News Roundup 2/21/17

  • Trump picks H.R. McMaster to replace Flynn as National Security Advisor. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • Immigration enforcement agents are posing as local police officers to get information about people they suspect to be illegal immigrants. [Link] Immigration/Refugee Fyle
  • North Korea is preparing a delegation to send to the US for talks. The State Department has not approved the meeting yet. [Link] North Korea Fyle
  • An Israeli court sentenced an Israeli soldier to 18 months in prison. The soldier executed an unarmed and wounded Palenstienin man who was lying in the street. [Link] Israel Fyle
  • The Israeli government has plans to build a road in East Jerusalem that will require the destruction of 57 Palestinian homes. The road will connect Israeli settlements. Only Israeli settlers will be able to use the road. [Link] Israel Fyle
  • Famine has been declared for areas of South Sudan. A civil war in the country has caused many people to be unable to get food. 42% of the country’s population is facing dire hunger or starvation. 275,000 children are acutely malnourished. [Link] Africa Fyle
  • Turkey targeted Kurds in Northern Iraq with airstrikes. Turkey claims that 34 members of the PKK were killed in the airstrikes. [Link] Iraq Fyle
  • Iraqi forces are starting to move into the outskirts of Western Mosul from the South. Iraqi forces are receiving support from US air strikes and US military advisors that are positioned close to the front lines. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • A Turkish air strike in al-Bab killed 11 members of a family when their home was struck. [Link] ISIS War Fyle

On Foreign Policy Focus #4, I talk about US sanctions and how they never work. I break down the distractions effects of US sanction and how sanctions often lead to wars. I also give updates on Israel settlements, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, NATO troops in Poland, and Yemen. LISTEN HERE!!

Foreign Policy Focus #4 – Sanctions are Stupid and do not Work

On FPF #4, I talk about US sanctions and how they never work. I break down the distractions effects of US sanction and how sanctions often lead to wars. I also give updates on Israel settlements, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, NATO troops in Poland, and Yemen. 


Articles Discussed

Israel walks back settlement expansion plans [Link]

ISIS attacks Afghani military [Link]

Turkey kills Syrian civilians [Link]

Doctors Without Borders blames hospital bombing on Russia [Link]

Senator Graham on Russia [Link]

US moves troops near Russian border [Link]

New sanctions on Iran [Link]

Trump policy in Yemen [Link]

News Roundup 2/20/17

  • Scott Pruitt has been confirmed to head the EPA. Pruitt is currently suing the EPA as Oklahoma’s Attorney General. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • An Arizona sheriff overturns a rule put in place by his predecessor, Joe Arpaio, that allows immigrants to be detained for over the maximum 48-hours. [Link] Immigration/Refugee Fyle
  • Senator Graham says 2017 will be “a year of kicking Russia in the ass.” Graham is supporting several anti-Russia pieces legislation. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • The Senate is looking to pass new sanctions against Iran for testing a medium-range ballistic missile. The sanctions have bipartisan support. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pulling back on some settlement expansion after meeting with Trump. [Link] Israel Fyle
  • The Iraqi government dropped leaflets over Western Mosul letting civilians know that the offensive against ISIS is about to begin. Its estimated that there are about 650,000 civilians in Western Mosul. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • The US has increased the number of sorties it’s flying over Mosul each day to 30-50. The US has already bombed all the bridges that connect East and West Mosul, making it nearly impossible for civilians to flee Western Mosul. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • Three Iraqi children were killed when one child accidently stepped on a roadside bomb left there by ISIS. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • This article looks into Trump’s policy in Yemen so far. The article also suggests that Trump will soon approve a sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia. [Link] US/Saudi War Against Yemen Fyle

News Roundup 2/18/17

  • Robert Harward turns down Trump’s offer to be National Security Advisor. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • In Houston Texas, the district attorney announced a program that will allow people caught with under four ounces of pot to take a four-hour decision-making class. The class will cost $150, and anyone who chooses to take the class will not face any criminal prosecution. [Link] War on Drugs Fyle
  • ISIS killed 17 Afghani troops by overrunning security posts in the Nangarhar Province. This comes a week after the Afghani government announced it was starting an offensive against ISIS in the Nangarhar Province. [Link] Afghanistan Fyle
  • The Pakistan government claims they have killed over 100 terrorists in response to the terrorist attack on a shrine. [Link] Pakistan/India Fyle
  • Turkey continues to fight against ISIS in al-Bab. The Turkish government reports taking most of the city, while a humanitarian group claims that ISIS still controls 90% of the city. The group also reports that Turkey has killed 45 civilians in the past 48 hours. This brings the total for the two-month offensive to 430 civilians killed. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • Doctors Without Borders says it was likely Russia that bombed a hospital in the Idlib Providence last year. 25 people were killed when the hospital was bombed. [Link] Syria Fyle

Check out the third episode of my podcast Foreign Policy Focus. I cover the Trump’s talk with Bibi, Russia and US relations, Syria, ISIS, Yemen, and North Korea. LISTEN HERE!

Foreign Policy Focus #3 – 4 Weeks of Trump

In the third FPF episode, I cover the Trump’s talk with Bibi, Russia and US relations, Syria, ISIS, Yemen, and North Korea. 

Foreign Policy Focus is now on iTunes. Please subscribe and leave the show a nice rating and review. 




Articles Discussed

  • Mike Mulvaney confirmed to head Office of Budget and Management [Link]
  • US will defend Japan and South Korea [Link]
  • US and Russian officials meet [Link]
  • US will not work with Russia in Syria [Link]
  • Trump is wrong about Crimea [Link]
  • US troops arrive in Bulgaria [Link]
  • US demands allies spend more of defense [Link]
  • Trump okay with a one state solution [Link]
  • Haley says US committed to 2 state solution [Link]
  • ISIS terror attack in Pakistan [Link]
  • ISIS terror attack in Iraq [Link]
  • US used depleted uranium rounds in Syria [Link]
  • Syrian rebel group continue to fight [Link]
  • Possible Turkey and Kurd clash in Syria [Link]
  • Raid in Yemen kills Hadi ally [Link]
  • Saudi bombing of Yemeni funeral [Link]

News Roundup 2/17/17

  • The Senate confirms Mike Mulvaney to head the Office of Budget and Management. The vote was close at 51-49. John McCain voted against Mulvaney because of his stance on military spending. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • The governor of North Dakota signs an order to evict the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters from their encampment. The protesters are on private land. The governor sites the waste produced by the protesters as a reason he is evicting them. [Link]
  • The governor of Arizona sent a letter to the state’s cosmetology board asking them to stop an investigation into a man who gave free haircuts to the homeless. The man is under investigation because he was giving the free haircuts without a state license to do so. [Link] Regulations Fyle
  • Customs and Border Patrol agents detained an American citizen and demanded that he give them the password to his phone. The man was traveling back to America from overseas. The agents would not let the man leave until he unlocked his phone. After he unlocked his phone, the agents took his phone for 30 minutes before returning it. [Link] Bill of Rights Fyle
  • A young illegal immigrant who was protected under Obama’s DACA program has been arrested by immigration enforcement. The immigration enforcement agency has begun the process to deport him. [Link] Immigration/Refugee Fyle
  • Rex Tillerson commits the US nuclear arsenal to defend Japan and South Korea. This policy was put in place under Obama. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • Secretary of Defense Mattis says the US and NATO allies are preparing to escalate the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley says that the US is committed to a two-state solution for Israel. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • An ISIS suicide bombing at a shrine in Pakistan kills at least 75 and the death toll is expected to increase. Some reports put the death toll over 100. In response to the bombing, Pakistan has announced it will close the border with Afghanistan. [Link] Pakistan/India Fyle
  • A car bomb in Baghdad kills at least 55 people. ISIS is responsible for the attack that targeted a Shi’ite area. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • A Syrian rebel group that supports ISIS has executed up to 200 prisoners who were fighters in other rebel groups. Most of those executed were fighters for the less extremist Free Syrian Army.  Around 40 of those executed were fighters for al-Qaeda-linked groups. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • One of the men killed in the botched US raid in Yemen was a Yemeni tribal leader allied to the Hadi government. The US supports the Haid government and the US position in Yemen seems to be to see Hadi resume his role as president of the entire country. [Link] US/Saudi War Against Yemen Fyle

On this Weekly Freedom File, I discuss Regulations, Taxation, and our Trumpdate segment with the show’s host Kenn. LISTEN HERE!

Weekly Freedom File 2.15.17

On this Weekly Freedom File, I discuss Regulations, Taxation, and our Trumpdate segment with the show’s host Kenn.



Show Notes

  • Trumpdates
    • Flynn resigns as NSA [Link]
    • Mnuchin confirmed as Treasury Secretary [Link]
    • Price confirmed as Health and Human Services Secretary [Link]
    • Sessions confirmed as Attorney General [Link]
    • Trump passes on Abrams for deputy Secretary of State [Link]
    • Trump will not move US Embassy in Israel [Link]
    • Trump critical of Israeli settlements [Link]
    • Trump approves of one China policy [Link]
    • Immigration raid arrests several hundred [Link] [Link]
    • Trump signs three executive orders on public safety [Link]
    • Costs and timeline for Trump’s border wall [Link]
    • Trump approves of civil asset forfeiture [Link]
    • TSA agents run cocaine smuggling operation [Link]
    • The IRS will not require people to fill out line 61 – Good News [Link]
  • Regulations
    • Indiana town fines poor people to get them to leave their homes [Link]
    • Man under investigation for giving free haircuts to homeless [Link]
  • Over $1 trillion taxes collected in Q1 [Link]

News Roundup 2/16/17

  • Andrew Puzder withdrawals his name from consideration to be Labor Secretary. It’s likely that Puzder withdrew his name because he did not have the votes needed to get confirmed. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • Trump tweets that Russia took Crimea by force. However, this statements is incorrect as the population of Crimea voted to secede from Ukraine. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • In a joint press conference with the Israeli Prime Minister, Trump said he was perfectly fine with a one state solution in Israel. Trump also suggested that Israel hold back on settlement expansion. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • HR 861 has been introduced in the House. If passed, the bill would end the EPA at the end of 2018. [Link]
  • US and Russian military leaders will meet today. This will be the first meeting between US and Russian military leaders since 2014. Rex Tillerson will also be meeting with his Russian counterpart today. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • US troops and ground vehicles arrive in Bulgaria to show Russia that the US plans to defend Eastern European countries. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • James Mattis tells NATO members they need to increase defense spending by the end of the year or risk the curtailing of US defense support. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • At least 15 Iraqis were killed in a suicide truck bombing in a Baghdad Shia majority suburb. It appears ISIS carried out the attack. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • Both Syrian Kurds and the Turkish government have plans to liberate Raqqa from ISIS. The Kurds say they will attack Turkish troops who come too close to Raqqa. [Link] ISIS War Fyle
  • In 2015, the US used thousands of depleted uranium rounds to destroy ISIS fuel tankers. These rounds have not been used since 2003 in Iraq. The rounds have not been used due to the fear that they cause birth defects and cancer. The military had said in the past that they would not use these rounds to fight against ISIS. [Link] ISIS War Fyle

In the second Foreign Policy Focus episode, I cover the resignation on General Flynn, Russia and US relations, North Korea, the Iran nuke deal, Israel, Yemen, and Syria. LISTEN HERE

Foreign Policy Focus #2 – Goodbye Flynn

In the second FPF episode, I cover the resignation on General Flynn, Russia and US relations, the Iran nuke deal, Israel, Yemen, and Syria. 

Foreign Policy Focus is now on iTunes. Please subscribe and leave the show a nice rating and review. 



Article Discussed

Flynn Resigns [Link]

Congressman Kucinich on Flynn Resigning [Link]

Russia and US relations [Link]

Trump demands Russia return Crimea [Link]

NATO troops in Romania [Link]

Israel removes its Ambassador to Egypt [Link]

Trump will not move Israeli Embassy [Link]

Iran is following nuke deal [Link]

Kim Jong Un’s brother assassinated [Link]

Stats on US involvement in Yemen [Link]

Turkey kills citizens in al-Bab [Link]

Al-Qaeda and ISIS fight in Syria [Link]




News Roundup 2/15/17

  • Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich believes the intelligence community is behind the leaks that forced Mike Flynn to resign as National Security Advisor. Kucinich said the intelligence community wants to undermine Trump’s desire for a positive relationship with Russia. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • Sean Spicer says Trump expects Russia to return Crimea to Ukraine. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • The IRS will accept tax returns without line 61 filled out. Line 61 is the Obamacare individual mandate question that asks filers if they had health insurance in the past year. Allowing Americans to leave the line blank effectively ends the enforcement of the individual mandate. The change comes as a result of an executive order Trump signed last month. [Link] Trump Fyle
  • Humana is pulling its insurance from the Obamacare marketplace starting January 1, 2018. Humana is one of the five largest health insurers in the US. [Link] Healthcare Fyle
  • Six TSA agents along with some airport employees were arrested for smuggling cocaine into the US from Puerto Rico. The operation was going on for 18 years, and they were able to smuggle about $100 million in cocaine during that time. [Link] War on Drugs Fyle
  • 500 US troops and tanks arrive in Romania to bolster the countries defenses and prove our commitment to the NATO ally. [Link] Foreign Policy Fyle
  • Israel withdrew its Ambassador to Egypt at the end of last year. The move was done quietly and was not reported. Isreal reports the move was made out of safety concerns. [Link] Israel Fyle
  • The head of a UN watchdog group says Iran is following the nuclear deal. [Link] Iran Fyle
  • A Russian spy ship was spotted off of the coast of the US. The ship was well into international waters, and the US Navy did not seem very concerned about the ship. [Link] Russia Fyle
  • Russian planes buzz a US destroyer off the coast of Russia in the Black Sea. US military officials have described the actions as unsafe and unprofessional. [Link] Russia Fyle
  • Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was murdered in Malaysia. US officials believe that North Korean agents carried out the murder. [Link] North Korea Fyle
  • The US provided over 1,000 tanker sorties in support of Saudi’s air war against Yemen in 2016. This is an increase of 50% over the number of tanker sorties in the previous year. The US has provided over 7,500 midair refuelings to the Saudis since the start of their air war against Yemen. [Link] US/Saudi War Against Yemen Fyle