"Once these girls lost their braces…and they started becoming 16 years old or 17 years old, they became too old for him."Private investigator Michael Fisten shares disturbing details of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged sexual crimes.CNN's Drew Griffin has more.https://cnn.it/2JSDk1B
the battle of blair mountain in west virginia was when a multi racial, multi gender coalition of miners and their families, unionized through UMW, took up arms against the US government, pinkertons and bosses in the biggest armed domestic conflict since the civil war. they wore red bandanas on their necks.
The term has its origins in the early 17th century and has oscillated in meaning from being a term to disparage working class and poor farmers to one of its earliest and most popular uses being its use by miners between 1912-1930’s. It was popularized largely after the events in Blair mountain which is the single largest labor insurrection in US history. Both uses are true. We should reclaim the term . There. Go bother someone else
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tells Fareed Zakaria that it is “regrettable” that the US is able to “bully important players in international markets to obey its rules against both international law and against their own interest.” cnn.it/2JWwVlX
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tells Fareed Zakaria that it is “regrettable” that the US is able to "bully important players in international markets to obey its rules against both international law and against their own interest." cnn.it/2JWwVlX
AOC to DHS chief: Border agents shared ‘Photoshopped images of my violent rape’ in secret Facebook group
Christal Hayes USA Today, July 18, 2019
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez confronted Acting Homeland Security Secretary McAleenan about images of her “violent rape” from a secret Facebook group. USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – After a week fielding racist attacks from President Donald Trump, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioned Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan about the whereabouts of Border Patrol agents who threatened her in a secret Facebook group.
The intense and personal line of questioning Thursday happened as McAleenan appeared before the House Oversight and Reform Committee to testify about his role in separating migrant children from their families and worsening conditions at the migrant detention centers along the southern U.S. border.
He was also asked several times about a secret Facebook group of current and former Border Patrol agents that contained more than 10,000 members and included posts mocking migrants and the deaths of children in custody and suggesting harm to Democratic lawmakers. After the group’s existence was revealed by a ProPublica report, McAleenan announced DHS was investigating the “disturbing” and “inexcusable” posts.
“Did you see the posts planning physical harm to myself and Congresswoman Escobar?” Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., asked McAleenan. “Yes,” he answered. “And I directed an investigation within minutes of reading the article.”
“Did you see the images of officers circulating Photo-shopped images of my violent rape?” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “Yes I did,” McAleenan responded.
McAleenan did not specifically say whether those Border Patrol agents were still on the job after Ocasio-Cortez, a freshmen lawmaker known for her progressive policies and large following on social media questioned whether they were still “responsible for the safety of migrant women and children.”
He said several agents have been put on administrative duties while the investigation continues, saying “I don’t know which ones correspond to which posts and we’ve ordered cease and desist orders to dozens of more.”
McAleenan shot back after Ocasio-Cortez asked about whether the separating of children and families led to a “dehumanizing culture” within Customs and Border Protection. “We do not have a dehumanizing culture at CBP,” he said touting that the agency, “rescues 4,000 people a year” and is “committed to the well-being of everyone that they interact with.”
He said the posts were “unacceptable” but “I don’t think it’s fair to apply them to the entire organization or that even the members of that group believed or supported those posts.”
The hearing came after days of Trump attacking Ocasio-Cortez and three other freshmen Democratic lawmakers, all women of color who are critical of his administration and its policies.
President Trump says he “felt a little bit badly” about the chants of “send her back” that erupted at his North Carolina rally. USA TODAY
It started Sunday when Trump sent a series of tweets suggesting Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.; Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.; and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., should “go back” to where they came from.
The House passed a resolution condemning the racist comments on Tuesday as the president faced widespread criticism over the remarks, which he doubled down on at the White House and on Twitter throughout the week.
He singled out the four women Wednesday evening during a rally in North Carolina and his supporters started chanting “send her back” as the president brought up Rep. Omar, who is originally from Somalia and became one of the first two Muslim women in Congress when she was elected in the 2018 midterms. Omar is a naturalized U.S. citizen.
Trump distanced himself from the chants on Thursday, saying, “I disagree with it” and “I wasn’t happy with that message.”
I’m the Longest-Serving Republican in the Iowa Legislature, and I’m Switching Parties
There are times when you have to follow the dictates of your conscience. For me, that time has come.
Andy McKean May 2019
Member of the Iowa House of Representatives
While my emphasis was on bipartisan legislative undertakings, I was comfortable with my party’s priorities and felt at home in the Republican caucus. Governor Robert Ray, a Republican, was in office when I first served and was a wonderful mentor. I continue to believe that he epitomizes what is best about public service—integrity, compassion, moderation, and a spirit of rational inquiry.
But after 24 years in the legislature, I made the decision to return to Jones County to serve as a county supervisor. My four children were in or approaching their teenage years, and I felt I was needed at home. I had missed some important moments in my children’s lives—school concerts, parent-teacher conferences, sport events—and wished to make up for the time I had lost. And with college expenses on the horizon, I also needed to put more time into my law practice.
Fifteen years later, after my kids were grown and I retired from my law practice, I decided to return to the state capitol. I wasn’t quite ready for retirement and felt that I had more to contribute. What I found, however, was very different from the legislative body I had once served in.The legislature is considerably more partisan and regimented than it used to be. I believe the increased partisanship often stands in the way of good legislation, and I’m also deeply concerned by the growing influence that big money exerts on the legislative process.I also found a very changed Republican caucus. While I have great respect and personal regard for my Republican colleagues, I found myself more and more uncomfortable with the stance of my party on the majority of high-profile issues, such as gutting Iowa’s collective-bargaining law and politicizing our method of selecting judges. I worked for changes to improve legislation that I had concerns about, but also voted against many of these priorities.
I might have limped along—attempting to work within my caucus for what I felt was best for the people I represent—if it hadn’t been for another factor. With the 2020 presidential election looming on the horizon, I felt, as a Republican, that I needed to be able to support the standard-bearer of the party. Unfortunately, that is something I’m unable to do.
I believe that it is just a matter of time before our country pays a heavy price for President Donald Trump’s reckless spending and shortsighted financial policies; his erratic, destabilizing foreign policy; and his disdain and disregard for environmental concerns.
Furthermore, he sets a poor example for the nation and our children. He delivers personal insults, often in a crude and juvenile fashion, to those who disagree with him, and is a bully at a time when we’re attempting to discourage bullying, on- and offline.
In addition, he frequently disregards the truth and displays a willingness to ridicule or marginalize people for their appearance, ethnicity, and disability.
I believe that his actions have coarsened political discourse, contributing to unprecedented polarization and creating a breeding ground for hateful rhetoric and actions.
Some would excuse this behavior, claiming Trump is just telling it like it is—and that this is the new normal. If this is the new normal, I want no part of it. Unacceptable behavior should be called out for what it is—and Americans of all parties should insist on something far better from the man holding the highest office in the land.
All of which is to say that my decision to switch political parties has been a very difficult decision for me and has only come after considerable reflection, much prayer, and many restless nights. I had been a registered Republican for close to half a century, a Republican officeholder for 35 years, and the longest-serving Republican currently in the Iowa legislature. I am proud of many good things that the Republican Party has accomplished over the years.
I want the people I represent in Jones, Jackson, and Dubuque Counties to know that I’m still the same Andy McKean today that they knew yesterday. We still share the same basic values, are proud of our families and our communities, and want to make Iowa an even better place. I’ll continue to work for the same goals and priorities that I always have during my years in public service.I look forward to continuing my service in the Iowa House and bringing people together to improve the quality of life for all Iowans.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.
Andy McKean is a member of the Iowa House of Representatives, representing District 58.
Revisiting ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic’s under-appreciated ‘UHF’: Ellen DeGeneres & Ginger Baker’s lost auditions, the brilliance of ‘Spatula City,’ and why it was rated PG-13
By Lyndsey Parker,Yahoo Music July 19, 2019
Thirty years ago, “Weird Al” Yankovic was primed to be a matinee idol. The comedy-rock star’s first feature film, UHF — cowritten with and directed by his longtime manager Jay Levey, director of classic Al videos like “Fat,” “Like a Surgeon,” and “Eat It” — hit cinemas on July 21, 1989, boasting an impressive cast that included scene-stealing future Seinfeld star Michael Richards, SNL’s Victoria Jackson, Fran Drescher, Kevin McCarthy, Gedde Watanabe, Billy Barty, Anthony Geary, and Emo Philips. There was even a Mark Knopfler cameo on the soundtrack’s Dire Straits parody.The film, a classic Davey/Goliath tale about a Walter Mitty-like dreamer whose rinky-dink bottom-of-the-dial cable station takes on an evil media behemoth, seemingly had all the right ingredients for summer-blockbuster success. And yet, it tanked at box office.
Yankovic’s career has of course long since rebounded — in fact, it could be argued that he’s bigger than ever, with his most recent album, Mandatory Fun, becoming his first to go to No. 1 on the Billboard 200. This year, he won his fifth Grammy for his career-spanning Squeeze Box collection, and he’s even playing with a full orchestra this summer on his “Strings Attached” tour. But Yankovic admits to Yahoo Entertainment that he was disappointed at the time when UHF fizzled, “primarily because my expectations were so built up. Orion Pictures, God love ’em, were thinking I was ‘the next Woody Allen.’ They tested the movie, and it got the highest numbers since the original RoboCop, which they’d done. So they were all excited, like, ‘This is going to be our big summer movie!’”
But the timing was all wrong. “It was made for $5 million, real low-budget, but it tested so well that they really got the big promotional machine working for it, and they put it out in the middle of perhaps the biggest blockbuster summer in movie history. It was 1989, and it was up against Batman, Lethal Weapon 2, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Do the Right Thing, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, all these huge movies. And it just got swallowed up.”
Yankovic stars as George Newman, a shiftless dreamer who stumbles into managing a low-budget television station and, surprisingly, finds success with his eclectic programming choices, in part spearheaded by the antics of a janitor-turned-children's television host, Stanley Spadowski (Richards). He provokes the ire of a major network station that dislikes the competitive upstart. The title refers to the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) analog television broadcasting band on which such low-budget television stations often were placed in the United States.
Perhaps UHF was just ahead of its time — which explains why it has become a beloved bona fide cult classic in recent years. While the movie was a love letter to an already-outdated terrestrial TV format, Yankovic notes now that its many would’ve-been-viral vignettes — “Gandhi II,” “Conan the Librarian,” and of course the hilarious “Spatula City” — were “basically made for the YouTube generation.” Says Yankovic, “People thought it was prescient because they look at that now and they go, ‘That was sort of like predicting YouTube,’ that it was predicting all these niche markets for entertainment that are now part of our Zeitgeist. But back then it was like, ‘This is just some crazy UHF station.’”
UHF could also be connecting three decades later because of its timeless underdog message about following one’s dreams, although Yankovic modestly says it’s not all that deep: “The point [of the film] was just to cram as many stupid jokes into 95 minutes as we could.”
The following retrospective Q&A is culled from “Weird” Al interviews conducted on UHF’s 10th, 25th, and now 30th anniversaries. This movie truly never gets old!
Yahoo Entertainment: My favorite scene of UHF has to be “Spatula City.” It is possibly one of your all-time greatest onscreen moments. Did spatula sales spike afterwards?
“Weird” Al Yankovic: That’s a good question! You’d have to talk to the National Spatula League, or something; they could get the specs on that. I think I got the idea for “Spatula City” one time while we were driving through a section of New Jersey. Looking out the window, I was seeing Boot World and Linoleum City and all these bizarre specialty shops. I don’t think I ever saw an actual Spatula City, but it would not have felt out of place along this particular stretch of road in New Jersey. So I think that was probably the impetus for the idea. And then when I was writing the movie, I was also inspired by the Remington razor guy [Victor Kiam]: “I liked them so much, I bought the company.” It’s an amalgamation of a lot of cheesy commercials at the time.
The other thing that really sticks in my mind is the very first day of shooting, which is when we were starting to shoot “Spatula City,” and there were all these trucks and tractor trailers full of equipment lining this residential street. And I thought, “This is just some weird, stupid idea I came up with at 3 in the morning one night about spatulas — and now there’s, like, an army of people working on this.”
What other skits stand out to you?
Oh, there were so many. One is the “Wheel of Fish” day, because that was the worst-smelling set I’ve ever been on. Those were not fake fish — those were real fish that were purchased at the Tulsa, Oklahoma, fish market that morning and they were literally nailed to a wooden wheel in a hot studio for an entire day.
Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits actually played guitar on the UHF soundtrack’s “Money for Nothing”/“Beverly Hillbillies” mashup. How did that come about?
Well, I always get permission when we do the parodies. And when we went to clear “Money for Nothing” from Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler, according to secondhand accounts, his response was, “Of course you can do it — but I have to play guitar on it.” Which was not a response I was expecting! But I said, “Well, sure!” He didn’t come into the studio. I think he was in London at the time, so we took the old two-inch 24-track analog master that we’d been working on, and we shipped it to London. And he put his part on it, and shipped it back, and there was Mark Knopfler on our song.
And a little bit of trivia: I approached Prince a number of times for a parody, and he always turned it down. In the original script for UHF, that was supposed to be “Let’s Go Crazy” mashed up with The Beverly Hillbillies, and Prince thought otherwise. But Dire Straits worked extremely well. That’s such an iconic video [“Money for Nothing”], and Mark Knopfler couldn’t have been a better sport about it.
Also on the subject of music, is it true that Cream drummer Ginger Baker actually tried out for the part of the homeless man who, in a last-minute plot twist [spoiler alert!], saves the station and saves the day?
Yes, that’s true. I don’t know how that happened. We didn’t ask for him [to audition]. All I know is we had a full day of people coming in to read, and next up, here’s Ginger Baker from Cream. And he came in, and he read the lines in his British accent. And he didn’t knock us out with his comedy timing, and we said, “Thank you very much, but … ” That’s something I’ll never forget as long as I live.
I’ve also heard that Ellen DeGeneres auditioned for the part of your girlfriend, Teri, which ultimately went to Victoria Jackson.
Yeah, Ellen came in and read once or twice, and she was really good. She was very funny, but obviously didn’t quite make the cut. I still have her audition on a VHS tape somewhere. In fact, Ellen DeGeneres, at one point, asked if she could see the audition, to see if she wanted to air it on her show. And I sent it to her, and she was like, “Yeah, no. Nobody should see this.” She didn’t think it was good.
Well, let’s talk about one of the surprise castings that did happen: Anthony Geary, who played the mad alien scientist, Philo. He got the part over Crispin Glover and Joel Hodgson! How on earth did a soap opera hunk land that role?
Well, that was a very Ginger Baker-like situation. We read on our list of people coming in: “Anthony Geary, Luke from General Hospital.” We just thought, “Oh, brother, how did this happen? Well, why not? Let him come and read.” And he came in, and he knocked our socks off. He had us howling with laughter, he was so funny. So he completely subverted our expectations, and we cast him immediately.
At the time, he basically wanted to erase Luke from his résumé and not be typecast. In fact, I think he had invited me to a play he was doing in L.A., and in the program for the play, I think he didn’t even listed General Hospital among his credits.
Anthony Geary (Luke Spencer on #GH) in Weird Al Yankovic's cult comedy film "UHF" as Philo in 1989! Haha….. I had to post this! 👾🚀
Speaking of playing against type, you were sort of the straight guy in this film, the foil for all these other wacky characters. Your character, George Newman, was relatively serious. That’s a surprising casting decision.
It was playing against type, since I called myself “Weird” Al, to be the straight man in the movie; that’s going to raise some eyebrows. In fact, at one point, we had a script doctor look at our script, and she wanted to completely rewrite it so that I was the [janitor] Stanley Spadowski character, the goofy one. And I was like, “No, that just doesn’t feel right. I should just be the like the glue that holds everything together.” I mean, Michael Richards knocked that role out of the park. There’s no way I could have nailed that better than he did.
This was well before Michael became known as Kramer from Seinfeld.
I was a big fan of Michael Richards’s work on the late-night ABC show Fridays, and I’d seen him in the comedy clubs around L.A. His physical comedy was amazing. He’d only been in a small handful of movies in very small parts, but every time he appeared onscreen, he would knock it out of the park. He was just hilariously funny, and I thought, “This is the guy.” It was between him and Christopher Lloyd, because I wrote the character, Stanley Spadowski, sometimes with [Taxi’s] Jim Ignatowski’s voice in my head, just to get that kind of like idiot savant kind of patter down. I’m sure we couldn’t have afforded Christopher Lloyd at the time! But also, I don’t think that he could have pulled off the physical comedy that Michael Richards was able to do.
Did you ever have regrets about the film, since it wasn’t a big success at first?
After it came out and didn’t do spectacularly at the box office, every single night before I went to sleep I spent an hour and a half thinking, “What should I have done differently?” And that’s calmed down in the last 30 years. But yeah, there were a number of things… and I don’t want to start giving you a list of things I could have done differently, but there was a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking that went on, with me thinking, “What should I have done? What could I have done? How could I have made this more popular, or more funny, or more coherent?” … I wouldn’t say that it brought me to a spiraling depression, but it was definitely a bummer, and it took me a little bit of time to get out of my funk and to move on with my recording career.
Your comedy is pretty clean and your fanbase is pretty young, lots of kids — but this wasn’t a PG-rated movie. I was surprised that UHF got a PG-13 rating, and I wonder if that hurt ticket sales.
Well, that was for exactly two reasons, both of which I refused to cut out of the movie: One was Emo Philips cutting his thumb off on a table saw, and the other was Raoul Hernandez throwing poodles out the window. They said, “Hey, if you just take those two things out of the movie, we’ll make it PG, and a bunch of more people will see it.” And I said, “I’m not willing to do that.” So, it was PG-13. And I’m glad I stuck by my guns, because I would rather have it be the movie I wanted to make and be a flop, than be a compromised movie and be a flop. And by the way, no poodles were harmed in the making of UHF. The ASPCA was on set to make sure we weren’t really throwing poodles out the window.
Today we’re going to teach poodles how to fly. Probably one of my favorite scenes in the movie. #UHF #MOVIES #weirdalyankovic #poodle @alfredyankovic
Did Orion Pictures pretty much let you and Jay Levey do what you wanted to do?
They didn’t muzzle us very much. We essentially, for better or worse, made the movie we wanted to make. Jay and I were both extremely green, so maybe they should have muzzled us more! But we got to do creatively pretty much everything.
What were the reviews like for UHF?
Critics pretty much universally hated it. In retrospect, you see critics talking about it now with a fond memory, but at the time, Siskel and Ebert just thought I was Satan. There were personal attacks, not just on the movie, but even about the way I looked! Newsweek said something like my face looked like a “baby’s buttocks to which wire-rimmed glasses and a caterpillar had been attached.” [laughs] Really uncalled-for!
But now it has become a cult classic.
It was a very gradual thing. Fans discovered it eventually first on cable TV, I think, and then through VHS rentals. And I think everybody started realizing that this was a thing when the DVD was released 13 years after the theatrical release, and it was a top 10 bestselling DVD. Nobody expected that. That was very gratifying, and to this day I meet fans that have seen the movie almost as many times as I have. … It’s definitely got its hardcore fans.
So you’re getting the last laugh, so to speak.
It’s bittersweet. First of all, I’m extremely grateful that it’s become a cult favorite and that the fans are so fond of it. Some fans have seen it literally hundreds of times. I’ve met dozens of people that have various UHF-inspired tattoos permanently emblazoned on their bodies. I mean, the love for the movie has not been lost on me. I’m certainly thrilled that it’s inspired so much fan love. Of course, I wish it had done better at the box office when it first came out, and like I said, I spent many sleepless nights wondering what I could have done to have made it a box office hit. But I’m glad I had the experience. I’m glad that it’s part of my body of work, and I’m glad that people seem to like it so much to this day. … During our live shows, we show scenes from the movie in between songs, to facilitate the costume changes we have to make; we’ll play a clip from UHF on the screen, and it’s like Rocky Horror time. Everyone knows every single line of dialog from the movie and they chant along. It’s just amazing.
Do you think the movie holds up?
I think most of the physical humor and most of the gags still play. Some of the parodies are a little dated: I’m not sure how many people [30 years later] remember the whole Al Capone phase of Geraldo [Rivera’s] career. … I know there’s still a lot of young fans of UHF that maybe don’t get all the pop culture references in the movie, but still appreciate it on a certain level.
Hard to believe it’s been 30 years since we had our first Twinkie wiener sandwich. Join us in Ashburn as we celebrate "Weird Al" Yankovic's hilarious cult hit.Get tickets to our UHF Movie Party: http://bit.ly/32ePdqU
So, now that you’re bigger than ever, I think the timing is right for a UHF sequel. Whaddya say?
Well, certainly my comedy and my sensibility still lends itself to that type of humor, but I’m very careful not to brand anything as UHF, or “here’s the sequel” or “here’s the online version of UHF.” Because I don’t want to trade on people’s nostalgia. I’d rather let people have their fond memories of the movie and not try to do the new iteration of it.
I mean, I’d love to do another movie. In fact, I was pitching a movie right before I left on tour. Unfortunately, I’m not at liberty to talk about it [right now]. I’m very interested in doing more feature film projects and more TV projects and other things like that. And it’s still me, and it’s still my sense of humor, so it would still feel UHF-like, but it just would not be a “UHF sequel.”
So, the UHF experience didn’t entirely sour you on movie-making for good?
Well, it did for a short period of time. But it’s been, what, 30 years? So look, I’m over it.
Additional reporting by Kevin Polowy. A portion of this conversation is taken from the SiriusXM Volume show “Volume West.”
As many as 11,800 military families face deportation issues, group says
By Tara Copp April 2018
Esperanza Perez and her husband, Miguel Perez, parents of war veteran Miguel Perez Jr., stand with a handful of military veterans during a news conference Feb. 27th at the Lincoln Methodist Church in Chicago. Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune Via AP.
As many as 11,800 currently serving in the U.S. military are dealing with a spouse or family member who is facing deportation, a national immigration advocacy group announced Friday.
No previous estimate, official or unofficial, has been available on just how many of the 1 million married military members currently on active duty, National Guard or Reserve status may be dealing with the stress of having a spouse, dependent or parent deported.
It’s also not a number that can be easily checked, or verified, because neither DoD, the Department of Homeland Security nor U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement tracks military status in immigration proceedings.
American Families United, a non-profit immigration advocacy group, calculated the estimate using 2011 U.S. Census statistics, which found that 6.3 percent of the 129 million married Americans are married to foreign-born spouses. The Pew Research Center found that one in four of those foreign-born spouses are in the country illegally. About 75 percent of that population comes from countries like Mexico, where if they entered illegally, they have a harder time obtaining legal status, as opposed to a person from Europe who might have overstayed a visa, said American Families United President Randall Emery.
“So we derived the total of military (active and reserves) married to people with inadmissibility-type immigration issues by taking the total (1 million), multiplying by the national percentage of foreign-born (6.3 percent, so 63,000 current U.S. military are married to immigrants), and then the 25 percent of the total which have problems with immigration law: 15,750. Of that, Pew’s data indicates 75 percent are from sources characterized by entry without inspection and similar issues, that would be about 11,800,” Emery said.
While it may not be exact, AFU generated the military estimate to “create awareness and get some of these legislators who say they support the military to actually act on it” and recognize that this is a bigger military problem than previously thought, said Nancy Kuznetsov, the group’s military liaison.
That’s become more important in the last year, both Emery and Kuznetsov said, as President Donald Trump’s administration has taken a harder line on immigration enforcement.
“It used to be veterans we’d see more frequently,” Kuznetsov said. “We’re now seeing an uptick in active-duty people.”
Loretto Sullivan and many other military members, veterans and spouses are speaking out about their deportation fears. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said military members are now protected from deportation, but the families want to know, what about the spouses and kids?
While the active duty members themselves are protected — because in order to enlist a service member has to show proof that they are in the country legally — their undocumented spouses are not.
An earlier “parole in place” program that was previously championed by Vice President Mike Pence to give relief to military families is no longer being utilized due to stricter enforcement of deportation proceedings under Trump.
That’s meant more military families calling the group for assistance, Emery said.
“Recently, we’ve seen an increase in cases of both active-duty personnel and veterans who have been failed by immigration law,” Emery said. “These estimates give us perspective on the problem.”
Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed 61,094 people in fiscal year 2017, compared with 44,512 in fiscal year 2016, a 37 percent increase, according to Department of Homeland Security data.
Military Times has spoken to more than a dozen military families who reached out after hearing about 7th Special Forces Group veteran Bob Crawford and his wife Elia, who was facing deportation. After intense media interest, DHS dropped removal proceedings against her.
When asked, neither DoD, DHS nor ICE could say how many military families are facing deportation proceedings, because it’s not data they track or report,
While an ICE official said the agency “respects the service and sacrifice of those in military service, and is very deliberate in its review of cases involving U.S. military veterans,” the agency does not track military status in its removal statistics, the official said.
ICE referred queries on how many military families were facing removal proceedings to the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review.
But that court “does not track military status among respondents or their spouses,” when prosecuting immigration cases, said spokesman Devin O’Malley, so there’s no way to know how many military family members were among those persons removed last year.
Tara Copp is the Pentagon Bureau Chief for Military Times and author of the award-winning military nonfiction “The Warbird: Three Heroes. Two Wars. One Story.”
The Rachel Maddow Show / The MaddowBlog
With a straight face, GOP leader says party was ‘respectful’ of Obama
By Steve Benen July 17, 2019
President Barack Obama walks across the South Lawn to board Marine One as he departs the White House, on Sept. 13 2016, in Washington, D.C. Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty.
As part of the defense of Donald Trump’s racist criticisms of four Democratic congresswomen of color, the president’s Republican allies have tried to argue that the congresswomen in question are worthy of Trump’s ire – in part because of their ideology, and in part because they’re big meanies toward the president.
Here, for example, was House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) yesterday, talking to reporters during a Capitol Hill press conference about the difference between how Republicans treated Barack Obama and Democrats treat Donald Trump.
“Look, we disagreed with Barack Obama on a lot of things that he did, the policies. As our conference chair laid out, there are a lot of policies that we had disagreements on with Speaker Pelosi and her socialist Democrats, just like we had disagreements with a lot of Barack Obama’s policies, but we never disrespected the office. […]
“We expressed our disagreements in a respectful, respectful way.”
There’s video of the Louisianan’s comments. In case there were any doubts, Scalise did not appear to be kidding.
Which is a shame because it suggests the Republican congressman – the #2 member of the House GOP leadership – genuinely believes that he and his party were nothing but responsible and measured when expressing their disagreements with Barack Obama during his presidency. Republicans, in Scalise’s mind, set a high bar when it came to political decorum. Obama could take comfort in knowing that his GOP opponents took great care to treat him and his office with respect and decency.
I know better than to try to summarize an eight-year period in which Republicans disrespected the Obama presidency on a nearly daily basis, but one need not have an encyclopedic memory to recall incidents that disprove Scalise’s bizarre boast.
Remember the time a House Republican heckled Obama during a speech to a joint session? How about the years in which GOP officials tolerated – and at times, perpetuated – the racist birther conspiracy theory? Or incidents such as Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) vowing to send the Democratic president “home to Kenya or wherever it is”?
Or maybe the point at which 44 Senate Republicans demonstrated their “respect” for the office of the presidency by writing a letter to Iran, telling our enemy not to trust Obama or his word?
To bolster his point, Scalise added, “If [Obama] asked [Republicans] to go meet with him at the White House, we went.” That wasn’t true, either.
If GOP lawmakers want to defend Trump, fine. If they’re eager to attack Democrats who dare to criticize Trump, that’s OK, too. But if we’re going to look back at the Republican campaign against the Obama presidency, perhaps we can put down the rose-colored glasses?
Republican congressman defends Trump, says, ‘I’m a person of color. I’m white.’
By Colby Itkowitz July 17, 2019
Ahead of the House vote Tuesday to condemn President Trump’s racist tweets about four female Democratic lawmakers of color, a Republican congressman dismissed the outrage by claiming that he’s white and, therefore, a “person of color” as well.
“I think we’re going way beyond the pale right now. They talk about people of color. I’m a person of color. I’m white. I’m an Anglo-Saxon,” Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) told Vice News in a brief exchange on Capitol Hill.
“Has anybody ever told you to go back to your country?” the reporter asked.
“Yeah, they have actually. With a name like Mike Kelly, you can’t be from any place else but Ireland,” Kelly said, adding that it didn’t offend him because he has “thicker skin.”
On Wednesday, Kelly expanded on what he meant.
“My broader point in the five-minute long exchange was apparently lost, so let me say it again,” Kelly said in a statement provided to The Washington Post. “It’s time to stop fixating on our differences — particularly our superficial ones — and focus on what unites us. Attempts by Democrats and the media to divide and define us by race are harmful to our nation’s strength. We need to elevate our level of discussion, and I believe most Americans agree.”
At the beginning of that five-minute interview, Kelly said he didn’t even know what Trump had tweeted that had made everyone so upset, although they were detailed in the resolution that the House was debating at that moment.
Trump said Sunday that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), who he said hated America, should “go back” to the countries they came from and fix the problems there. All four women are U.S. citizens, and all but Omar were born in the United States.
The House passed the resolution condemning those tweets, with all Democrats, just four Republicans and the lone independent supporting it.
Kelly defended Trump, saying that the president gets attacked no matter what he says or does and that he is more concerned with what Trump has accomplished than how he talks.
“He’s not a politician, he’s pretty much a guy I grew up with. People would say what’s on their mind at the time,” Kelly told Vice News . “I don’t make my day reading his tweets. He does not offend me. Were people offended? Sure. But people are offended no matter what he says. If he says, ‘Good morning,’ they’re not happy.”