Speed Reads

John Oliver hits hard

John Oliver shines a hard light on Iraq and Afghanistan's stranded U.S. military translators

At the beginning of this video, John Oliver promises that by the end you'll be "extremely angry at a donkey." What he really means is that you'll be angry at America for apparently making it a bigger priority to bring a stray donkey home to the U.S. from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan than the local translators who worked with the U.S. military at great personal risk.

Congress approved special visas for Iraqis and Afghanis who worked with the U.S. military, but very few of those have been approved, Oliver said on Sunday's Last Week Tonight, explaining that a "shocking number" of translators who have applied for one of these visas are "stuck in bureaucratic limbo." Getting a life-saving U.S. visa "should not be like a lottery, where the odds are terrible — these people risked their lives for us," Oliver said. "It should be more like a Little League award ceremony, where everyone's a winner, because they're all an important part of the f--king team."

There are some lighter moments — the doubly translated version of Frozen's "Let It Go" is a nice touch — a lot of mostly (but not entirely) bleeped-out swearing, and ample clips from a Vice News documentary. The special visa program in Afghanistan is set to expire at the end of this year. Maybe the issue will get the John Oliver bump it probably deserves. --Peter Weber