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Senate Republicans are Scheming to Pass Sanctions Against Turkey

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Tensions with Turkey are mounting after President Donald Trump decided to withdraw troops from Northern Syria.

In response to this move, the Democratic-controlled house decided to vote for sanctions against Turkey, which has been sending its own troops into the region.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the White House on Thursday, November 14, 2019. Trump received him well, whereas elected officials on both sides of the aisle gave Erdogan a cold response.

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“It was certainly not a good time, at least, for Mr. Erdogan to be at the White House,” said Senator Mitt Romney, a passionate Trump critic. Romney called for “a series of actions sanctioning Turkey for going against the interests of our country and our ally, the Kurds.”

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Senator John Cornyn added, “Erdogan’s been consistently bad news for the people of Turkey and NATO. So I’m concerned about it. I think [sanctions] are likely.” Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has remained cautious about sanctioning Turkey for now but told reporters on Thursday that the subject is still being discussed by Senators.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jim Risch is holding off on sanctions for the time being. He hopes that the U.S. can reach an agreement with Turkey over the country’s recent purchase of Russian S-400 missiles, which is expected to activate economic penalties from the United States. However, he also said that this committee will prepare a sanctions bill in the meantime, and put the ball in McConnell’s court.

“Probably it’s best we don’t pass a sanctions bill at this moment,” Risch said, encouraging the use of diplomacy between Erdogan and Trump instead.

“It’s appropriate to put pressure on them to do the right thing, not just with regard to the Kurds, with regard to Syria generally,” added Senator Rob Portman. “The Russian anti-aircraft system that they’re on board with makes it very hard for us to treat them as a normal NATO ally.”

Trump expects the ceasefire between the Kurds and Turkey to continue, but other Senate Republicans aren’t so optimistic.

“Erdogan’s probably going to move against Kobani, which is a traditional majority-Kurdish city,” Senator Marco Rubio speculated. “The last US troops in that area finally left, it took them two weeks to break down and move. And I think he’s going to view that as a chance to come in and grab that city. … That’s going to probably scramble all of this stuff again.”

Trump is handling this situation with a diplomatic calm that his neoconservative and neoliberal predecessors generally did not exercise.

Unlike previous governments, Trump isn’t taking cues from defense contractors and is using tough diplomacy to advance U.S. interests and keep it out of foreign policy quagmires. For American First supporters, Trump’s approach to foreign policy isn’t ideal, but he has at least kept the country from entering new conflicts.

Culture

Starbucks Barista FIRED After Refusing to Wear “Pride” T-Shirt for Religious Reasons, According to Lawsuit

She is a Christian and was apparently told by her manager that she didn’t have to wear it.

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A former Starbucks barista is filing an unlawful discrimination lawsuit against the coffee giant, claiming they fired her for refusing to wear a “Pride” t-shirt that violated her Christian religious convictions.

Betsy Fresse started working as a barista in December 2015. After transferring to a Glen Ridge, New Jersey, store in early 2019, managers apparently “assured” her that her Christian faith wouldn’t be an issue.

Then in June 2019, she noticed a box of Pride shirts on a desk and asked if they’d make her wear one. Her store manager said she wouldn’t have to, but two months later she found herself out of a job after being terminated by a district manager.

A notice of separation claims that Fresse was fired for violating Starbucks’ “core values.” It specifically mentions an incident where she said her colleagues “need Jesus” when given the “Pride” shirt.

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Starbucks maintains that “no part of our dress code requires partners to wear any approved items that they have not personally selected” and that Fresse’s claims are “without merit,” in a comment to the New York Post.

So Starbucks denies that she was fired for not wearing the shirt, yet their notice of separation appears to claim that they fired her for something she said about Jesus. Not a good look either way.

Fresse is seeking backpay, punitive damages, money to cover the cost of an attorney, and a permanent injunction that prevents Starbucks from “failing to accommodate […] sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Starbucks has long been a major player in the world of Woke Capital. Back in February Big League Politics reported on how the British branch of Starbucks was raising money for a pro-transgender lobbying group:

The U.K. branch of Starbucks is raising money to push for the chemical castration and surgical mutilation of children.

Nathanael Blake at The Federalist reported that the multinational titan is selling special mermaid-shaped cookies to help the pro-transgender lobbying group Mermaids. Curiously, the group’s founder took her underage son to Thailand to undergo a castration procedure.

Blake correctly observed “That Starbucks is supporting this group illustrates how thoroughly radicals have conquered both the LGBT movement and corporate culture.”

He also called attention to how “In a few years the fight has shifted from government recognition of same-sex relationships as legal marriages to mastectomies, sterilization, and castration for children.”

Here’s hoping that Betsy Fresse is successful in her lawsuit.

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