- The US left aircraft, vehicles, guns, and other equipment in Afghanistan during the troop pullout.
- Trump claimed Sunday that China and Russia were studying abandoned Apache helicopters.
- A Pentagon spokesperson told Insider: “No Apaches were left behind in Afghanistan.”
Former President Donald Trump has claimed, without providing evidence, that China and Russia were seizing helicopters abandoned by the US military in Afghanistan and plundering their secrets.
“I guarantee that China, Russia already have our Apache helicopters, and they’re taking them apart to find out exactly how they’re made. They’re the best in the world by far,” Trump said during an interview on “Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson” that aired Sunday.
“And they’re taking them apart so they can make the exact same equipment. They’re very good at that. It’s a disgrace.”
Speaking from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump offered no evidence for his remarks, but when asked if he still received US intelligence briefings, he said: “I get if I want. I get what I want. I hear what’s going on.”
“By the way, you don’t need intel briefings. All you have to do is read the news or turn on the television,” he said.
A Pentagon spokesperson told Insider, “No Apaches were left behind in Afghanistan.”
In the interview, Trump went on to slam the Biden administration’s handing of the Afghanistan pullout.
“It’s the most incompetently handled withdrawal in history. There’s never been anything like this, where we gave them $85 billion worth of brand-new, beautiful equipment,” he said.
Trump’s reference to the $85 billion worth of equipment is inflated: As The Washington Post previously reported, that figure appears to be a high estimate for all spending appropriated for Afghanistan since 2001, and only a fraction of that went to equipment. The value of the equipment left behind in Afghanistan and seized by the Taliban is also unclear.
The US military said last month that it had permanently disabled more than 150 vehicles and aircraft before it left so they could “never be used again,” though Taliban fighters have been able to capture other arsenal.
Earlier this month a Times of London journalist reported that the Taliban used US-made weapons and handcuffs in their battle for Panjshir, the last Afghan province resisting their rule.
This interesting prayer was given in Kansas, USA, at the opening session of their Senate. It seems prayer still upsets some people.
When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:
“Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says: “Woe to those who call evil good”, but that is exactly what we have done.
* We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.
* We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it Pluralism.
* We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism.
* We have endorsed perversion and called it alternative lifestyle.
* We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
* We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
* We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
* We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
* We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem.
* We have abused power and called it politics.
* We have embezzled public funds and called it essential expenses.
* We have institutionalized bribery and called it sweets of office.
* We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition.
*We have polluted the air with profanity and called it freedom of expression.
* We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
Search us, Oh GOD, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Amen!”
The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively.
The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa and Korea.
With the LORD’S help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and WHOLEHEARTEDLY become our desire so that we again can be
called “ONE NATION UNDER GOD.”
Via Yahoo News:
Elite Taliban death squads have tracked down and killed at least four Afghan counterterrorism agents since August 22, The Sunday Times reported.
The men were members of two units working out of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and had been trained by British and US forces, the newspaper said.
A brother of one of those killed told The Sunday Times the Taliban came for his brother at their home outside Kabul in August.
“My brother was shot three times in the head and once in the chest and I was shot twice in the left shoulder and arm,” the man said, per the newspaper. “I don’t know how I survived.”
Another of the four men killed had all his fingernails pulled out before he was shot, The Sunday Times said.
A senior manager working at the headquarters of the NDS told The Sunday Times that the Taliban took possession of laptops and paperwork from the headquarters after taking Kabul on August 15.
Peter Doocy grills Psaki on Biden’s latest vaccine requirement
Six more people pleaded guilty on Friday to charges connected to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, including a man who threatened to shoot House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the head.
Cleveland Meredith Jr. missed the pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C., earlier this year, but stuck around long enough to tell family members that he planned to shoot Pelosi. He pleaded guilty to one count of interstate communication of threats.
According to court papers, Meredith sent a relative a text message saying he wanted to attend an event with Pelosi and put “a bullet in her noggin on Live TV.” The relative contacted Meredith’s mother, who got in touch with the FBI. Soon after, agents located Meredith in a downtown D.C. hotel, and found a handgun, rifle and 2,500 rounds of ammunition in his possession.
Meredith’s sentencing is scheduled for December.
Two Illinois men — Bruce Harrison and Douglas Wangler — pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of picketing, parading or demonstrating in a capitol building. They spent about 20 minutes inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, during which Harrison took a video of Wangler pumping his fist in the air.
Similarly, Brandon and Stephanie Miller, a married couple from Ohio, also pleaded guilty to the same count of parading in a capitol building.
The couple entered the Capitol through a window, and then broadcast live on social media from inside.
More than 600 people have been charged in the Capitol riot investigation, and at least 60 have pleaded guilty. Most of those, face low-level misdemeanor charges which carry minimum punishment. But people who plead guilty to felonies could receive years-long prison sentences.
NPR’s Ryan Lucas contributed reporting.
Biden is NOT capable mentally to be “COMMANDER IN CHIEF” of anything and the video below more than proves his disability to even SPEAK…….Papa Mike
Officials in Hawaii want the “Stairway to Heaven” to go to hell.
The Honolulu City Council moved to remove the city’s famous Haiku Stairs, a terrifyingly steep series of 3,922 steps that winds along the spine of a mountain range and leaves hikers feeling as if they’re in the clouds.
Local officials say the 70-year-old illicit attraction, which could earn hikers a $1,000 fine, is dangerous and not worth the trouble.
The body unanimously approved a resolution to remove the stairs “to stop trespassing, reduce disturbances to local neighborhoods, increase public safety, remove potential liability to the City, and protect the environment,” according to a meeting agenda and sfgate.com.
The U.S. Navy built the stairs during World War II to provide access to a secret radio base. Rising dramatically along Oahu’s Koolau mountain range — but closed to the public — they’re an unofficial tourist attraction.
The U.S. Coast Guard used to allow public access, beginning in 1975 — but cut it off in 1987, after the stairs were featured in an episode of “Magnum P.I.” drawing hordes of visitors and vandalism, Honolulu Civil Beat reported.
Nevertheless, the stairs remain a popular hike — and Instagram backdrop — with as many as 4,000 visiting the unofficial trail each year, according to Honolulu Civil Beat.
Neighbors have long complained about trespassing and littering. But other Oahu residents have argued the stairs are a “priceless” local feature that should be restored and opened to the public.
The city has set aside $1 million to remove the stairs, but the ultimate decision lies with Mayor Rick Blangardi. His office didn’t immediately return a message for comment.
The “Friends of Haiku Stairs” rallied against the plan outside the Honolulu Hale, or municipal building, on Tuesday, KITV reported.
“To lose the stairs would be a catastrophe,” the organization’s president, Vernon Ansdell, told the station. “This is a priceless Windward treasure. And they must not be destroyed.”
The group wants “managed access” for the public instead.
- CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Wednesday he sees multiple reasons to be concerned about the stock market in September.
- The “Mad Money” host is worried about negative pre-announcements, Congress and more companies going public, among others.
- “At the end of the day, I think we can deal with any of these issues, but not all at once—at least not without lower stock prices,” Cramer said.
CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Wednesday he sees a number of worrisome factors that are likely to contribute to market volatility in September, beyond just the fact it is a historically tough month for stocks.
Here’s what the “Mad Money” host is concerned about:
This week, three companies — paint makers PPG Industries and Sherwin-Williams, as well as homebuilder PulteGroup — issued pre-announcements to lower guidance about their current quarters, warning that supply chain problems and materials costs are causing challenges that could lead to worse-than-expected results.
“The good news? None of their stocks got crushed because demand’s still in good shape. … They’re still getting business,” Cramer said. “The bad news? These supply problems, they’re not going away—seems like they’ve become ingrained.”
Pressure on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to change his stance that inflationary pressures are transitory could intensify throughout September, Cramer said.
While that viewpoint is why the Fed’s highly accommodative monetary policy remains in place, Cramer said that “after these preannouncements where we keep hearing about rising raw costs, don’t you have to wonder if inflation is more intractable than they thought?”
Raising interest rates would be the “magic elixir” to tamping down inflation, Cramer said. “But they do that by destroying demand and that crushes earnings, which in turn crushes stocks.”
“If rates are headed higher, that creates more competition for high-yielding dividend stocks. These days, not many stocks are supported by their yields, but there will be even fewer if rates go up,” Cramer said.
The “Mad Money” host said there’s a bit of a double-edged sword involving the Democrats’ desire to pass their $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package.
That level of spending would surely create jobs and “supercharge the economy,” Cramer said, but it comes at a time when there’s already more than 10 million job openings in the U.S. As a result, wages would likely go up as companies fight for workers, he said, “which is good if you work for a living but bad if you own stocks.”
“However, if that big stimulus package gets killed, the investors who are depending on it and what it would do to companies they own, well I’ve got to tell you, those people would be disappointed. Without this, you can’t prop up the cyclicals,” Cramer said.
New companies going public through special purpose acquisition companies or traditional IPOs are adding supply of stocks to the market, which can serve “as a wet blanket dousing the fire of the buyers,” Cramer said.
“Of course, this IPO cycle will eventually play out like they always do: with a sell-off that lowers all prices to levels where stocks are more attractive,” Cramer said. “We can’t seem to stop this deal flow.”
Cramer said he remains concerned about China and the unpredictability of President Xi Jinping, particularly as it relates to Taiwan, which plays a crucial role in the global semiconductor industry.
“Here’s the bottom line: At the end of the day, I think we can deal with any of these issues, but not all at once—at least not without lower stock prices,” Cramer said. “And lower stock prices is what September is all about.”
The Biden White House has begun the process of removing Trump allies from military advisory boards, months after they were installed into those posts at the end of the last administration.
On Wednesday, Cathy Russell, the director of the White House’s Presidential Personnel Office, sent letters to 18 individuals on three different boards, asking for them to resign. The list includes the Board of Visitors to the Air Force Academy, Military Academy and the Naval Academy, the White House said.
In one letter to Russell Vought, the former director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Trump administration, Russell advised him that he’d be fired from his post on the Naval Academy’s board of visitors unless he chose to resign.
“On behalf of President Biden, I am writing to request your resignation as a Member of the Board of Visitors to the U.S. Naval Academy,” Russell wrote, according to the letter that Vought subsequently posted on Twitter. “Please submit your resignation to me by the close of business today. Should we not receive your resignation, your position with the Board will be terminated effective 6:00 p.m. tonight.”
Vought, who earlier this year founded the Center for Renewing America, tweeted out his refusal to comply. “No,” he responded. “It’s a three year term.”
John Coale, a top Washington lawyer, who was also appointed to the Naval Academy board by Trump on Jan. 5, was also removed and said in a text message he was “pissed off” he was fired, adding that he never even got to go to a meeting.
Other former Trump officials appointed to similar boards were also threatened with firing on Wednesday, such as former national security adviser H.R. McMaster, lobbyist David Urban and retired Gen. Jack Keane, according to one of the fired board members. Later this week McMaster is getting honored by West Point’s Association of Graduates as a Distinguished Graduate of the academy.
Keane said in a text message that it was “very disappointing that President Biden is not upholding the previous president’s appointments which has been pretty much the tradition.”
Meaghan Mobbs, an Afghanistan veteran who was also asked to resign from the West Point board, tweeted her reply to the White House: “I find this whole act unconscionable and not all in the spirit by which this Administration promised to govern. President Biden ran on a supposed platform of unity but his actions speak directly to the contrary. Apparently, unity is only for those who conform.”
When asked if he received a similar letter, Sebastian Gorka, who was named by Trump to the National Security Education Board, only replied to a text message by saying: “Hey CuckBoy go lick some Democrat’s boots.” A former Trump official who was named to a military academy’s board of visitors said he hadn’t received such a letter.
Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer was also asked to resign from the Naval Academy board. On his Newsmax show on Wednesday night, he said he would not do so and said he would join a lawsuit challenging Biden’s action.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki later confirmed the intended removal of the Trump appointees in a briefing on Wednesday afternoon.
“The president’s objective is what any president’s objective is, which was to ensure that you have nominees and people serving on these boards who are qualified to serve on them and who are aligned with your values,” she said.
Vought’s insistence that he will serve out his term sets up a potentially dynamic legal and political battle over a largely ceremonial position.
The Biden White House has been exploring ways to remove other Trump officials since they took over. The Pentagon moved quickly to suspend some of the appointments, and in March the Department of Homeland Security fired all the members of its advisory council. But, early on, there was a determinationthat their hands were tied in certain circumstances.
Biden’s power to remove officials at independent agencies was bolstered by a Supreme Court ruling in June which said that the leadership structure of the Federal Housing Finance Agency was unconstitutional because it didn’t allow a president to fire its director at will, only for cause. With that ruling in hand, Biden removed Trump appointee Mark Calabria from the FHFA and installed its preferred pick.
But in other instances, it has not been a smooth process. The administration removed Roger Severino, a former Health and Human Services official, from his post on the council of the Administrative Conference of the United States, which he was given in the final days of the Trump administration. Severino subsequently sued Biden saying that he had no constitutional power to terminate him, and the case remains in litigation.
Prior to leaving office, Trump stacked a number of boards with loyalists as a reward, including former impeachment lawyer Pam Bondi for the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, senior adviser Kellyanne Conway for the Air Force Academy board of visitors, and Matt Schlapp for the Library of Congress Trust Fund Board. He also put three former aides on the Holocaust Memorial Museum’s board: former body man Nick Luna, former acting director of national intelligence Ric Grennell and former White House aide Andrew Giuliani.
Conway declined to resign but wrote a letter she posted on Twitter urging Biden to do so. She wrote that his decision to demand the resignations were “disappointing but understandable given the need to distract from a news cycle that has you mired in multiple self-inflicted crises and plummeting poll numbers.”
Sam Stein contributed to this article.