Tag Archives: current

Top General Tells Senate We Can Win in Afghanistan With Just a “Few Thousand” More Troops

Mother Jones

I almost forgot about this:

The commander of the American-led international military force in Afghanistan, warning that the United States and its NATO allies are facing a “stalemate,” told Congress on Thursday that he needed a few thousand additional troops to more effectively train and advise Afghan soldiers.

“We have a shortfall of a few thousand,” Gen. John W. Nicholson said in a sober assessment of America’s longest war to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

A few thousand! We weren’t able to stamp out the Taliban and train the Afghan army when we had over 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, but Nicholson wants us to believe we can break the current stalemate with just a few thousand more troops? Is he serious?

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Top General Tells Senate We Can Win in Afghanistan With Just a “Few Thousand” More Troops

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Check Out Kellyanne Conway’s Version of an Apology

Mother Jones

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Just to follow up on last night, here is Kellyanne Conway’s apology for telling the nation about the “Bowling Green massacre” on prime time TV last night. It’s a masterpiece:

Just an honest mistake! What she meant to say, apparently, was this:

Two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized, and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green terrorists.

This makes no sense, of course. The two Iraqis were the masterminds behind the two Iraqis? Please. So here’s Conway’s version of a mea culpa:

Tell a tall tale about what she meant to say.
Link to a four-year-old story which—if you actually read it—says only that the FBI is conducting “dozens of current counter-terrorism investigations.”
Mount a grievance against a reporter who quoted her correctly on the Today show.
Compliment herself for her class and grace because she chooses not to bring down her slavering hordes on an editor who did nothing wrong.
Pretend that the White House didn’t spend days upon endless days moaning and bellyaching about the MLK Jr. bust story—a story that was corrected in less than half an hour.

Mission accomplished! Millions of people have now heard about the Bowling Green massacre. Conway has, technically, admitted she was wrong, so the media won’t bother following up and virtually no one will hear that no such massacre took place. You’d think that would be victory enough, but just for good measure she then attacked a reporter and told the world what a wonderful, gracious person she is. What a pro.

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Check Out Kellyanne Conway’s Version of an Apology

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Some Random Morning Trump Stuff

Mother Jones

Well, it’s morning for me, anyway. First up, under headlines you never thought you’d see:

That’s from the LA Times last night. Here’s another headline from Reuters:

Conveniently, this means that the current “Countering Violent Extremism” program will no longer target white supremacist groups. It’s good to see that Trump is demonstrating some loyalty to the groups that supported him so faithfully throughout the election. They’ve been harassed too much by the federal jackboots already, amirite?

Next up, we’re learning more details about President Trump’s Great Southern Wall:

In one of the Star Trek movies, Scotty uses an Apple Macintosh to whip up the formula for transparent aluminum. Maybe that’s what this is! A wall you can see through! Sadly, though, the truth turns out to be less futuristic: the “transparent wall” will be a non-wall. That is to say, it will be “sensors and other technology,” just like it is now. This, of course, is what wall enthusiasts have been bitching about forever. When Trump said he’d build a wall, they wanted a wall, dammit, not a bunch of namby-pamby sensors.

Finally, here is today’s Gallup poll on what Americans think of Trump’s recent executive orders:

It’s heartening to see that a majority of Americans disapprove of his Muslim ban (by 13 points) and the suspension of the Syrian refugee program (by 22 points). Maybe there’s hope for us after all.

Link:

Some Random Morning Trump Stuff

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The AMA Represents Only About One-Sixth of All Doctors

Mother Jones

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How do doctors feel about the nomination of Rep. Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services? The New York Times weighs in:

When President-elect Donald J. Trump chose Representative Tom Price of Georgia to be his health and human services secretary, the American Medical Association swiftly endorsed the selection of one of its own, an orthopedic surgeon who has championed the role of physicians throughout his legislative career.

Then the larger world of doctors and nurses weighed in on the beliefs and record of Mr. Price, a suburban Atlanta Republican — and the split among caregivers, especially doctors, quickly grew sharp. “The A.M.A. does not speak for us,” says a petition signed by more than 5,000 doctors.

A faithful reader emails to ask: “I remember reading recently that a shockingly low number of doctors are members of the AMA. So what is it exactly?”

Membership numbers, it turns out, are not a secret, exactly, but neither does the AMA go out of its way to make them easy to find. Their current membership is about 235,000, but you have to adjust this number to remove students, retired doctors, and so forth. Based on publicly available data, and guesstimating that about one-fifth of its members aren’t practicing physicians, here’s what the AMA’s membership looks like. They were indeed a powerhouse in the 50s, but no so much anymore:

Keep this in mind whenever you hear that “the AMA” endorses a political position—regardless of whether it’s one you approve of or not. They represent only about a sixth of all the physicians in the country. The rest may have very different opinions indeed.

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The AMA Represents Only About One-Sixth of All Doctors

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Virginia Republicans Are Going to Introduce a 20-Week Abortion Ban for the Third Time

Mother Jones

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In the fight over reproductive rights, 20-week abortion bans stand out as one of the most successful legislative measures pursued by anti-abortion advocates. In all, 18 states have enacted a version of the legislation since 2011; three of them have seen their 20-week bans overturned in court because they banned abortions before a fetus could survive outside the womb and were in violation of the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade. Earlier this month, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a 20-week abortion ban into law shortly after vetoing a “heartbeat bill” that would have banned abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

Now, as the year comes to a close, emboldened Virginia legislators have begun their push to pass their version of the controversial—and likely unconstitutional—measure.

Last week, Virginia delegate David LaRock, a two-term Republican, pre-filed HB1473, known as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act. The bill will officially be introduced when the state Legislature begins its new session in January. LaRock introduced similar legislation during two previous sessions but has been unsuccessful in his attempts to ban late-term abortions.

As with previous versions of the bill, HB1473 would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a cutoff earlier than the “fetal viability” standard established by Roe v. Wade. Anti-abortion advocates argue that the ban is necessary because a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks, a claim that has not been confirmed by research. The bill would not make allowances for a woman’s mental health or fetal abnormalities, or in instances of rape or incest, and offers exceptions only in cases that threaten the life of the mother or pose a “serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.” When a late-term abortion is performed, the bill stipulates that a physician “terminate the pregnancy in a manner that would provide the unborn child the best opportunity to survive.”

If passed, the bill would punish physicians providing unauthorized late-term abortions with Class 4 felonies, making them subject to prison time and a fine of up to $100,000. The bill also allows for “civil remedies,” giving a woman who receives an abortion or the biological father of the terminated fetus the ability to seek punitive damages against physicians who perform abortions in violation of the act.

The 20-week abortion ban is the latest restriction proposed in a state that already has some of the toughest anti-abortion laws in the nation. Virginia currently requires that women seeking abortions receive information encouraging them to carry pregnancies to term, mandates an ultrasound before the procedure, requires minors to receive consent from their parents prior to getting an abortion, and limits health plans covering abortion under the state’s Affordable Care Act exchange.

The Virginia GOP’s intensified effort to end late-term abortions is likely an opening salvo in the fight over the future of abortion access in the state. With the current Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, unable to run for a second term due to state law, anti-abortion advocates see next year’s gubernatorial election as a key opportunity to put an ally in office.

Virginia’s state Legislature won’t begin its new session until January 11, but reproductive rights advocates are already preparing for a long fight. “Bans on abortion at different points in pregnancy affect every woman’s ability to make decisions that are best for her, her health and wellbeing, and her family,” noted Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, in a letter sent to the candidates vying to replace McAuliffe. In a press release accompanying the letter, the reproductive rights group called the proposed ban a “dangerous and unconstitutional measure,” adding that it “would put politicians in the middle of Virginia women and families’ personal decisions about pregnancy and cut off access to safe medical care.”

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Virginia Republicans Are Going to Introduce a 20-Week Abortion Ban for the Third Time

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