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Lindsey Graham calls for permanent US military presence in Afghanistan

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The US military will never leave Afghanistan if Sen. Lindsey Graham has his way.

The Republican senator from South Carolina expressed his hope Sunday that the country would invite the US to install permanent military bases.

“I hope that we can find an enduring relationship with Afghanistan that will make sure that country never goes back into the hands of terrorists,” Graham told NBC’s David Gregory. “The idea of putting permanent military bases on the table in 2011, I think, would secure our national interests and tell the bad guys and the good guy we’re not leaving, we are staying.”

“But that’s important,” observed Gregory. “You believe a permanent US military presence in Afghanistan is required to order to head off a potential failed state in the future?”

“I think it would be enormously beneficial to the region as well as Afghanistan,” Graham replied.

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“We’ve had airbases all over the world. A couple of air bases in Afghanistan would allow the Afghan security forces an edge against the Taliban in perpetuity. It would be a signal to Pakistan that the Taliban are never going to come back in Afghanistan. They could change their behavior.”

Graham continued: “It would be a signal to the whole region that Afghanistan is going to be a new and different place and if the Afghan people want this relationship, they are going to have to earn it. But I hope they will seek a relationship with the United States where we can have an enduring relationship, economic, militarily and politically.”

In December, Graham made similar remarks to CNN’s Eliot Spitzer.

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“Under the right circumstances I think it would really secure the gains we made to have a U.S. presence in Afghanistan, two airbases that would be beneficial to the Afghan security forces,” he said.

“I am appalled by Senator Graham’s comments,” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) said in a statement. “Rather than advocating for a permanent extension of the costly and counterproductive military occupation of Afghanistan, it is time to finally end America’s longest war and bring our men and women in uniform home.”

President Obama’s administration has vowed to begin a withdrawal of US troops starting in July of this year, but in recent months administration spokespeople have been backtracking on that deadline.

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This video is from NBC’s Meet the Press, broadcast Jan. 2, 2010.


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Jeffrey Epstein wasn’t even a competent investor: report

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There can be no doubt that high-powered hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein would rather the public know him for his prominence and success as an investor than for the allegations of child sex trafficking, for which he has now been indicted and faces life in prison. And there has for years been mystique surrounding Epstein's business — his wealth fund is so exclusive that it reportedly requires a billion dollars up front from clients.

But according to the Dow Jones' periodical Barron's, Epstein may not even be good at that.

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Jon Stewart blasts ‘abomination’ of Rand Paul trying to ‘balance the budget on the backs of’ 9/11 responders

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On Wednesday's edition of Fox News' "Special Report," comedian and activist Jon Stewart slammed Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) for blocking unanimous consent for a bill to support health care for 9/11 first responders.

"Pardon me if I'm not impressed in any way by Rand Paul's fiscal responsibility virtue signaling," said Stewart to anchor Bret Baier, who appeared on the show with first responder and activist John Feal.

He added that Paul's complaint, that the bill was unfunded, rings hollow given that he "added hundreds of billions of dollars to our deficit" with the GOP tax cuts for billionaires. He castigated Paul for trying to "balance the budget on the backs of the 9/11 first responder community."

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Trump supporters chant ‘send her back’ as president hurls racially-charged accusations at Rep. Omar

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At a rally in Greenville, North Carolina, President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) of anti-American sentiments and speech. He said that she belittled 9/11, along with a slew of other accusations that were racially charged.

One-by-one, his rally supporters booed each thing he claimed she did or said. Then the booing turned into a chant: "Send her back! Send her back!"

Omar is an immigrant from Somalia who emigrated along with her parents when she was just 12-years-old. Her family claimed asylum from their war-torn country.

Trump said on Twitter that he believed she, along with three other Congresswomen of color, should be sent back to the countries they're from. Trump's campaign and Republicans proceeded to spend the days that followed claiming that Trump simply wanted them to leave the U.S. if they didn't like it.

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