This article first appeared on the Atlantic Council site. I am a Ukrainian citizen who was illegally arrested and detained by the Russian Federation for over a year for political reasons. Nadiya Savchenko, Oleg Sentsov and others who are less known have suffered and continue to suffer the same fate. In May 2014, I was in…
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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is running for president and he isn’t doing very well. That’s probably best demonstrated by the fact you just had to copy/paste and Google search “Sen. Lindsey Graham.”
Graham, who is next in line of the totally nationally successful McCain and Lieberman triumvirate spoke at the highly anticipated Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington, D.C. today.
Graham’s speech was something else. Part attack on Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, part doom and gloom lecture on the failings of the Republican party, Graham’s address made quite the impression in the room.
“It’s not about turning out evangelical Christians, it’s about repairing the damage done by incredibly hateful rhetoric driving a wall between us and the fastest-growing demographic in America,” Graham said according to Jezebel, referencing Trump. “It’s about looking Hispanic Americans in the eye and saying, ‘We get it, be part of our cause.”
But it was Graham’s comments on the GOP at large that has many people buzzing.
“He took issue with Cruz’s preceding remarks that Republicans need to vote in strength, and low turnout is why the party failed to win in 2008 and 2012.
“How many of you believe we’re losing elections because we’re not hard-ass enough on immigration?’ Graham asked the crowd, to light applause. ‘Well, I don’t agree with you.'”
WATCH: Lindsey Graham bashes hardline conservatives on immigration and abortion
Graham also questioned hardline conservatives on the issue of abortion, saying that the party needed to support an exception in the case that a woman was raped.
Otherwise, the party would continue to be alienate the “majority” of the county on the abortion issue.
H/T: The Hill
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By John Massey
On March 28th, Eurasia Net, reported that Turkmenistan launched large unannounced exercises “in the dead of night”.
These movements consisted of: Land, Air, Naval, Air Defense, and Special Operations forces.
But what the heck were they doing with all of that firepower?
The Turkmen Military is largely a land based force based on the Soviet Model, as evidenced by utilization of the “Motor Rifle Division”, of which there are four, as well as breaking aid defense into its own branch.
As such, training and morale tend to be low, but utilization of massive amounts of artillery, T-72s, the infamous ZSU-23-4 “Shilka, and other highlights of the 1980s make up for the doctrinal rut Turkmenistan finds itself in.
After all, a country that has a holiday to celebrate its neutrality is not likely to pick a fight.
One can rule out a show of force to intimidate a state actor.
Turkmenistan, unlike Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, is largely devoid of conflict with its neighbors. It has friendly ties with both Russia and China, and provides the United States with an air corridor to Afghanistan, which makes deterring one of these actors unlikely.
The move could possibly be an attempt to reassert claims over the Caspian Sea, the dispute over these maritime borders with Azerbaijan, Iran, and Kazakhstan have been largely diplomatic in nature. It seems unlikely this is a shift to more bellicose policy regarding control of the Caspian Sea, as the Turkmen navy is composed of a few coastal defense craft.
It is conceivable that this exercise is not a demonstration of power against a state aggressor, but rather a demonstration to both Turkmen and Turkmenistan’s concerned neighbors, of Ashgabat’s border defense capacity.
Recent skirmishes have occurred along Turkmenistan’s Afghan border, including several Taliban militants being stuck being Turkmen and Afghan forces.
This is not an isolated incident, and Ashgabat has responded with the construction of fixed fortifications along the border.
Of perhaps greater concern than Turkmenistan’s formerly cordial neighbors, is the developing Islamic State (IS) affiliate in Afghanistan.
While there are only 1-3,000 IS fighters in Afghanistan, the appearance of weakness along the border may draw the attention of Moscow, who would understandably be concerned.
Thus, it seems likely that this show of force by Turkmenistan is a message to Moscow of Ashgabat’s ability to rapidly mobilize against a Iraq/Syria style IS takeover.
Is is not clear if Moscow will be convinced by this display, who has historically assisted Ashgabat in border control.
In any event, we should pay attention to what happens in Turkmenistan in the coming months.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us!
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Don’t Look Down At Your Non-College Educated High School Friend Who Talks Politics On FB. You Don’t Matter More Than Them
You’re the political junkie.
You’re getting educated in a big fancy college.
You idolize Trevor Noah.
You rub elbows with future lawyers, lobbyists and politicians.
You study the issues and think that you know more about politics than the average person- especially those that aren’t in school.
After all, you are spending a lot of time and money to expand your mind and find the “truth” behind what’s happening.
At least that is what you think.
So when you get on Facebook to express some of the recycled political ideas that you just learned, you see your high school friend from way back post, ‘Make America Great Again’.
It’s a trigger and you can’t help yourself.
An argument ensues between the two of you.
In your mind, you are going to school this guy.
He isn’t in college after all.
He doesn’t always use the right terms or have perfectly constructed arguments.
You should be able to wipe the floor with him and move on.
But the conversation doesn’t go the way you thought.
It becomes an actual debate.
This debate takes your blood from slightly warm to completely boiling.
How dare He?
You’re the second year political science major that sits down and dutifully learns at the foot of politically connected professors.
But your high school buddy on the other hand who got that landscaping job he was always talking about instead of spending thousands of dollars in housing, student loans and ‘sustainability’ fees doesn’t know anything about politics.
And as a result, you don’t really believe that his voice matters.
He shouldn’t be talking about politics because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about you surmise.
As a college student I’ve heard the claim.
We like to take the stance that these people back home who opted to stay away from tuition costs and auxiliary fees are significantly less informed than us on pretty much everything because we are en route to a college degree.
This is nowhere near the case.
In the era of alternative facts and fake news, the concept of being politically informed is one that we have to throw around very loosely.
You need to take a real look at yourself and make the assessment of what do you actually know about politics.
This assessment doesn’t come from knowing random facts.
It’s more of an overall assessment of your political footprint.
Where do you get your facts?
How did you get there?
How broad is your view?
How reliable is your source?
The nature of media bias is everywhere.
it still to this day saturates programs like the Late Show or Trevor Noah’s Daily Show.
Sources like these end up being some people’s only source of understanding politics and because of that they fail to get an unbiased opinion about the political world.
The reality isn’t better for 24 hour news channels either; stations like Fox News and MSNBC also provide underlying bias that people are exposed to as well.
The practice of media bias is so bad that people are arguing over which source (out of these specific two in fact) is the most bias.
To be the ‘politically informed citizen’ that us college students boast about being you need to take the time to look at all sources available.
Rather than this, we have an established culture that encourages us to look solely at the media that is favorable to us as individuals.
In the end, you should not look down at your high school buddy who wants to talk politics.
He may not always be right or say the right things.
Maybe he is more likely to buy into fake news, maybe not.
But he is still an American and he is entitled to as much of a voice as you are.
And who knows, maybe your political opinion is just as one sided, underdeveloped and wrong as his is.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
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