Since August 14, just ten days ago, the U.S. has facilitated the evacuation of 70,700 people from Afghanistan; more than 21,000 flew out in the last day alone. President Biden maintains that the U.S. will be out of Afghanistan by the August 31 deadline.
A good letter today. Aside from the dark humor in the last paragraph, I am struck by this. Nothing matters right now more than the Voting Rights Bills. Nothing is more of a priority. Without fair and inclusive elections the misinformed minority will win. And the Earth will lose. If we are to address the Climate Crisis, Democrats and Independents who respect science must carry the day in every election. The Republicans have become something out of Dr. Strangelove. It's as if Peter Sellers was in Congress. (Although he did make a pretty good "President").
Chuck Schumer should make monumental history by carving out a way to remove the filibuster for the Voting Rights Acts. Only with real democracy can we make true progress on saving the planet. What could be more important?
I’m so glad the military is moving so quickly and that the infrastructure bill has passed. I hope the Senate passes it too. So much effort by the Biden Administration seems to get lost in the mess that is our media these days.
Despite Biden Administration’s extraordinary efforts and with all that needs to be fixed in America, I am ashamed to feel frustrated with past and present government that seems to be ignoring my generation - or at least it seems that way from my point of view.
Ronald Reagan’s economic framework began a few years before I graduated high school and I’ve been stuck in its results ever since.
I sink lower and lower in the economic class system every year despite being a college graduate and a hard worker. I’ve worked hard for over 25 years for the same company, but I can never retire because I could never put more than minimum into 401k and still pay my bills. Salary increases get lost in the rising cost of healthcare (and at least a certain amount of employer selfishness). I haven’t had so much as a cost of living increase in almost nine years.
I don’t want or need a handout, but I wish:
-that there was a way to have decent & affordable living in my area (safe enough that I can get from my car to my door without fear, no cockroaches or mold, and my “kitchen” includes a normal sized refrigerator & oven which are at least more than 20 feet away from my bed), because I see living in a van in my future. Single people, particularly women, get punished financially if we don’t earn 100,000/yr, we’re considered low income in the housing world. Minimum monthly rent in my area is at least $2,000/mo (not including parking, maintenance, or utilities) and I can’t even get close to that. I’d move out of state, but my field requires living near airports which usually has expensive cost of living no matter which state. I’d consider changing careers, but I am middle aged and would surely go down in pay.
-that there was a way to retire and not get stuck living on the streets.
-that there was a way to get out of credit card debt without having to live in a van before it’s necessary for a couple of years.
There are a lot of people around my age dealing with the same things and it’s a serious problem that I don’t see being acknowledged. I’m afraid the Reagan’s Rejects group within Generation X is doomed. I just don’t want us to become an expensive problem the government (and taxpayers, God forbid) have to deal with when maybe some smart people can help work on things with taxes, employers, and housing developers, etc to help turn this around.
I am really sorry for dumping my worries here when so many others in America and around the world are suffering terribly.
My GenZ daughter has informed me that, instead of speaking of "climate change", we should be referring to "the climate crisis". Given the state of things, I'd say the young people have it right.
Meanwhile, back on the ranch - not to change the subject - just redirect our attention to reality on the ground so easily obscured by all these other critical concerns ...:
Right now, the U.S. Senate is reviewing HR 1374, a law that would give federal funding to states to protect so-called “critical infrastructure” — like pipelines. The federal government must protect its people, not give states the license and money to further criminalize water protectors. Defend our First Amendment rights to protest and speak truth to power. Tell your senators: Vote NO on HR 1374!
Today, water protectors from Standing Rock are still being prosecuted, and — in the troubling cases of Ruby Montoya and Jessica Reznicek — they’re still being labeled as terrorists. Because we cannot allow this dangerous precedent to be used against more people who care for our Grandmother Earth, we’re going to help defend Ruby. Our struggle against the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) didn’t end at Standing Rock in 2017, and it won’t be over until every water protector in the crosshairs of the criminal justice system is liberated.
In 2017, Ruby and Jessica engaged in a direct action that damaged an empty section of DAPL’s pipe. Jessica was recently found guilty, given a “terrorism enhancement,” and sentenced to eight years in prison. Ruby’s fate now hangs in the balance as her trial approaches. With litigation support from Lakota Law and the National Lawyers Guild, Ruby is going to fight. Her next hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 1.
As Ruby says in this new video produced by our team, humanity is going through a reckoning. In the future, no one will fondly remember the names of corporations that represented the status quo; instead, many people will only wish they had fought harder to protect life on this planet. Nobody who takes a stand to stop extractive destruction should ever be charged with a felony, much less be labeled a terrorist.
Ruby told me that Jessica has never even held a weapon in her hands, and at one point she was considering entering a monastery. And Ruby is a Waldorf School teacher, who vividly remembers kids in her classes crying and losing sleep because Australia and the Amazon were on fire. Ruby’s resistance, like my own back in 2017 that earned me a felony charge, has been motivated only by a desire to give the next generations a destiny they can believe in.
Nothing any of us did comes close to a level of governmental coercion necessary to justify a terrorism enhancement. It’s fallacious to suggest we have that type of power. If the government is being coerced by anyone, it’s the fossil fuel barons who buy politicians to protect their profits. Ruby was invited by an Indigenous community to protect water and help safeguard sacred lands. She showed up. Now, we will have her back, just like she had ours. Please stay tuned as we continue to fight to prevent a grave miscarriage of justice.
Wopila tanka — thank you for standing for justice!
Chase iron Eyes
Co-Director and Lead Counsel
via the Lakota People’s Law Project
The GOP ALL voting against voting rights infuriates me.
May the evacuations from Afghanistan continue, and may people start to realize that when people start wars, ending those wars is unlikely to be neat and tidy. Maybe if the end were factored into the original decision, fewer wars would be waged.
“Another demonstration of that security came today when two Representatives, Peter Meijer (R-MI) and Seth Moulton (D-MA), took it upon themselves to fly to Kabul, unannounced ("’to conduct oversight on the mission to evacuate Americans and our allies,’" Moulton’s office said).”
I would not say this was a demonstration of “security” but showboating put on by Moulton and Meier that was totally irresponsible. Thank God Moulton’s presidential aspirations and attempt to oust Nancy Pelosi as speaker were crushed early. IMO, he is woefully unqualified to the task as a representative. Just another disappointing “politician” grandstanding for personal recognition.
“Regardless of what they discussed, it seems to me a sign that the U.S. feels secure enough about the safety of Kabul to risk sending the country’s top spy there for a parley.”
“Each of these major news items shows a remarkably effective political party, especially since the Democrats are accomplishing as much as they are while—with the exception of a handful of Republicans willing to sign on to the bipartisan infrastructure package—Republicans are doing all they can simply to stop the Democrats.”
Great points. Also the most succinct update I’ve seen on the Arizona cyber ninja fiasco.
Thanks, Dr Richardson, for your clarity.
I want votes to mean something. I want the rights of the citizens of this country to not be trampled by a minority who can filibuster those rights away. Am I asking too much?
Morning, all!! Morning, Dr. R!! Yesterday I tried to provide a link of MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell's The Last Word, only to find that it soon became "unavailable." Our friend Nancy Wilson (Tokyo, Japan) sent this YouTube link. Thank you, Nancy! Slide over to about minute 15:15 for the coverage on Afghanistan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0faolARWBo
Also, thanks to our friend Gina, here is the full transcript. The coverage on Afghanistan begins at 22:20:37: https://www.msnbc.com/transcripts/transcript-last-word-lawrence-o-donnell-8-23-21-n1277511
My Biden/Harris coffee mug has served me well these past several months. I think I'll keep it.
There are so many things happening these days--many thanks HCR for continuing well beyond your 100-day-after-inauguration suggestion to provide us with your concise and sensible presentation of the daily news dump. I am especially grateful knowing what kinds of chaos the new semester has to be bringing into your world.
Here in deranged Missouri, the should-be-disbarred "attorney" general Eric Sch[m]itt has initiated a reverse class action lawsuit (I didn't even know these existed) against school districts with mask mandates, similar to the one he is waging against KC and Jackson County on the basis that mask mandates are "arbitrary and capricious." So nice to know that he is willing to risk the death, lifetime morbidity, and grave illness of untold numbers of children in order to advance his political career. The local press is FINALLY starting to present his revolting pandering to the trumpistas as a political ploy. I hope he gets slapped with fines by the court for wasting their time and gets personally countersued for endangering the welfare of children. Intellectually I know that there are deeply stupid and corrupt people all over the place and that their sociopathologies mean their extreme egotism drives everything they do, but emotionally I still find myself stunned by the blatant exploitation of others in which these guys are willing to engage in order to promote themselves.
Republicans disgust me.
“An ‘audit’ of the 2020 election in Arizona has been plagued with irregularities, errors, and problems: it was supposed to announce its ‘results’ this week—three months behind schedule—but three of the five leaders from the Cyber Ninjas conducting the audit are sick with Covid.”
I had to chuckle. I guess I am a terrible person. I don’t think I used to be that way.
Wouldn't it be nice if constituents could "vote" on major legislation, which their Rep's and Senators would be legally bound to abide by? There is such a disconnect between political agendas and the will of the people that barely resembles democracy.
I'm sorry. It is son wrong. But I loved your last sentence
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. For sharing all of the accomplishments of this administration with one hand tied behind its back by a group who has completely lost its way and is clinging to a past that no longer is wanted by a majority of Americans. You swelled my heart. I'm going to out and work in my garden.🌷🌺🌹
"Progressives refused to agree to the bipartisan bill until they were assured it would not replace the larger package."
This single sentence describes why America has moved to a state where it can do nothing but sponsor war (because the Executive branch has taken over that role and does whatever it wants, which, is basically whatever Raytheon wants), approve huge budgets for military contractors (because Democrats and Republicans alike are on the take from those entities making it bipartisan). and cut taxes on the rich and corporations (because both parties are dependent on campaign contributions to stay in Washington).
In the same time that United States of America prosecuted the now lost Afghanistan war, accomplishing only the killing of 240,000 innocent Afghanistan citizens, China has built super high speed, modern, gleaming, electrical rail systems and electric trains between AND in progressively concentric circles, around, each mid size and large city in China. Yes, between 2001 and now. During that time, America, in California, built one mile of new high speed rail line. One single mile for $2.8 Billion. We also let Amtrak slowly decay.
Now? China can cheaply and effectively maintain those high speed rail lines (rail is MUCH cheaper to maintain that an 8 lane highway), and move people to work and home again rapidly and at low cost AND with a low impact to the environment.
In the United States? We cannot even agree to rebuild the obviously failing infrastructure we have.
I hate to float this idea, but, maybe all that stuff we were raised to believe about how awesome our American system is? Maybe that is just bunk.
Maybe our system, because of the outsized role of rich corporations and rich folks in general, from the beginning, in supporting representatives, was and is just doomed to fail?
Even the first Continental Congress, in Philadelphia, depended in significant part on money from John Hancock, a wealthy rum runner in Boston. He helped fund that first continental congress, by retaining John Adams as his lawyer, so he could keep up his illegal (from the British perspective) rum running business without paying tax to (to the British).
Think about it. The entire country of the United States was founded on and for the principal of lowno taxes for rich people.
Thomas Jefferson kindly put a nice, beautiful, language wrapper around that concept. So, it was a bit hidden from view. But, John Hancock got what he wanted. He never paid any tax on his rum running into Boston Harbor after the Revolutionary War.
Maybe bending to the will of rich people is a fundamental flaw in the American system from the get go?
Maybe it was only during FDR and Eisenhower's echo administration that America actually functioned for something besides the rich?
But, I think, even then, only because even the rich had become poor during the depression.
It is reassuring to see Biden and the Democrats stay focus on infrastructure, and voter rights which will support our Democracy. Both of those bills are about building our nation for all. Reagan’s trickle down theory has fed the top 1%. It is shameful to have so many children live in poverty while we witness the men who benefit from these tax cuts finance trips to outer space.