Make the US Politics Thread Great Again


#5723

They both speak fluent corruption.


#5724

Putin speaks fluent English. He has had extensive training through the KGB.

On the other hand, Trump only has a tenuous knowledge of the language, especially when it comes to making factual statements.


#5725

Yeah, but his education was bigger than Putins. Much bigger. It was really big.


#5726

His grasp of the Russian language extends to “yes”, thank you” and “please pisss on my chest”


#5727

You trollin’ the language police bro?


#5728

If they locked up everyone who committed that offence then the language jails would be full.

They should start immediately.


#5729

Good for the economy, would grow, bigly


#5730

#5731

Scott Pruitt finally out at the EPA. Ridiculous that he lasted as long as he did. He was the swampiest swamp thing in the swamp, cartoonishly corrupt. There was a story on him daily and every time it was a different scam or misuse of his office.

Perhaps his success transforming the EPA from an environmental regulation and protection agency to an anti-science rubber stamp for industry is what endeared him to Trump.


#5732

The tail of his corruption would have been laughable had it not been a reality. A Koch brothers plant with the aim of gutting emission regulations.


#5733

The U.S. Army Is Quietly Discharging Immigrant Recruits

The recruits were promised a path to citizenship

Martha Mendoza and Garance Burke / AP

(SAN ANTONIO) — Some immigrant U.S. Army reservists and recruits who enlisted in the military with a promised path to citizenship are being abruptly discharged, the Associated Press has learned.
The AP was unable to quantify how many men and women who enlisted through the special recruitment program have been booted from the Army, but immigration attorneys say they know of more than 40 who have been discharged or whose status has become questionable, jeopardizing their futures.
“It was my dream to serve in the military,” said reservist Lucas Calixto, a Brazilian immigrant who filed a lawsuit against the Army last week. “Since this country has been so good to me, I thought it was the least I could do to give back to my adopted country and serve in the United States military.”
Some of the service members say they were not told why they were being discharged. Others who pressed for answers said the Army informed them they’d been labeled as security risks because they have relatives abroad or because the Defense Department had not completed background checks on them.
Spokespeople for the Pentagon and the Army said that, due to the pending litigation, they were unable to explain the discharges or respond to questions about whether there have been policy changes in any of the military branches.
Eligible recruits are required to have legal status in the U.S., such as a student visa, before enlisting. More than 5,000 immigrants were recruited into the program in 2016, and an estimated 10,000 are currently serving. Most go the Army, but some also go to the other military branches.
To become citizens, the service members need an honorable service designation, which can come after even just a few days at boot camp. But the recently discharged service members have had their basic training delayed, so they can’t be naturalized.
Margaret Stock, an Alaska-based immigration attorney and a retired Army Reserve lieutenant colonel who helped create the immigrant recruitment program, said she’s been inundated over the past several days by recruits who have been abruptly discharged.
All had signed enlistment contracts and taken an Army oath, Stock said. Many were reservists who had been attending unit drills, receiving pay and undergoing training, while others had been in a “delayed entry” program, she said.
“Immigrants have been serving in the Army since 1775,” Stock said. “We wouldn’t have won the revolution without immigrants. And we’re not going to win the global war on terrorism today without immigrants.”
Stock said the service members she’s heard from had been told the Defense Department had not managed to put them through extensive background checks, which include CIA, FBI and National Intelligence Agency screenings and counterintelligence interviews. Therefore, by default, they do not meet the background check requirement.
“It’s a vicious cycle,” she said.
The AP interviewed Calixto and recruits from Pakistan and Iran, all of whom said they were devastated by their unexpected discharges.
“Now the great feeling I had when I enlisted is going down the drain,” said Calixto, 28. “I don’t understand why this is happening.”
In hopes of undoing the discharge, he filed a lawsuit in Washington, D.C., last week alleging the Defense Department hadn’t given him a chance to defend himself or appeal. He said he was given no specific grounds other than “personnel security.”
Calixto, who lives in Massachusetts and came to the U.S. when he was 12, said in an email interview arranged through his attorney that he joined the Army out of patriotism.
In the suit, Calixto said he learned he was being kicked out soon after he was promoted to private second class.
The Pakistani service member who spoke to the AP said he learned in a phone call a few weeks ago that his military career was over.
“There were so many tears in my eyes that my hands couldn’t move fast enough to wipe them away,” he said. “I was devastated, because I love the U.S. and was so honored to be able to serve this great country.”
He asked that his name be withheld because he fears he might be forced to return to Pakistan, where he could face danger as a former U.S. Army enlistee.
Portions of the 22-year-old’s military file reviewed by the AP said he was so deeply loyal to the U.S. that his relationships with his family and fiancee in Pakistan would not make him a security threat. Nonetheless, the documents show the Army cited those foreign ties as a concern.
The man had enlisted in April 2016 anticipating he’d be a citizen within months, but faced a series of delays. He had been slated to ship out to basic training in January 2017, but that also was delayed.
An Iranian citizen who came to the U.S. for a graduate degree in engineering told the AP that he enlisted in the program hoping to gain medical training. He said he had felt proud that he was “pursuing everything legally and living an honorable life.”
In recent weeks, he said, he learned that he’d been discharged.
“It’s terrible because I put my life in the line for this country, but I feel like I’m being treated like trash,” he said. “If I am not eligible to become a U.S. citizen, I am really scared to return to my country.”
He spoke on condition of anonymity because of those fears.
It’s unclear how the service members’ discharges could affect their status as legal immigrants.
In a statement, the Defense Department said: “All service members (i.e. contracted recruits, active duty, Guard and Reserve) and those with an honorable discharge are protected from deportation.”
However, immigration attorneys told the AP that many immigrants let go in recent weeks were an “uncharacterized discharge,” neither dishonorable nor honorable.
The service members affected by the recent discharges all enlisted in recent years under a special program aimed at bringing medical specialists and fluent speakers of 44 sought-after languages into the military. The idea, according to the Defense Department, was to “recognize their contribution and sacrifice.”
President George W. Bush ordered “expedited naturalization” for immigrant soldiers in 2002 in an effort to swell military ranks. Seven years later the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program, known as MAVNI, became an official recruiting program.
It came under fire from conservatives when President Barack Obama added DACA recipients — young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally — to the list of eligible enlistees. In response, the military layered on additional security clearances for recruits to pass before heading to boot camp.
The Trump Administration added even more hurdles, creating a backlog within the Defense Department. Last fall, hundreds of recruits still in the enlistment process had their contracts canceled. A few months later, the military suspended MAVNI.
Republican Congressman Andy Harris of Maryland, who has supported legislation to limit the program, told the AP that MAVNI was established by executive order and never properly authorized by Congress.
“Our military must prioritize enlisting American citizens, and restore the MAVNI program to its specialized, limited scope,” he said.
Non-U.S. citizens have served in the military since the Revolutionary War, when Continental soldiers included Irish, French and Germans. The U.S. recruited Filipino nationals to serve in the Navy in the 1940s, and worked to enlist Eastern Europeans in the military over the next decade, according to the Defense Department.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly 110,000 members of the Armed Forces have gained citizenship by serving in the U.S. military, according to the Defense Department.
Many service members recruited through the program have proven to be exemplary. In 2012, then-Sgt. Saral K. Shrestha, originally from Nepal, was named U.S. Army Soldier of the Year.
In general, the immigrant recruits have been more cost-effective, outperforming their fellow soldiers in the areas of attrition, performance, education and promotions, according to a recently released review by the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research institution.
The AP spoke with a 26-year-old woman from Dominica who said she proudly enlisted in the immigrant recruitment program in 2016 while earning her nursing degree. She said she drilled each month with her reserve unit, which gave her an award, and had been awaiting a date to start basic training.
But in March, she said she looked up her profile on an Army portal and saw that the section about her security eligibility was marked “loss of jurisdiction,” with no further explanation. The next month, her attorney said she found the reservist’s name listed as “unsuitable” on a spreadsheet created by the Defense Department.
The reservist, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of concerns about her legal standing, said she received additional paperwork last month that indicated her case is awaiting a final decision.
“I have always been a good soldier and have always done what they ask me to do,” she said. “I got into debt when I joined the Army because I can’t work legally but, financially, I can’t survive anymore. I don’t want to give up because I genuinely like being in the Army. But I don’t know who to turn to.”
In recent years, a group of attorneys have been fighting to keep their recruited immigrant clients eligible for naturalization as delays have mounted. Some have been successful, including nearly 50 recruits who were granted a type of temporary status while their background investigations are being completed.
“Some of our clients have finally emerged through the system and at least."


#5734

Pompeo made no progress with NK.

So far Trump has made at least two substantial concessions to NK and wound up facing the same reality that previous admins have had to face.


#5735

A interesting story to watch, but I have read some commentary that this AP article is a bit misleading and inaccurate.


#5736

In surprising news…


#5737

I’d laugh but it’s really no laughing matter if you’re a wage earner for any of those companies that benefited from the Trump largess. Share holders can laugh instead.


#5738

And sadly, it is exactly the same lie that the conservatives peddle here.
Successfully.


#5739

GOP candidate in Kansas: 'Outside of Western civilization, there is only barbarism’

(CNN)

A Republican congressional candidate in a Kansas race Democrats are targeting in November told an audience at a party meeting this month that “outside of Western civilization there is only barbarism.”

The comments from State Sen. Steve Fitzgerald, a candidate seeking the Republican nomination in the race to replace retiring Rep. Lynn Jenkins, came at a July 2 meeting of the Leavenworth County Republican Party. During his more-than-30-minute speech, Fitzgerald lamented the fact that people believe “Western civilization is the problem,” argued that Christendom is “under attack” and doubled down on his previous statement that Planned Parenthood is worse than a Nazi concentration camp.
“We are being told that Western civilization is the problem in the world,” Fitzgerald said, according to video provided by a Democratic operative. “Outside of Western civilization there is only barbarism.”
He added: “Our Judeo-Christian ethic is what is civilization. And that is what is under attack here and abroad. It also goes by a different name. Christendom. It’s under attack. And even speaking about it can bring you under attack. It has brought me under attack.”
This is not Fitzgerald’s first brush with controversial comments.
Earlier this year, after someone donated to Planned Parenthood in Fitzgerald’s name, he told the group in a letter that he did not agree with the donation and compared them to Dachau, the Nazi concentration camp that killed thousands during the Holocaust.
“This is as bad – or worse – as having one’s name associated with Dachau,” Fitzgerald wrote.
Fitzgerald retold the story during the July meeting and doubled on his comments, despite the fact that both the Kansas Republican Party and the Rabbinical Association of Greater Kansas City have asked the candidate to stop.
“So Planned Parenthood is busy out their waging war against the next generation and winning,” he said, before noting all the pushback that came after his letter to Planned Parenthood was made public.
“It was a firestorm. I got calls from everywhere, ‘How dare you? How could you? How could you compare it to Dachau?’” he recalled. “I said, you are right, ‘Dachau really wasn’t one of the bigger killing camps and these guys numbers are way beyond anything that they did.’”
But then Fitzgerald expounded on his argument, telling the Republicans that history is littered with people taking advantage of and dispatching the lives of others, citing slavery and the treatment of American Indians.
“Ask the blacks about slavery. Ask the American Indians,” he said. “Ask – well, of course, the Indians were doing it to each other. The whites were doing it to each other. But if you go all back in history, we have never had much compunction about killing each other, especially if you couldn’t fight back.”
He added: “Outside of Western civilization is only barbarism. Abortion is not compatible with Western civilization. And we need to make that clear, we need to make it recognized, we need to make people understand we are talking about humanity.”
Fitzgerald, who did not respond to a request for comment from CNN, is one of seven Republicans vying to represent the party in November. He is running as a vocal pro-life Republican in the August 7 primary and his campaign website casts him as a “a repeated denouncer of the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.”
While CNN has rated the race to replace Jenkins as leaning Republican, Democrats have lined up behind former Kansas House Minority Leader Paul Davis to flip the district, which stretches the state from north to south and includes parts of suburban Kansas City.
Davis, with the help of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has raised more than $1 million, far more than any of the Republican hopefuls.
During the speech, Fitzgerald also provided his views on President Donald Trump.
Though he commended the President’s actions in office, he admitted that he “didn’t like the guy at all” at first.
“I didn’t like him very well at all,” he said. “But, boy, I love him now. I am not certain I would necessarily want to have a beer with him. But I want him to keep going. Keep doing what you are doing, buddy.”


#5740

They are throwing up some doozy candidates.


#5741

Certifiable I’d call them


#5742

Just when you think it can’t get worse…