“The Taliban takes Afghanistan.” | Crooked Media
August 16, 2021
Pod Save America
“The Taliban takes Afghanistan.”

In This Episode

The New York Times’s Jane Coaston joins Jon Favreau and Tommy Vietor to talk about the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the Biden Administration’s scramble to contain the fallout, and how the latest culture war is the right-wing crusade against vaccine and mask requirements. Cook Political Report Editor-in-Chief Amy Walter also talks to Jon about what the new 2020 Census numbers mean for redistricting and the battle for the House in 2022.


Show Notes


  • Politico Playbook: How the White House wants to spin the fall of Kabul
  • Reuters: Taliban officials: there will be no transitional government in Afghanistan
  • Reuters: U.S. says Kabul airport under fire after Taliban enters Afghan capital 
  • CNN: The latest on Afghanistan as Taliban edges closer to taking control 
  • Politico: Blinken: Evacuations from U.S. embassy in Kabul under way
  • CNN: US Embassy in Afghanistan tells staff to destroy sensitive materials
  • NYT: As Taliban Capture Cities, U.S. Says Afghan Forces Must Fend for Themselves
  • ABC: US moving personnel out of its embassy in ‘orderly’ manner: Blinken
  • White House: Remarks by President Biden on the Drawdown of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan
  • Vox: Time is running out to save Afghans who helped US troops 
  • ABC News: Biden and Trump bear responsibility for Afghanistan: Cheney
  • Politico: Republicans trash Afghanistan ’embarrassment’ in closed-door briefing 
  • CNN: Top Republican on foreign affairs committee slams Biden over ‘unmitigated disaster’ in Afghanistan 
  • Daily Beast: Even the U.K. Is Turning on Biden’s Hasty Afghan Pullout 
  • The Guardian: Biden in an impossible bind as Afghanistan blame game begins
  • WSJ: Biden’s Afghanistan Exit Raises Questions About His Foreign-Policy Record 
  • NYT op-ed: Biden Could Have Stopped the Taliban. He Chose Not To.
  • New Yorker: “Not Our Tragedy”: the Taliban Are Coming Back, and America Is Still Leaving
  • Slate: Trump’s New Big Lie: Afghanistan 
  • WaPo op-ed: Afghan lives ruined or lost will be part of Biden’s legacy 
  • Intelligencer: The Withdrawal From Afghanistan Was Destined for Disaster 
  • Politico op-ed: Joe Biden’s Afghanistan pull-out is a mistake we will pay for 
  • New Yorker: The Uncomfortable Truth of Biden’s Rapid Afghanistan Withdrawal
  • NYT: As U.S. Leaves Afghanistan, History Suggests It May Struggle to Stay Out 
  • NYT: Biden Takes Two Paths to Wind Down Iraq and Afghan Wars



  • NYT: Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count
  • NYT: Tracking Coronavirus in Florida: Latest Map and Case Count
  • NYT: Tracking Coronavirus in Texas: Latest Map and Case Count
  • NYT: Tracking Coronavirus in Mississippi: Latest Map and Case Count
  • The Sunday Times: In America’s Covid culture war, Republican leaders vie to be most freedom-loving
  • CNN: These 8 states make up half of US Covid-19 hospitalizations. And the surge among the unvaccinated is overwhelming health care workers 
  • Vox: The Texas GOP’s war on governing 
  • CNN: Republicans are seizing on backlash to new mask and vaccine mandates 
  • NYT: Texas takes its ban on school mask mandates to the state Supreme Court.
  • Slate: Homeland Security Warns New COVID Restrictions May Spark Attacks by Domestic Extremists 
  • Vox: Anti-mask hysterics at Tennessee school board meeting show how basic public health is now polarizing
  • WaPo: Florida Gov. DeSantis threatens to hold school leaders’ pay if they require masks: ‘Financial consequences’ 
  • NYT: ‘This Is Really Scary’: Kids Struggle With Long Covid
  • WaPo: Public health collides with politics as latest wave of mask wars takes off
  • NYT: Gov. Greg Abbott bars mandates for vaccinations and masks in Texas. 
  • NYT: Tracking Coronavirus in Georgia: Latest Map and Case Count
  • The Guardian: Vaccine hesitancy is a symptom of people’s broken relationship with the state
  • Slate: What’s Really to Blame for Low Black Vaccination Rates
  • Business Insider: Marjorie Taylor Greene downplayed reports that hospitals were packed with COVID-19 patients, saying ‘we can’t live forever’
  • FiveThirtyEight: Unvaccinated America, In 5 Charts 
  • AP: More US cities requiring proof of vaccination to go places 
  • CNN: Twitter suspends Marjorie Taylor Greene’s account for one week 
  • The Atlantic: The Tucker Carlson Fans Who Got Vaxxed
  • Slate: Anti-Vax Radio Host Urges Friends to Get Vaccinated Before Dying of COVID 
  • Slate: The Lucrative Business of Stoking Vaccine Skepticism
  • Al Jazeera: US vaccination rates increase alongside spread of Delta variant
  • AP: AP-NORC poll: Most unvaccinated Americans don’t want shots



  • Cook Political Report: New Census Dataset Is Mostly Good News for Democrats 
  • CNN: M​​ultiracial population grew in almost every county in the US. It doesn’t mean racism is over 
  • Business Insider: ​​This map shows the fastest growing and shrinking cities in America over the last decade
  • Bloomberg Government: Minority Population Gains Won’t Guarantee More Political Clout
  • Punchbowl: Census numbers out today. Have Republicans already won the House?
  • NYT: Let the Gerrymandering (and the Legal Battles) Begin 
  • AP: Census data kicks off effort to reshape US House districts
  • AP: Census data sets up redistricting fight over growing suburbs
  • ABCNews: Census data release sets off nationwide redistricting battles
  • Politico: Redistricting sprint begins with major census data drop 
  • Democracy Docket: What Does the New Census Data Mean for Voting Rights? 
  • NPR: What The New Census Data Can — And Can’t — Tell Us About People Living In The U.S.
  • USAToday: Some states are in a ‘pickle’: COVID broke the ‘clockwork’ of redistricting, putting calendars in chaos
  • CBSNews: Census data shows U.S. growing more diverse as congressional redistricting fights loom



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