The MAGA Freakout Over Afghan Refugees Kicks Into Overdrive

ESZTERGOM, HUNGARY - AUGUST 07: Tucker Carlson speaks during the Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC) Feszt on August 7, 2021 in Esztergom, Hungary. The multiday political event was organized by the Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC), a privately managed foundation that recently received more than $1.7 billion in government money and assets. The leader of its main board, Balazs Orban, who is also a state secretary in the prime minister's office, said MCC's priority is promoting "patriotism" among the next generation of Hungary's leaders. (Photo by Janos Kummer/Getty Images)
ESZTERGOM, HUNGARY - AUGUST 07: Tucker Carlson speaks during the Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC) Feszt on August 7, 2021 in Esztergom, Hungary. The multiday political event was organized by the Mathias Corvinus Coll... ESZTERGOM, HUNGARY - AUGUST 07: Tucker Carlson speaks during the Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC) Feszt on August 7, 2021 in Esztergom, Hungary. The multiday political event was organized by the Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC), a privately managed foundation that recently received more than $1.7 billion in government money and assets. The leader of its main board, Balazs Orban, who is also a state secretary in the prime minister's office, said MCC's priority is promoting "patriotism" among the next generation of Hungary's leaders. (Photo by Janos Kummer/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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August 17, 2021 7:31 a.m.

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things.

You Saw It Coming From Miles Away

As images filter out of Afghanistan of U.S. allies desperate to escape, and as President Biden pledges assistance to continue those evacuation efforts, MAGA world and the right-wing media are trying to gin up a new freakout: that the administration will resettle too many Afghans in the U.S.

  • Stephen Miller — who else? — was early out of the gate with this take Sunday evening.

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  • Candidates for office got in on the act Monday afternoon.

  • By Monday evening, the drumbeat of xenophobia had, predictably, made its way to Tucker Carlson’s show.

  • Laura Ingraham followed on his heels.

‘Hard Not To Respect That’

Meanwhile, even further to the right, some are impressed by the Taliban’s sweep across Afghanistan and its commitment to religious fundamentalism.

  • “I think Islam is poisonous,” opined one Proud Boys Telegram account cited by Vice’s Ben Makuch. “BUT, these farmers and minimally trained men fought to take their nation back from [world governments]. They took back their national religion as law, and executed dissenters. Hard not to respect that.”

Breaking This Morning

The Taliban has offered its first — and very vague — comments about how it might govern, the AP reports:

  • “The Taliban declared an ‘amnesty’ across Afghanistan and urged women to join their government Tuesday, seeking to convince a wary population that they have changed a day after deadly chaos gripped the main airport as desperate crowds tried to flee the country.”

Must Reads on Afghanistan

Good To Know!

Former president George W. Bush is “watching the tragic events unfolding in Afghanistan with deep sadness,” he informed us in a statement.

Third Shot

The Biden administration has decided Americans should get a COVID-19 booster shot eight months after their second dose of the two-dose vaccines, the Times reports. Those who got the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot are expected to also need a second dose.

Grim Statistic

The death toll in Haiti following an earthquake Saturday has now topped 1,400 people. This comes as the country grapples with political instability and as a tropical storm pounds the region.

California Recall

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) defense strategy ahead of the recall election next month isn’t to win over undecided voters — it’s to light a fire under the butts of Democratic voters who might otherwise not turn out during a non-election year.

  • In addition to warning Californians of top GOP rival Larry Elder’s deeply conservative stances, Newsom also says that “we’ve just got to gin up that enthusiasm” among blue voters. “That’s what the next 30 days is about,” he tells CNN.

Sign Of What’s To Come

The Biden administration has declared a water shortage along the Colorado River and is instituting cutbacks to the water it supplies to Arizona and Nevada, E&E News reports.

  • The river is a key source of water for over 40 million people and millions of acres of farmland across seven states.

NY Lawmakers Reverse Course On Cuomo Investigation

The New York State Assembly will finish its impeachment investigation into disgraced Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) after drawing backlash over its initial decision to drop the probe in the wake of Cuomo’s resignation.

Delete Your Account

Sen. Ted Cruz (R) retweeted a clip of CNN correspondent Clarissa Ward’s report in Kabul that was selectively cropped by right-wing troll Jack Posobiec to make it look like CNN is….pro-Taliban or something?

Here’s Ward’s full report where she speaks to Taliban forces on the ground:

Hey, remember when Cruz ran away to sunny Mexico while millions of his constituents froze in their homes earlier this year? CNN’s comms team does:

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