David Chipman is an erratic, anti-gun radical who planned to outlaw nearly every single sporting rifle in America,” said Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. “He is wholly unfit to run the ATF, and I’m glad to see President Biden has withdrawn his nomination.”President Joe Biden on Thursday announced the withdrawal of his controversial nominee, David Chipman, to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Several leading Republicans were outspoken opponents of Chipman for his past anti-gun comments and more aggressive gun control policies as well as connections to gun control groups. No new nominee has been announced.
“David Chipman is an erratic, anti-gun radical who planned to outlaw nearly every single sporting rifle in America,” said Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. “He is wholly unfit to run the ATF, and I’m glad to see President Biden has withdrawn his nomination.”
From the moment he was nominated until the last few weeks, the media carried a lot of water for Joe Biden. In spite of his apparent lack of energy or brains, we were regaled with tales of his experience, good judgment, and, above all, his empathy.
America was back. The adults were now in charge. No more “mean tweets.” Biden’s presidency would be a time of competence and compassion.
Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas invited President Joe Biden to witness the migrant crisis for what would be his first trip to the southern border as president.
Thousands of migrants resorted to staying in dangerous tent cities in Mexican border towns after the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) were implemented in 2019 and the Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration’s efforts to repeal the policy, Catholic Charities Executive Director Norma Pimentel said in an op-ed Monday for The Washington Post.
Pimentel asked Biden to visit the Rio Grande Valley and negotiate with Mexican officials to secure more humane conditions for the migrants. She appealed to the president’s Catholic faith to provide humanitarian assistance to the migrants.
President Joe Biden said Friday that though he respects Americans who believe life begins at conception, he does not agree with them.
The president discussed Texas’ Heartbeat Act, which the Supreme Court declined to block earlier this week, Friday morning with reporters. The law bans abortion after six weeks and allows “any person” to sue doctors, abortion clinics, or anyone who “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion.”
The Biden administration ignored several pleas for help from an American evacuation team in the waning days of the Afghanistan withdrawal, emails reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation show.
The team had contacted senior officials in the administration to help evacuate people from Afghanistan before the U.S. withdrawal, according to emails obtained by the DCNF. They were working to get Americans and vulnerable Afghans out of the country, but it was a difficult task to do alone, according to the team.
Robert Stryk, who earlier spoke with the DCNF about his frustrations with the administration before Aug. 31, said Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer failed to act on his team’s desperate pleas for help in getting hundreds of girls out of Afghanistan as the U.S. withdrawal deadline approached.
Afghan refugees are subject to security and health screening performed by Department of Homeland Security officials before they’re evacuated to the U.S. or a third country for additional processing, a Biden administration senior official said.
Afghans must clear biometric and biographic vetting including iris scans, palm and voice prints and photographs before they’re evacuated from the country, CNN reported. The refugees are also tested for COVID-19 and offered vaccinations before they’re released, the senior official said in a background press call on Aug. 24.
“That [security screening] process involves biometric and biographic security screenings conducted by our intelligence, law enforcement, and counterterrorism professionals who are working quite literally around the clock to vet all of these Afghans before they’re allowed into the United States,” the Biden administration senior official said on the call.
Prominent economic historian Niall Ferguson said current inflation could be in line with where it was in the 1960s during the period that preceded a decade of high consumer prices, CNBC reported.
“What is interesting about disasters is that one can lead to another,” Ferguson said in a Friday interview with CNBC. “You can go from a public health disaster to a fiscal, monetary and potentially inflationary disaster.”
During the 1960s, inflation stayed low before shooting up in the 1970s, according to government economic data. Consumer prices ultimately peaked in 1980 before rapidly declining.
Things stopped working in this country about 50 years ago. But it wasn’t really noticeable until a few decades later. I like to date the beginning of the decay to the summer of 1969, though it’s impossible to put a precise date on it. Still, the summer of 1969 was an inflection point much more important than 1967’s “Summer of Love.”
Consider: On July 20, 1969, Apollo XI landed on the moon and 39 minutes later, on July 21, Neil Armstrong became the first man to stand on its surface. A few weeks later, on the night of August 8, the Manson family broke into Roman Polanski’s Hollywood Hills home and murdered his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, their unborn baby, and three friends who were at the house. The following Friday, August 15, the Woodstock music festival began in upstate New York. A good argument could be made that Woodstock was the culmination of the ’60s, but in reality, the ’60s had ended a week earlier. Woodstock wasn’t the final flowering, it was an aftershock.
This isn’t the time for a full exploration of the summer of ’69 (look out for that in the future), but it’s worth noting that a lot changed after that. Things had already peaked. For example, the two fastest ever commercial aircraft had both flown for the first time earlier in 1969; the 747 in February and the Concorde in March. In fact, the average speed of commercial air travel has been declining ever since. (Though that may be changing for the better.) Then, in the early 1970s, the median real wages of American workers entered a period of extended stagnation characterized by exceptionally low growth which made it impossible for the average person (who, by the way, is not an entrepreneur) to get ahead. It’s still true today, which is why so many families require two incomes if they want to remain in the middle class.
The U.S. economy added 235,000 jobs in August and the unemployment rate fell to 5.2%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.
The number of unemployed people decreased to 8.4 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Economists projected 720,000 Americans — roughly three times the actual number — would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“Despite the delta variant, there is still an opening up of the service sector of the U.S. economy,” Nationwide Mutual Insurance Chief Economist David Berson told the WSJ. “While that started some months ago, it’s not nearly complete.”
A poll released Friday by Emerson College shows former President Trump beating President Biden in a 2024 hypothetical matchup.
Biden, dealing with a COVID resurgence a messy Afghanistan departure, still handily defeats such possible GOP challenges as including Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, in a direct matchup. However, the poll show Trump defeats Biden by one percentage point.
Forty-seven percent of respondents said they would vote for Trump, in rematch of 2020, compared to 46% saying they would stick with Biden.
The fall of Kabul is not the end, as Joe Biden seems to think, of the Afghanistan nightmare.
It is the beginning of a never-ending bad dream. Biden and the Pentagon have managed to birth a new terrorist haven, destroy much of U.S. strategic deterrence, and alienate our allies and much of the country.
In 1880, Americans did something momentous: They all elected their congressional delegations in the same year. Prior to that, elections had been a hodgepodge affair. For example, the first elections for the 28th Congress, which ostensibly met from 1843 to 1845, were held in Missouri on Aug. 1, 1842. But only five other states held elections that year; almost all other states held them over the course of the odd numbered year of 1843. Maryland finally got around to holding its elections on Feb. 14, 1844, a half-year before the presidential election and less than a year before the next Congress convened.
Even after 1880, a truly uniform Election Day did not arrive until 1960, when Maine gave up its stubborn insistence on holding its congressional elections in September. But for all intents and purposes, 1882 marks the birth of the phenomenon we know today as the midterm election year.
Facebook says it incorrectly removed the account of the mother of one of the Marines killed in the Kabul terrorist attack last week, following several posts critical of President Joe Biden.
Shana Chappell, mother of Kareem Nikoui, one of the 13 Marines killed in the suicide bombing at the Kabul airport last week, claimed in a Facebook post Monday that her Instagram account had been deleted. Instagram is owned by Facebook.
PolitiFact’s 2013 “Lie of the Year” came from former President Barack Obama selling ObamaCare, his massive government takeover of healthcare. “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it,” Obama said. That was a lie. Now President Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) want to expand that lie through their $3.5 trillion federal spending blowout pending in Congress.
Obama also said we could keep our doctors under ObamaCare. Obama lied to me and millions of other people. When I left a full-time job in 2013 for contract work, I switched to an ObamaCare exchange plan. And no, I didn’t get to keep my doctor on that new plan. I also saw the cost of my ObamaCare plan increase by double digit rates for 2014.
Alan Dershowitz says calls for the impeachment of Joe Biden are “wrong.” He claims in his most recent op-ed at the D.C. establishment’s favorite Republican rag, The Hill: “Whatever one may think of what Biden did or failed to do, it does not constitute an impeachable offense under the text of the Constitution.” With all due respect, Dershowitz is full of crap.
“The Framers,” Dershowitz writes, “insisted that a president could not be impeached unless he committed criminal-type conduct akin to treason and bribery.” If this is true, then why did President Thomas Jefferson call for the impeachment of a federal district judge on the grounds that he was “a man of loose morals and intemperate habits?” Jefferson was a prominent founder, who greatly influenced the framers of the Constitution.
President Joe Biden addressed the nation Tuesday afternoon, presenting a detailed defense of his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan and once again honoring the lives of the 13 U.S. service members killed in a terrorist attack last week.
Biden’s speech came the day of the deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces from the country. All U.S. troops were reportedly evacuated, though at least 100 Americans, possibly several hundred, remain.
Joe Biden’s scripted or no-questions press conferences, and the clean-up afterward by Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan, and Jen Psaki, have been some of the most misleading episodes in modern presidential history—mostly in what was not said rather than was exaggerated, warped, and misrepresented.
The more Joe Biden mutters “The buck stops here” or “I take full responsibility,” the more we know he will not—and not just because of his now reduced mental state, but because 1) he repeats the same opportunist messaging that he has for the last 50 years of his political career, and 2) the only true thing he could say was “I ordered a withdrawal in the most reckless manner in U.S. military history.”
“Ya know, reality has a way of intruding. Reality eventually intrudes on everything.”
– Joe Biden
During last year’s Democratic primaries when everyone fumbled the ball, the leftist voters turned to socialist Bernie Sanders. Although the DNC figured Sanders would fizzle with baseline Democrats, they misread their comrades. When Sanders won California and Nevada, they hurriedly regrouped. Their strategy was to pair Joe Biden with a babysitter VP, and use them as their progressive shills.
Demagogues appeal to envy because they believe that promising to destroy the advantages enjoyed by others will win votes and inspire loyalty. Sometimes it does. As the envy-driven horrors of Rwanda and Nazi Germany demonstrate, pledging to disrupt the envied lives of a despised “other” can be a ticket to victory for a political candidate savvy enough to convince voters that he has their best interests at heart.
More than 25 years ago, Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, pronounced in his book The Politics of Envy: Statism as Theology that we “live in an age of envy.” Pointing out that “people don’t so much want more money for themselves as they want to take it away from those with more,” Bandow suggested that although “greed is bad enough, eating away at a person’s soul, envy is far worse because it destroys not only individuals, but also communities, poisoning relations.” A Christian libertarian, Bandow wrote that
those who are greedy may ruin their own lives, but those who are envious contaminate the larger community by letting their covetousness interfere with their relations with others.
One can satisfy greed in innocuous, even positive ways—by being brighter, working harder, seeing new opportunities, or meeting the demands of others, for instance.
As I’ve watched the events of the past few weeks – and thought about the nature of Joe Biden’s young presidency – I began to ask myself: How much more of this can we take?
In just seven months, President Biden has overseen a remarkable number of complete blunders. To make sense of them all and consider how to overcome them, I decided to make a list of them. Of course, it would take months of time and writing to list all the errors Biden has made in his 48 years in politics, so I decided to start at his inauguration in January. These are roughly in chronological order. It seemed impossible to rank them as so many of them could have lasting, unforeseeable consequences.
1 – Bipartisan Baloney
As I write in my upcoming book, Beyond Biden, which will be released on Nov. 2, the first major mistake Biden made was immediately failing to live up to the pledges he made in his inaugural address. In his inaugural address, Biden said: “Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this: Bringing America together. Uniting our people. And uniting our nation.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar has joined a group of Democrats in urging President Joe Biden to increase the refugee admissions cap to 200,000 for the next fiscal year to meet the “massive humanitarian need” in Afghanistan.
With the Taliban now in control of the country, the U.S. Department of Defense could house as many as 30,000 Afghan refugees at military bases across America, including Fort McCoy in Wisconsin. That figure alone is nearly three times the number of refugees who were admitted to the U.S. last year under President Donald Trump.
President Biden revised the annual refugee admissions cap in May to 62,500 for the 2021 fiscal year, up from the “historically low number” of 15,000 set by the Trump administration. Biden said his goal is to increase that figure again to 125,000 for the next fiscal year.
Wisconsin lost track of more than 82,000 mail-in ballots cast in the state in the November 2020 elections—more than four times the margin of difference separating the two presidential candidates in the state, according to a report by the nonprofit Public Interest Legal Foundation.
The legal foundation, an election integrity watchdog group, released a research brief Friday looking at one of the most closely contested states in the 2020 presidential election.
However, the Wisconsin Elections Commission disputes those findings, as the commission spokesman said the report “mischaracterizes election systems and cherry-picks data,” adding, it is “unreliable and frankly, it’s sloppy work.”
Earlier this week, as covered in a previous column in the American Spectator, the Democrat National Committee bragged about the “achievement” of this alleged president in his “best-run evacuation” of Kabul. Chief among the DNC’s arguments for such ludicrous praise was the lack of American casualties.
The press flacks at the DNC, every one of whom would be fired if that organization had the slightest honor (its chairman, the failed U.S. Senate candidate Jaime Harrison, should similarly resign in disgrace before the weekend), were merely parroting statements the alleged president made about the absence of dead Americans at the time.
Every single credible person with either operational military experience or a knowledge of Afghanistan was warning that casualties were already inevitable by that point. Even the alleged president, in a fit of congratulatory onanism, qualified the alleged safety of the “best-run evacuation” with the proverbial knock on wood.
An index measuring inflation surged at an annual rate of 4.2% last month, reaching its highest level since 1991, according to the Department of Commerce.
The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index, which measures prices, increased 4.2% in the 12-month period between August 2020 and July 2021, according to a Department of Commerce report published Friday. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the index spiked 3.6%, the report showed.
The last time consumer prices increased this much in one year was more than three decades ago in January 1991, CNBC reported. The figure reported Friday is in line with what economists expected.
U.S. officials in Kabul have given the Taliban “a list of names of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies” who should be granted entry through Taliban checkpoints outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA), Politico reported Thursday. This decision to trust the Taliban with this information has reportedly “prompted outrage behind the scenes from lawmakers and military officials.”
The U.S. military has been sharing “information with the Taliban” since Aug. 14 ostensibly to prevent attacks, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr. confirmed during a Pentagon briefing Thursday.
The House Tuesday voted on a deal to adopt the framework for President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget and advance the bipartisan infrastructure bill after Democratic leadership and moderates broke an hours-long stalemate over how the two would be prioritized in the coming weeks.
The deal, which passed 220-212 on a party-line vote, allows for the House to begin crafting its reconciliation bill and sets the infrastructure package up to pass the chamber on Sept. 27. It followed multiple Rules Committee hearings and hours of intraparty deliberations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her team and a group of moderate Democrats who insisted on taking up the infrastructure bill first, directly opposed to both dozens of progressives and the speaker herself.
The 90-day investigation ordered by the Biden Administration into the origins of the Chinese Wuhan coronavirus has come to a conclusion, but remains classified to the general public for the immediate future, according to CNN.
In the month of May, Biden ordered the intelligence community to conduct their own investigation into where the virus originated from, after shutting down previous ongoing investigations that had been initiated by the Trump Administration, and ordered his new investigations to report back in 90 days with their findings. The 90-day deadline was Tuesday.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday failed to formally file an appeal in federal court against an injunction that was issued against one of the most controversial aspects of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill, leaving the future of planned reparations for non-White farmers in doubt, as reported by Politico.
Monday was the deadline for the DOJ to do so, 60 days after federal judges ultimately ruled that the $4 billion program, which would forgive the debts of exclusively non-White farmers, was unconstitutional and thus could not be implemented. The measure was one of many elements of the bill passed by Congress and signed into law by Joe Biden in March.
It might seem that there is little to be added to what the whole world has witnessed viewing the unutterable shambles of the U.S. departure from Afghanistan. But that would be an illusion. The story of the perilous departure from Afghanistan of NATO forces and civilians and their Afghan collaborators who are now in mortal danger is obviously a matter of great suspense. The United States could certainly tell the Taliban government of Afghanistan that if all those whom the Western powers wished to evacuate were not allowed to leave it would be an act of war. If there were the will to act on that ultimatum, it would be successful.
But under the circumstances, the credibility of such a threat would probably have to be proved by acting on it. As some commentators have mentioned, this would be morally justified and is morally required and the administration would simply have to accept that it has bungled the withdrawal, and must execute an immediate but brief return. The Biden Administration, after seven months, has shown no competence whatever in foreign or national security policy.
President Joe Biden encouraged private sector companies Monday to “step up” vaccine requirements for employees following the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
“If you’re a business leader, a non-profit leader, a state or local leader, who has been waiting for full FDA approval to require vaccinations, I call on you now to do that. Require it,” Biden said. “Do what I did last month. Require your employees to get vaccinated or face strict requirements.”
At first blush, it may not seem that the Democrats’ $4.5 trillion infrastructure and spending plans and President Joe Biden’s bungled exit from Afghanistan have a nexus. But they do in China’s rare metals monopoly.
Beijing already dominates the rare metals market needed for electronics, electric car batteries and computers, a reality made more painfully obvious with the current computer chip shortage that is slowing production of new U.S. cars.
And now with the haphazard U.S. withdrawal from Kabul, one of the world’s largest untapped deposits of lithium — estimated by some at $1 trillion in Afghanistan — is poised to fall into China’s hands just as Biden has ordered that half all U.S. cars be electric by 2030 and congressional Democrats prepare to vote to invest tens of billions of dollars more to push that goal further.
Throughout his candidacy, presidency, and reelection campaign, Donald Trump was targeted by the deep state, which undertook to subvert, defeat, and destroy him. In the 2020 election specifically, we saw leaks, lies, and letters from “experts” and “leaders” attacking Trump with sundry false accusations, all intended to boost the chances of his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Unlike so many of Biden’s open supporters, such as the National Education Association or the Service Employees International Union or even his billionaire supporters’ dark money, it is impossible to quantify how much the deep state contributed to him. But it is indisputable the deep state is part of Biden’s core constituency.
While the disadvantages of aging are often lamented and discussed, there are a few perks. One of which is having actual memories of events about which younger people can only read about or view on YouTube. For me, one of those memories etched indelibly in my mind is that of American helicopters airlifting diplomats and workers off of rooftops in Saigon as it fell.
I watched Vietnam fall with the voice of Walter Cronkite narrating. The symbolism of that long and failed endless American war was so vivid and so devastating that for me, like others in my generation, I was left to hope that the United States would never let something like that happen in the future.
Now, as I watch the scenes out of Afghanistan, I am put in mind of the immortal line given to us by New York Yankee legend Yogi Berra: It’s déjà vu all over again.
After Robert Reeder was arrested in February and charged with four misdemeanors for his involvement in the Capitol protest on January 6, he lost his job as a truck driver for FedEx. “As a result of his arrest in this matter, he has been placed on administrative leave/has been terminated,” Reeder’s attorney wrote in court filing. “He has not been able to secure steady employment since being charged in this matter.”
Reeder, like many Americans who attended Donald Trump’s speech then walked to Capitol Hill, went alone. He is a registered Democrat but supported some of Trump’s policies. The Maryland resident decided to travel to Washington on the morning of January 6, a “spur of the moment” decision, according to his attorney.
The chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan has produced moving scenes of disorder and desperation. Some see American fecklessness. Others, the rancid fruit of attempting to cultivate Afghanistan in our image. Finally, others see the Biden Administration making a hash of what was fundamentally a good policy of planned withdrawal. Even for those who supported withdrawal—as I did—the events of the last week undeniably were emblematic of the ongoing humiliation of the United States and its military.
Defending his decisions, Joe Biden gave a surprisingly good speech, which could have just as easily come from Donald Trump or Ron Paul. But considering the circumstances, the tone was off. The speech only justified the withdrawal in general and avoided taking responsibility for its particulars, including the grim scene at the Kabul airport, for which Biden and his administration bear some responsibility. Biden defied credulity when he said, “We planned for every contingency.”
The State Department said it will “no longer” charge Americans thousands of dollars to board evacuation flights out of Afghanistan, but it did say if it will reimburse those that have already been charged.
State Department spokesman Ned Price issued a statement to the press Thursday afternoon saying the Biden administration has “no intention of seeking any reimbursement from those fleeing Afghanistan.” But as of late Friday afternoon, nearly 24 hours after Price issued his statement, Americans seeking to secure evacuation out of Kabul continue to be told in a required government form that they’ll need to reimburse the U.S. government upwards of $2,000 or more for their evacuation.
“Repatriation flights are not free,” question 14 of the Repatriation Assistance form stated late Friday afternoon. “A promissory note for the full cost of the flight, which may exceed $2,000 per person, must be signed by each adult passenger before boarding.”
President Joe Biden boasted during a press conference Friday that his administration supported the evacuation of the French embassy in Kabul while at the same time American citizens are being told the U.S. government cannot escort them to the airport.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul informed American citizens on Thursday that the Biden administration “cannot ensure safe passage to the airport.” The message came one day after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the U.S. military lacks the capability to escort Americans trapped behind enemy lines to the airport.
However, the Biden administration did have the capability to provide support to a convoy of hundreds of French people from their embassy to the airport, the president said Friday.
The Biden administration continued to inform American citizens in Afghanistan as of Thursday evening they could have to pay more than $2,000 to board an evacuation flight out of the country, despite the State Department telling the press hours before that it had no intention of levying any such charges.
The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan has stated in multiple security advisories since Monday that any U.S. citizen seeking to evacuate the country must complete an online form in order to secure their repatriation flight. “This form is the only way to communicate interest in flight options,” the embassy said in a security advisory Wednesday.
State Department spokesman Ned Price told the Daily Caller News Foundation and other news outlets late Thursday afternoon that the Biden administration has “no intention of seeking any reimbursement from those fleeing Afghanistan.”
President Biden is ratcheting up opposition to Republican governors blocking COVID mask mandates in schools, putting in charge the Education Department, which is raising the possibility of using its civil rights arm to oppose such policies.
Biden on Wednesday ordered Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to “assess all available tools” that can be used against states that fail to protect students amid surging coronavirus cases.
“Our military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on August 31st. The drawdown is proceeding in a secure and orderly way, prioritizing the safety of our troops as they depart… And thanks to the way in which we have managed our withdrawal, no one — no one U.S. forces or any forces have — have been lost. Conducting our drawdown differently would have certainly come with a increased risk of safety to our personnel.”
That was President Joe Biden as recently as July 8 justifying not just a drawdown, but a rapid drawdown of U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, trying to reach an arbitrary goal of zero troops in the country by the end of this month.
Joe Biden’s Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, admitted to having spoken directly with faculty members from school districts that are defying the law and forcing mask mandates on their students, even if their states have banned such mandates, ABC News reports.
Cardona said that some such schools fear repercussions from the state governments if they continue defying the bans, including in Texas and Florida. “I have had the conversations with superintendents,” Cardona said in an interview on Tuesday. “And they have asked, if this goes in that direction, how do we get support? My message is, open the schools safely; we got your back.”
Cardona had previously sent a letter to several school districts in Florida promising that the federal government would fund the schools directly in the event that Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) follows through on his promise to suspend the salaries of all superintendents who force such mandates onto their students in defiance of state law.