Weekend Open Thread
[guest post by Dana]
First news item
Rep. Liz Cheney works to save the Republican Party from itself:
Almost every one of my colleagues knows in your hearts that what happened on Jan. 6 was profoundly wrong. You all know that there is no evidence of widespread election fraud sufficient to have changed the results of the election. You all know that the Dominion voting machines were not corrupted by a foreign power. You know these claims are false. Yet former President Trump repeats them almost daily, and he has now urged Republicans not to vote in 2022 and 2024. This is a prescription for national self-destruction.”
More Cheney (addressing fearful Republicans):
Cheney made the remarks in her opening testimony at the House Rules Committee ahead of an expected Thursday vote to hold Steve Bannon, an “alt-right” activist and former President Donald Trump’s one-time chief strategist, in criminal contempt of Congress for his refusal to cooperate with the select committee.
“Let me address my Republican colleagues specifically,” Cheney began.”I’ve heard from a number of my colleagues in the last several days who say they just don’t want this target on their back,” Cheney said. “They’re just trying to keep their heads down.”
“They don’t want to anger Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader, who has been especially active in attempting to block the investigation of events of January 6th,” Cheney went on to say. “Despite the fact that he clearly called for such a commission the week after the attack.”
“I ask each one of you to step back from the brink. I urge you to do what you know is right, to think of the long arc of history,” she said. “We are told that it bends towards justice. But it does so only because of the actions of men and women in positions of public trust.”
P.S. About Bannon and Jan. 6:
Listen to Steve Bannon talking about #January6th. The American people deserve to hear his testimony. pic.twitter.com/JDnotq5eDr
— Rep. Liz Cheney (@RepLizCheney) October 21, 2021
The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to hold Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist and a close confidant of former President Donald Trump, in criminal contempt of Congress. The vote will trigger a referral to the Justice Department, which will then decide whether to bring formal charges against Bannon.
The final vote was 229-202, with 9 Republicans joining Democrats to hold Bannon in criminal contempt.
Here are the Republicans who broke party lines:
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney
Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger
Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer
Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez
Michigan Rep. Fred Upton
New York Rep. John Katko
South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace
Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick
Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler
Second news item
NBA player on the Boston Celtics boldly denounces China’s treatment of the Tibetan people:
Dear Brutal Dictator XI JINPING and the Chinese Government
Tibet belongs to the Tibetan people!#FreeTibet pic.twitter.com/To4qWMXK56
— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) October 20, 2021
On the heels of Kanter’s protest, the CCP announced that the Boston Celtics games would no longer be aired in China.
Third news item
After Kamala Harris’s less than impressive trip to El Paso, could President Biden do any worse?:
President Biden tonight said he will consider visiting the southern border, suggesting he has not visited so far because he has been busy visiting the sites of disasters around the country.
“I know it well,” said Biden, when asked if he had plans to visit the area. “I guess I should go down, but the whole point of it is I have not had a whole lot of time to get down.”
Biden noted that he has travelled the country and the globe since taking office in January, adding he has “not had a whole lot of time to get down” to the border.
“I have been spending time going around looking at the $900 billion worth of damage done by hurricanes and floods and weather and traveling around the world,” he said.
Clearly, President Biden doesn’t believe the humanitarian crisis at our Southern border is worth his time, nor does he really have any intention of getting control over the border. So what’s new?
Fourth news item
The genocide of the Uyghurs goes on unabated:
A recent State Department report on admissions details countries of origin for refugees who were resettled from the beginning of October 2020 through the end of September 2021. According to that document, not a single refugee of Chinese nationality—including Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities from Xinjiang—was resettled in America through the program in that time.
Asked why no Uyghur refugees were resettled, a White House spokesman referred The Dispatch to the State Department and said it is “something we take very seriously and something the president is committed to.”
Despite the genocide designation, Uyghur refugees have dealt with delays and a lack of urgency in their asylum requests. The admissions program on the whole has also suffered from drastic decreases in the total number of refugees admitted to the United States.
During his one term, former president Donald Trump repeatedly set records for granting the fewest refugees entry since the modern resettlement program began in 1980. In fiscal year 2020, the United States let in just 11,841 refugees, which is far lower than the historic average of 90,000 annually. The massive drop in admissions that year was partly due to the coronavirus pandemic—but Trump slashed admissions to historic lows in his prior years in office as well. The United States admitted 30,000 refugees in 2019, 22,560 in 2018, and 53,716 in 2017.
President Joe Biden says he supports admitting more refugees, but his actions in office have not matched his rhetoric.
Boston Celtic player Enes Kanter again speaks out against persecution. This time it’s against the genocide against the Uyghurs and President Xi’s draconian measures, as well as the CCP, and boldly name-checks Muslim leaders in the region for their complicity (through silence):
Heartless Dictator of China,
XI JINPING and the Communist Party of China.
I am calling you out in front of the whole world.
Close down the SLAVE labor camps and free the UYGHUR people!
Stop the GENOCIDE, now!#FreeUyghurs pic.twitter.com/eEoiw5Uz2K
— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) October 22, 2021
What a man, what a man, what a mighty fine man.
P.S. Let’s see if the NBA and its players will have the courage to get behind Kanter, or if lucrative endorsement contracts will continue to rule the day…
Fifth news item
CDC may change the definition of “fully vaccinated”:
Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday the U.S. “may need to update” its definition for what it means to have full vaccination against COVID.
The CDC and the FDA have officially approved boosters with every authorized vaccine in the U.S. for people who meet specific requirements. Walensky explained that since not everyone is eligible for a booster, the definition has not been changed “yet.”
Currently, the CDC’s definition is the following: “Fully vaccinated persons are those who are ≥14 days post-completion of the primary series of an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine.”
“We have not yet changed the definition of ‘fully vaccinated.’ We will continue to look at this. We may need to update our definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ in the future,” Walensky said during a press briefing.
Sixth news item
More than a thousand people crowded the front steps of the California Capitol on Monday to protest Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision to require all children to get the coronavirus vaccine to attend public and private schools.
Newsom’s mandate, announced earlier this month, made California the first state in the country to say it will require the COVID-19 vaccine for schoolchildren once the vaccines receive full federal approval.
California has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country — over 85% of people 12 and older have gotten at least one shot, and 72% are fully vaccinated. But as in other places, the state has a vocal minority skeptical of both the vaccine and the government’s assurances of its safety.
Many parents at the rally in Sacramento had pulled their children out of school to attend the rally, hoping the absences send a message to state officials.
Seventh news item
There is not, and never will be a kinder and gentler Taliban. Only delusional fools would ever consider it a possibility:
An Afghan volleyball player on the girls’ national team was beheaded by the Taliban — with gruesome photos of her severed head posted on social media, according to her coach.
Mahjabin Hakimi, one of the best players in the Kabul Municipality Volleyball Club, was slaughtered in the capital city of Kabul as troops searched for female sports players, her coach told the Persian Independent.
She was killed earlier this month, but her death remained mostly hidden because her family had been threatened not to talk, claimed the coach, using a pseudonym, Suraya Afzali, due to safety fears.
Eighth news item
During a segment of his podcast — “Louder with Crowder” — on Wednesday, Steven Crowder said, “Oh, that is an aggressively Asian face” when describing [Betty] Yu, a reporter for KPIX-TV, a local CBS affiliate.
He made multiple remarks about Yu’s features with comments like, “that just means if you were a skier, it would be like a black diamond. You’d have to drop in on a chopper.”
Crowder ended the segment by saying, “By the way, the reason I say that is because usually with the reporters, they’re, like, they’re kind of like Americanized Asians. So I think it’s a good thing. It’s a good thing, it’s full Asian.”
Have a great weekend.