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Jose Garcia

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Member since: Fri Dec 2, 2016, 01:17 PM
Number of posts: 1,800

Journal Archives

Bowe Bergdahl pleads guilty in desertion, misbehavior case

Source: ABC News

Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty on Monday to charges of desertion with intention to shirk duty and misbehavior before the enemy stemming from his 2009 disappearance and capture by the Taliban.

Bergdahl drew international headlines after he left his Army outpost in Afghanistan over eight years ago. He was captured and held by the Taliban for almost five years until his release was negotiated in 2014 by the Obama administration as part of a prisoner exchange. Upon his return to the United States, Bergdahl returned to duty while an investigation probed the circumstances surrounding his disappearance. He was formally charged in March 2015.

The misbehavior before the enemy charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, though sentencing won't occur until later this month. Judge Jeffrey Nance, presiding over the case, questioned Bergdahl Monday to ensure he understood the charges and consequences of pleading guilty.

In interviews with the podcast "Serial" in December 2015, Bergdahl explained that his lack of confidence in leadership at Combat Outpost Mest-Malak in Paktika Province, Afghanistan prompted his decision to embark on an 18-mile hike to a nearby base to report his concerns. He said he realized he made a mistake only 20 minutes after leaving his base.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/bowe-bergdahl-pleads-guilty-desertion-misbehavior-case/story?id=50509167

Federal employees ordered to attend anti-leaking classes

Source: The Associated Press

Employees at the Environmental Protection Agency are attending mandatory training sessions this week to reinforce their compliance with laws and rules against leaking classified or sensitive government information.

It is part of a broader Trump administration order for anti-leaks training at all executive branch agencies. The Associated Press obtained training materials from the hourlong class.

Government employees who hold security clearances undergo background checks and extensive training in safeguarding classified information. Relatively few EPA employees deal with classified files, but the new training also reinforces requirements to keep "Controlled Unclassified Information" from unauthorized disclosure.

The EPA occasionally creates, receives, handles and stores classified material because of its homeland security, emergency response and continuity missions. EPA employees also work closely with contractors and other federal agencies that more regularly handle classified information.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/federal-employees-ordered-attend-anti-leaking-classes-50003084

Valerie Plame tweets story blaming 'America's Jews' for foreign wars

Source: The Hill

Former CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson on Thursday tweeted an article that argued American Jews are pushing for war in the Middle East, specifically with Iran.

The article, titled “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars,” is featured in The Unz Review, an online magazine that bills itself as an “alternative” to the “mainstream media.”

After several minutes of questions from Twitter users who were shocked by her tweet, Wilson doubled down, arguing critics should read the article and “put aside” any biases.

“1) First of all, calm down. Re-tweets don't imply endorsement. Yes, very provocative, but thoughtful. Many neocon hawks ARE Jewish,” Wilson said.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/international/middle-east-north-africa/351745-valerie-plame-tweets-story-blaming-americas

Dem to join mental health group advocating Trump's removal

Source: The Hill

A House Democrat is slated to appear next month at a gathering of mental health professionals who are questioning President Trump’s fitness for office, adding to a line of lawmakers openly suggesting he is not psychologically able to serve.

A spokeswoman confirmed that Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) is scheduled to speak at a town hall organized by Duty to Warn, a group of mental health professionals calling for Trump’s removal from office under the Constitution’s 25th Amendment because they think he is not psychologically fit.

Raskin is expected to discuss legislation he introduced earlier this year to establish an Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity that can determine if the president is incapacitated. His bill currently has 31 cosponsors, all of whom are Democrats.

Under the Constitution’s 25th Amendment, the vice president and a majority of Cabinet members, “or of such other body as Congress may by law provide,” can jointly declare that a president is unfit to serve. Raskin’s bill would create an “other body” as permitted by the 25th Amendment.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/351764-dem-to-join-mental-health-group-calling-for-trumps-removal

Dems call for extended ObamaCare open enrollment in wake of storms

Source: The Hill

Two top House Democrats are urging the Trump administration to extend the open enrollment period for ObamaCare and Medicare Advantage plans in the wake of a series of major hurricanes.

In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price on Thursday, Reps. Richard Neal (Mass.) and Frank Pallone Jr. (N.J.) argued that people in areas affected by the storms should be granted additional time to enroll in the plans while they recover.

"Many residents are focused on securing their houses, taking care of elderly neighbors, rebuilding amid flood damage and ensuring access to food, water and necessary treatment and medication," the lawmakers wrote.

"During this period of response and recovery, HHS should allow residents of affected states and territories additional leeway for both of the upcoming enrollment seasons."

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/351760-dems-call-for-extended-obamacare-open-enrollment-in-wake-of-storms

Pence to push tax reform in Indiana with Democrat Donnelly in tow

Source: The Hill

Vice President Pence will visit his home state of Indiana on Friday to push tax reform with Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly in tow, according to the White House.

Donnelly, who is up for reelection in 2018, is considered a vulnerable Democrat in a state that Donald Trump won by 19 points, and where Pence served as governor. In August, the Cook Political Report moved the race from “lean Democrat” to its “tossup” category.

The trip is the latest in the Trump administration's efforts to court vulnerable Democrats to back its tax efforts.

Donnelly will be the lone Democrat in the delegation, which will include Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and Reps. Susan Brooks and Todd Rokita, who is running in the primary to challenge Donnelly.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/finance/351756-pence-to-push-tax-reform-in-indiana-with-democrat-donnelly-in-tow

Poll: Support drops for border wall, deporting Dreamers

Source: The Hill

Support for President Trump's signature plan to build a wall along the Mexican border has dropped over the past two years, as has support for his policy of increased deportations of undocumented immigrants.

A Monmouth University poll released Thursday found 35 percent of Americans support Trump's plan to build a wall, down from 48 percent in September 2015.

Support for deportations has dropped as well, especially among Republicans. Support for deporting immigrants who have been here at least two years dropped from 43 to 30 percent among Republicans over two years.

A majority of all respondents, 76 percent, told Monmouth that undocumented immigrants who have worked in the U.S. for at least two years should have a path to citizenship.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/351752-poll-support-drops-for-deportation-border-wall

Young immigrants shout down Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Several dozen young immigrants shouted down Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the U.S. House, on Monday during an event in San Francisco, following her recent conversations with President Donald Trump over the future of a program that grants many of them legal status.

"We are immigrant youth, undocumented and unafraid," they shouted as they overtook an event Pelosi was holding to encourage passing legislation that would give many young immigrants legal status.

After smiling and occasionally trying to speak through much of the protest, an aggravated Pelosi told the protesters to "just stop it, now," shortly before she was led out of the room.

She was appearing with Democratic U.S. Reps. Barbara Lee and Jared Huffman at College Track San Francisco, a program to expand college access. She was scheduled to appear Monday afternoon in Sacramento for a similar event.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Young-immigrants-shout-down-Democratic-leader-12206586.php

Biden rejects universal basic income idea popular in Silicon Valley

Source: The Hill

Former Vice President Joe Biden is criticizing the universal basic income idea that is gaining traction in Silicon Valley, and is arguing instead that the U.S. needs to "build a future that puts work first."

"Our children and grandchildren deserve the promise we've had: the skills to get ahead, the chance to earn a paycheck, and a steady job that rewards hard work," Biden wrote in a blog post for the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware.

Some prominent voices in the technology industry, such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff, have recently championed the idea of a universal basic income. Supporters of the idea have argued that a guaranteed income from the government could help people in light of concerns about job losses due to technological advances.

But Biden said that there's a "better way forward" and that policymakers should prioritize work.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/finance/351186-biden-rejects-universal-basic-income-idea-popular-in-silicon-valley

UC Berkeley faculty calls for boycott when conservatives speak

Source: The Hill

Faculty members at the University of California, Berkeley are calling for a campus boycott when conservative speakers are scheduled to speak in the city later this month.

In an open letter, professors and staff members are calling for classes to be canceled, for buildings to be closed and for students not to be penalized for not showing up to campus from Sept. 24 to 27, SFGate.com reported.

The letter comes ahead of "Free Speech Week," a four-day event during which controversial figures including Ann Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos and Stephen Bannon are expected to appear.

The letter says signs point "towards an escalated and uncontrollable confrontation both on and off campus during these four days."
"Therefore, as faculty committed to the safety of our students and our campus, we are calling for a complete boycott of all classes and campus activities while these Alt-Right events are taking place at the very center of UC Berkeley’s campus," the letter says.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/news/351165-uc-berkeley-faculty-call-for-boycott-when-conservatives-speak
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