Biden backs backing out of Afghanistan: I made a commitment to the American people when I ran for president that I would bring America’s military involvement in Afghanistan to an end. While it’s been hard and messy and, yes, far from perfect, I’ve honored that commitment.
Biden backs backing out of Afghanistan: "I made a commitment to the American people when I ran for president that I would bring America’s military involvement in Afghanistan to an end. While it’s been hard and messy and, yes, far from perfect, I’ve honored that commitment," he said today. Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Image

Biden said we're still getting the fuck out of Afghanistan: "After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces," the president said during a speech this afternoon that addressed the Taliban's swift takeover of Afghanistan. As Biden spoke about his belief that the United States doesn't invade nations to conduct nation-building (someone page W. about that claim), many people were killed during chaos* at the Kabul International Airport. (*People "plunged to their deaths" after holding onto a US military jet, reports AP.)

Biden blamed the Afghanistan government for the Taliban's sudden takeover, specifically now-ex Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, and Republicans blamed Biden for the takeover, glossing over Trump's deal with the Taliban.

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Here's his speech:

"I cannot and I will not ask our troops to fight on endlessly in another — in another country’s civil war, taking casualties, suffering life-shattering injuries, leaving families broken by grief and loss," Biden emphasized in his speech today, conveniently forgetting all that Yemen stuff.

Meanwhile, the publisher of the Washington Post is begging the Biden administration to help with the evacuation of 204 journalists and their families from Kabul.

In other news...

We'll have more on this tomorrow, but here's the new "less lethal" weapons ban legislation from the Seattle City Council: It passed 7-0 (Councilmembers Morales and Sawant were absent) and *~*once it clears a formal review, as outlined in Seattle's consent decree*~* the legislation intends to include a complete ban on blast balls and other devices ("including acoustic weapons, directed energy weapons, water cannons, ultrasonic canons," according to a press release from Councilmember Lisa Herbold's office).

Beyond that, there are many watered-down restrictions on tear gas, pepper spray, and other "crowd control" weapons. (Overheard over our office Slack: "It's a far cry from a ban." "Watered-down to all hell." "If I had to distill the whole thing into a sentence, it looks like they passed a bill that says cops can’t use tear gas on the Womxn’s March.")

Hackers keep hacking the very hackable Bellevue-based company T-Mobile: They hacked in 2020. And they hacked in 2019. And they hacked in 2018. And so it goes. Over the weekend, Vice's Motherboard reported that someone was on an online forum trying to sell T-Mobile customers' personal information that they got from a previous hacking spree. Today, T-Mobile confirmed that data breach, writing in a press release that they're coordinating with law enforcement, taking "the protection of our customers very seriously," and "conducting an extensive analysis alongside digital forensic experts to understand the validity of these claims."

Tech Crunch estimated that this is the fifth time hackers have successfully hacked T-Mobile "in recent years."

The death toll in Haiti has passed 1,400 people, with more than 6,000 people injured, following a massive earthquake over the weekend.

Space complaints: Back in April, NASA awarded a $2.9 billion contract to Elon Musk’s SpaceX to build a spacecraft that will take humans to the moon again. NASA chose not to accept the proposal from Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin aerospace company, headquartered in Kent. Blue Origin tried to throw an extra two billion around to woo NASA, but that didn't work. So, today, Blue Origin announced it just filed a complaint against the US government. It's unclear what's precisely in that complaint, but the company said the complaint "challenges NASA’s unlawful and improper evaluation of proposals," reports Geekwire. Wah wah wah.

Cheer up, Bezos: You still got that other contract.

Seattle: Is Glossy(er).


Next to Seattle's new Glossier flagship store is the ghost of Everyday Music, a ghost that will soon be (almost) reborn in Queen Anne.

And speaking of ghosts and gloom: Mudede wrote a blog about our gloomy summer.

Mudede isn't the only local columnist getting emo over the failed promise of a hot vax summer: "Whether you call it 'languishing,' 'malaise' or just plain rage, the mental-health effects of being back here again after weathering so much already are what one psychiatrist called the 'sudden doom effect,'" writes Naomi Ishisaka for the Seattle Times. "We thought we had turned a corner but, in large part due to the choices of others, delta has just given us one new corner after another, with no end in sight."

Start gathering your happy lamps! We'll need them during our next pandemic winter!

More shows get postponed: I worry this is the beginning of a familiar trend.

Did you go to the Watershed Music Festival that happened at the Gorge from July 30 to August 1? How's your head? Is it warm?

Reminder: At the end of July, Texas Gov. Greg Abbot issued an executive order banning mask and vaccine mandates. Here's today's headline: "Texas requests five mortuary trailers in anticipation of Covid deaths."

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Criterion announced their November titles today: After they drop new releases of La strada and Mulholland Dr. earlier in November, Criterion will drop the complete films of the Once Upon a Time in China collection on November 16. The six-disc set will be a treat for Jet Li fans, especially considering the Once Upon a Time in China collection has been mostly unstreamable, and the old releases of the movies are just so-so. (UPDATE: As this Slogger noted, Criterion's November releases also include a 4K UHD release of Citizen Kane, as well as Menace II Society, which drop after Once Upon a Time in China.)

I think about this operatic opening sequence all the time: The landscape looks like Seattle last week.

Headline: "Johnny Depp says Hollywood is boycotting him." Johnny Depp... who?

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