Monday, August 16, 2021

Last Call For Af-Gone-Istan, Con't

The perpetual effort to stand up an Afghan government that could exist on its own did not work. That doesn’t mean the decision to topple the Taliban government in 2001 was a mistake. But that was twenty years ago. We are living in a dramatically different world today. We have been in a perpetual occupation in pursuit of no clear national security interest of the United States. At a certain point you have to realize that and act accordingly. I find convincing this suggestion that Biden refused a more phased or circumstances-based withdrawal precisely because he had seen up close how Barack Obama had been rolled by the Pentagon a decade ago.

In 122 AD the Emperor Hadrian built what history knows as “Hadrian’s Wall,” which bisects Britain. You can still see it today. It marked the northernmost boundary of the Roman Empire. On this side Rome; on that side the tribes of Caledonia. Some twenty years later in 142 AD the Emperor Antoninus Pius, frustrated with the marauding and managing the tribes north of wall, constructed a new wall roughly one hundred miles further north into what is now Scotland. This was the Antonine Wall. Rome would garrison and pacify the region between the two walls. Twenty years later in 162 AD, the year after Antonius Pius died, the Emperor Marcus Aurelius abandoned the new territory and withdrew back to Hadrian’s Wall. Not everything works.

The intensity of the current handwringing over the fall of Kabul is an almost perfect measure of the denial about the failure of the current mission. Indeed, they are two sides of the same coin. What was keeping us there this long? THIS! Look at it around you today. The collective unwillingness to endure this reality is what has kept the US in the country for at least a decade. Processing ten years of denial in ten hours is rough.

We’ve been in Afghanistan for either ten or twenty years because no one in authority was ready to endure this moment and not look back. I don’t know if Biden will pay a domestic political price for this denouement. But watching it all unfold I’m even more certain he made the right decision than I was a day ago. Does anyone think we’ll look back a year from now and think, wow, I wish we were still garrisoning Afghanistan? I doubt it.

Someone had to make the decision that Bush, Obama and Trump did not and apparently could not. Biden did.
Biden did the right thing.  The swift fall of Kabul only makes the point clear: this was always how it was going to end, because we've been propping up a Potemkin village for a decade now.

Cuomo's #MeToo Moment, Con't

Outgoing NY Dem Gov. Andrew Cuomo is nowhere near out of the woods, even with his resignation the investigation by NY state lawmakers will continue.

New York state lawmakers announced Monday that the investigation into Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) will continue days after initially saying it would end following his resignation.

Carl Heastie (D), the speaker of the New York State Assembly, and Charles Lavine (D), chairman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, said in a statement that the committee would issue a final report on the investigation into sexual harassment claims against the third-term governor, whether Cuomo used state resources while landing his multimillion-dollar book deal, and if data on nursing home deaths had been misleading.

The governor’s alleged actions — which could lead to civil suits and criminal charges related to the sexual harassment allegations — are also being investigated by at least five district attorneys.

Heastie previously said the Judiciary Committee’s investigation of Cuomo would be moot after the governor leaves office later this month since its purpose was to determine if Cuomo should remain in office.

The governor announced last week that he would resign following a report from the state attorney general, which found that he had sexually harassed 11 women. Cuomo initially bucked calls to resign from friends, allies and even President Biden, but eventually announced that he would step down from office after reports that New York state lawmakers were preparing to start impeachment hearings.

Heastie’s announcement about the end of the investigation was met with a negative response from Democrats and Republicans in the legislature.

“The taxpayers paid for this investigation, and I think the taxpayers deserve to see what the Assembly has found,” tweeted Sean Ryan, a Democratic New York state senator. “Release all the evidence to the public.”
This is 100% the right thing to do. Cuomo still faces possible criminal and civil charges, and frankly the guy needs to spend some time behind bars. Good job here, NY Dems.

The Vax Of Life, Con't

As school starts Monday for students in Texas, the battle against the delta variant of COVID-19 rages on in the state's courts as Dallas schools will continue to enforce the county's mask mandate in all classes despite a state Supreme Court order blocking the stay of GOP Gov. Greg Abbott's order to eliminate all mask mandates across the state.

Dallas ISD will continue to require masks for all students and staff members, despite a decision Sunday by the Texas Supreme Court that temporarily halted Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins’ public health order requiring masks in public schools and businesses.

“Until there’s an official order of the court that applies to the Dallas Independent School District, we will continue to have the mask mandate,” Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said late Sunday.

But he said he knows the fight isn’t over: “After a court rules, then I will comply, if it’s not in my favor.”

Meanwhile, thousands of other Dallas-area students will return to school this week as confusion runs rampant over whether masks can be required on campus.

Some districts, including Garland and Irving ISDs, have announced masks will be optional while several others have yet to say how the ruling will affect them.

Hinojosa said he had been fielding text messages from superintendents across the state about the decision.

Under Jenkins’ order, 13 of the county’s 14 public school districts announced last week they would enforce mask mandates as students returned to school and the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 spread throughout North Texas.

The majority of Dallas ISD’s 225 campuses start school Monday.

“We have 150,000 students. We have 22,000 employees,” Hinojosa said. “You can imagine the number of parents and other people who depend on us as we make decisions.”

On Aug. 9, before Jenkins had issued his mandate, Hinojosa issued his own mask requirement, saying that it was his responsibility to ensure the health of his employees and the district’s students. Children younger than 12 — essentially all students in pre-K through sixth grade — are not yet eligible for the coronavirus vaccine.

As the superintendent of the second-largest district in Texas, I’m responsible for everything — most important, the safety of our students,” he said during a news conference last week.

The Dallas superintendent said the district’s attorneys found the governor’s executive order to be “very loose

Greg Abbott wants a fight, and the bigger the opponent, the more attention he gets nationally. What he really wants is for the Biden administration to step in with a Department of Education mask order, and that will make this a nationwide fight with death cultist GOP governors like Abbott, Ron DeSantis of Florida, Tate Reeves of Mississippi, and others who simply want people to get infected so the weak can be culled and everyone who survives can "move on".

Dead sick people require no state resources anymore, you know. It's good business.

And business of death is booming.
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