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Destiny

Executive Departments 3

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Destiny

Continued from here:

 

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Cartmann99

Can one of the helpmeets please put a link at the end of part two to this new thread? :text-thankyouyellow:

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Howl

Yeah, this has been known for awhile and has finally, FINALLY floated to the surface for intense scrutiny.  

I'm reading (for the 2nd time) Gen. Hayden's book Intelligence in the Age of Lies, and in the first chapter or two, he talks about how Trump distrusts the larger world of facts and intelligence and automatically assumes that business people know more....about everything. 

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Aggravated
GreyhoundFan

Sigh. "Heather Nauert cited D-Day as the height of U.S.-German relations. Now she’s headed to the U.N."

Spoiler

The United Nations came into existence to vanquish Germany, as 26 nations jointly pledged in 1942 not to surrender to “savage and brutal forces seeking to subjugate the world.”

Three-quarters of a century later, the woman who would soon become President Trump’s pick to represent the United States at the United Nations cited the D-Day landings — a cornerstone of this unwavering Allied pledge and the basis of the Nazi defeat on the Western Front — to showcase the strength of German-American relations.

“When you talk about Germany, we have a very strong relationship with the government of Germany,” Heather Nauert, the State Department’s spokeswoman, said in June. As evidence of that long-standing friendship between the United States and Germany, Nauert added: “Tomorrow is the anniversary of the D-Day invasion. We obviously have a very long history with the government of Germany, and we have a strong relationship with the government.” She also pointed to the example of the Marshall Plan, which rebuilt Western Europe in the ashes of Adolf Hitler’s quest for global domination.

The D-Day comment raised eyebrows over the summer, when some suggested it demonstrated a lack of historical understanding from the former “Fox & Friends” presenter who gained prominence on television during the Monica Lewinsky scandal but has no diplomatic experience. This critique is emerging again as she prepares to move to New York as the American ambassador to the United Nations, a role to which President Trump plans to nominate her.

With the appointment, Trump would solidify the symbiotic relationship between his administration and Fox News, from which he has drawn top communications advisers as well as policy ideas (which, in one case, happened to be a talking point of white nationalists). The move to install a television personality and loyal spokeswoman as one of the nation’s top diplomats would also further transform his foreign policy into an instrument of branding in line with his “America First” agenda.

“In terms of what we normally look for at the United Nations, her resume is very thin,” David Gergen, the veteran presidential aide, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday night. He said the role of U.N. representative was not a “communications job” but rather “a place where we conduct active diplomacy with nations around the world.”

Trump’s White House has yet to announce her selection formally, though a senior administration official told The Washington Post that Nauert would be “an outstanding advocate for the American people at the U.N.”

Still, her profile stands in stark contrast to those of her soon-to-be counterparts, including Germany’s Christoph Heusgen, who joined West Germany’s diplomatic service in 1980 and has since been posted in Chicago, Paris and Brussels. As an alternative to the D-Day landings, he might point her instead, as a high-water mark in bilateral ties, to German reunification in 1990 and the end of the Cold War.

In the 1990s, while Heusgen was advising his country’s foreign office on European affairs, Nauert was riding the Lewinsky scandal to prominence “in the world of talkers on the Fox News Channel,” as Leonard Downie Jr. and Robert G. Kaiser documented in their 2002 book, “The News About the News: American Journalism in Peril.” In 2010, as her soon-to-be German colleague was serving as chief adviser on foreign and security policy to Chancellor Angela Merkel, Nauert was playing herself on the eighth season of the Fox series “24.”

Heusgen’s is the sort of experience that is typical for U.N. ambassadors — be they from U.S. partners or rival nations. Russia’s representative, Vasily Nebenzya, has three decades of diplomatic experience, including time already spent with the United Nations. Representing China is Ma Zhaoxu, who also boasts 30 years of experience in foreign affairs. Britain’s Karen Pierce joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1981 and managed portfolios in the United States, Eastern Europe and Asia before she became deputy permanent representative to the United Nations in 2006.

So, too, in the United States, the position has been held by distinguished public servants and scholars of foreign affairs. As U.N. ambassador in 1962, Adlai Stevenson, a Navy veteran and former governor of Illinois, helped defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis. Arthur Goldberg had already been a U.S. Supreme Court justice when President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated him in 1965 to lead the American delegation to the United Nations. Richard C. Holbrooke, who had previously served as ambassador to Germany, helped broker the 1995 Dayton peace accords that ended the Bosnian War.

Nikki Haley, who is currently serving as the American ambassador, lacked foreign policy experience when she was nominated by Trump last year. But she had been elected twice as the governor of South Carolina.

Nauert, 48, will bring a different background to her position on the world stage. Raised in Rockford, Ill., as the daughter of a prominent insurance executive, she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Mount Vernon College for Women and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia.

She got her start in journalism in 1996, joining Fox News two years later. She jumped to other big-name outlets, including ABC News, before eventually returning to Fox in 2007. She has also worked as a health insurance lobbyist, as well as for her family’s financial services company. Her State Department biography indicates that she served as a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, part a program for “promising young leaders ... to participate in a sustained conversation on international affairs and U.S. foreign policy.” Some of her work has taken her abroad. In 2006, she was nominated for an Emmy for the ABC special series “13 Around the World.”

A profile that appeared in 2000 in The Washington Post took note of her ubiquity on television and asked, “Who the heck is Heather Nauert?”

“Why, other than looking like the younger sister of another Heather (Locklear), is she on TV at all?” wondered The Post’s Paul Farhi. “From what well of life-shaping experiences do our anointed dispensers of video wisdom draw their opinions?”

Tony Snow, who was a host of “Fox News Sunday,” said he had instructed Nauert: “God made you beautiful. Now you’ve got to make yourself smart.”

Nauert said at the time that she thought she could fill a unique hole in punditry, and that she had wanted to be on the screen since she was 16. “It’s more interesting to see a young person talking about issues than a big old fat white guy,” she said.

She continued, “If you’re young and you can’t back it up with smarts, then people are going to say, ‘Who cares what you have to say?’ . . . My belief is, honey, let me show you what I can do. Go for it, girl.”

At first, she struggled to find her footing, but her big break came when the Lewinsky scandal broke in 1998.

“The Clinton-Lewinsky scandal created full employment for pundits of all stripes, but in particular it gave wide visibility to a subset of young, female conservatives — Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Barbara Olson, Kellyanne Fitzpatrick. And Heather Nauert,” The Post profile recounted. “With cable networks filling the air with talk about sex and sexual harassment, the ‘pundettes,’ as they came to be known, filled a market need: a telegenic group of women who were predictably anti-Clinton. And in their own way, they were breakthrough figures.”

Bill Shine, a former Fox executive who was pushed out over his handling of harassment scandals and is now a top White House communications aide, said back then: “When I first saw her, I thought Heather was our demographic, that she could bring in younger people." The New York Post announced her ascension amid the Clinton investigation with the headline, “Gentlemen prefer blond pundits.”

Nauert’s commentary was hardly explosive. She toed the party line, calling on the president to “tell the truth” and defending Kenneth Starr’s probe.

That’s been her approach ever since, as she expanded her role at Fox, including as a presenter for “Fox & Friends.” She has broadcast just about every right-wing talking-point under the sun, as documented extensively by the liberal watchdog group Media Matters.

In 2014, she warned that immigrant children arriving in the United States were bringing “disease.” In 2015, she attacked the Environmental Protection Agency by suggesting that a grant to college students working on a device allowing hotels to track water usage by guests was a “Big Brother move.”

“Well, forget about taking a long, hot shower on vacation, and if you think you’re doing it in private, well, you might want to think again," she said.

Nauert has referred to immigrants in the United States without status seeking to obtain an education as “illegals.” She has spread conspiracies about the 2012 Benghazi attacks. In 2013, she said that a swimming group for Muslim girls at a YMCA in St. Paul, Minn., was evidence that “sharia law is now changing everything." She pledged, “We’ll keep watching this story for you.”

Even as a loyal aide, Nauert hasn’t always stayed on message. A year ago, she issued a lengthy statement recognizing “International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.”

In a notable contrast to the president’s denigration of journalists as “THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE,” as he wrote on Thursday night, the State Department spokeswoman celebrated the work of journalists. “They shine a light on abuses and corruption, expose threats posed by transnational criminal organizations, and counter disinformation and propaganda that spread false narratives,” she wrote.

 

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Howl

This is scary.  UN Ambassador is an incredibly important diplomatic post.  When you have someone who is weak and inexperienced, not only can they make embarrassing mistakes, they can make epic mistakes that cost people their lives.  It also makes the UN Ambassador easily led by someone like, oh, I don't know, ex-UN Ambassador and hair-on-fire asshole John Bolton. 

And, for a totally unrelated topic, but this is the Executive section.  I noted over on the Trump thread that CNN claims that John Kelly really is on his way out.  In the last few days, Trump and Kelly are supposedly not on speaking terms.  If Kelly goes, Kirsjen Nielson will be without a protector in the West Wing.  However, she's been disgustingly eager to please Trump on immigration (troops to the border!) and hang on to her job, so who knows. 

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AmazonGrace

Well at least it wasn't the Ku Klux Klan. 

 

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AmazonGrace

They're like Bond villains. When is the puppy eating gonna start? 

 

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Aggravated
GreyhoundFan

"Mike Pompeo swaggers his way to failure"

Spoiler

Mike Pompeo was supposed to rescue the State Department from its disastrous start in the Trump presidency. When he first turned up at Foggy Bottom on May 1, he promised to staff up a badly depleted bureaucracy, listen to its views and reinvigorate U.S. diplomacy after a year of dysfunction. State, he said, would get “back our swagger.”

Now, after a month that has seen the secretary offer smiles and excuses to Saudi Arabia’s murderous Mohammed bin Salman, trash Congress for “caterwauling” and inspire a rare revolt by Senate Republicans, it’s time to offer a verdict: Pompeo has managed to worsen the State Department’s already abysmal standing with every significant constituency. Legislators, major allies, the media, career staff, even North Korea are alienated. The only satisfied customer may be President Trump — and even he has grounds for grievance.

“Swagger” diplomacy sounds like a contradiction in terms, but Pompeo has made it his motto. He launched his Instagram account in September by rebranding State as “the department of Swagger.” An op-ed he wrote for the Wall Street Journal last month was laced with it, contemptuously dismissing congressional and media outrage over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. So was a speech he delivered last week in Brussels, in which he trashed the United Nations, the European Union, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the International Criminal Court, the Organization of American States, and, perhaps for good measure, the African Union.

The results? The Senate voted 63-to-37 to halt all U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s calamitous intervention in Yemen, with 14 Republicans joining all 49 Democrats. The head of the IMF coolly observed that Pompeo didn’t know what he was talking about. And the European Union went ahead with plans to substitute euros for dollars in energy transactions, making it easier for the bloc to circumvent new U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Iran is one of several policy cul-de-sacs into which Pompeo has swaggered. Days after he took office, the administration announced that it was scrapping the nuclear deal struck with Tehran by the Obama administration, the European Union, Russia and China. Trump proclaimed that he was “ready, willing, and able” to negotiate a new deal, and probably he meant it; after all, he has pivoted from confrontation to negotiation with North Korea and China.

Then Pompeo undercut him. Two weeks later, in his first major speech, the new secretary laid down a formidable gantlet of 12 conditions for Iran to meet, covering not just its nuclear program but also its support for militias in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, and its domestic repression. These were not grounds for negotiation but a barely disguised call for regime change. If Trump actually wanted to bargain with the mullahs, he would have to repudiate Pompeo’s list; if Iran responds to the ultimatums by resuming nuclear activity, the only alternative may be war.

Something similar may have happened with North Korea, where Pompeo was assigned to follow up Trump’s June summit with Kim Jong Un. The secretary’s first visit to Pyongyang was a disaster: The regime condemned his “unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization,” and talks lapsed for months. A second visit in October yielded agreement only on the idea of another Trump-Kim summit. Evidently the North Korean ruler has decided he can’t do business with Pompeo. Maybe that’s because the secretary is refusing to give in to Kim’s unreasonable demands for sanctions relief and a peace declaration. But perhaps the dictator is also put off by the #swagger.

It’s doubtful the battered career professionals at State — or what remains of them — were surprised by these misadventures. Pompeo’s hard-line positions on Iran and North Korea were well-known when Trump nominated him. But the rank and file had hoped that Pompeo would at least improve on Rex Tillerson’s strange and self-defeating insistence on refusing to fill scores of empty positions and his reliance on a small coterie of aides.

Nope. Seven months after Pompeo’s arrival, nearly half of key posts at State remain empty, according to the Partnership for Public Service. Pompeo has yet to fill the jobs of a chief financial officer and four of six undersecretaries, as well as ambassadors to Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and Turkey, among others. An ambassador to Saudi Arabia was nominated in the middle of the controversy over the Khashoggi murder, handing the regime a gratuitous favor. Other key assignments have been turned over to special envoys with GOP connections recruited from outside the building.

Pompeo greets most questions about his performance with a tight smirk and a few dismissive words. It’s a manner that appears calculated to offend. It has won him few friends or allies in Congress or anywhere else. But then, he is performing for an audience of one: a president who loves #swagger.

 

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Howl

Just read that op-ed.  This is the line that most caught my attention: 

Quote

And the European Union went ahead with plans to substitute euros for dollars in energy transactions, making it easier for the bloc to circumvent new U.S. sanctions on Iran.

This could have serious repercussions down the line.  Also, I've been reading a bit here and there about Yemen, the US and chicken hawks who really, REALLY want to start a war with Iran. 

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AmazonGrace

I move that from now on he will be called Secretary of State Mike Pompeous.

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AmazonGrace

The criminal justice reform will include a presentation on the advantages of drunk driving

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onekidanddone
14 minutes ago, Audrey2 said:

Yahoo breaking news is reporting that Ryan Zinke has been fired as Secretary of the Interior.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/ryan-zinke-interior-department-secretary-142800511.html

I was about to post the very same thing.  I love the stench of corruption in the morning.

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Howl
15 minutes ago, onekidanddone said:

I was about to post the very same thing.  I love the stench of corruption in the morning.

Love this, @onekidanddone

Zinke, right out of central casting:  handsome, tall, square jawed, blue eyed, horse ridin' silver fox, Montana livin' Navy SEAL exposed for the complete corrupt dick he is.

*rhetorical question!* Who knew the swamp would be drained through corruption, indictments and forced resignations -- then replacement nominees selected from the slime creatures exposed at the bottom?

Which leads to my next concern and it's not a small one:  An uncontroversial head of Interior ten times worse than Zinke, who continues doing irreversible damage under the radar, just like at the post-Prewitt EPA. 

Edited by Howl

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Nervous
Audrey2
10 minutes ago, Howl said:

Which leads to my next concern and it's not a small one:  An uncontroversial head of Interior ten times worse than Zinke, who continues doing irreversible damage under the radar, just like at the post-Prewitt EPA. 

That is my concern, too. I'm terrified who Trump will choose next. I know I've been very open about my love for parks, camping, hiking, and Teddy Roosevelt.

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AmazonGrace

Anyone Trump nominates will be a disaster 

 

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Howl

Anybody from Utah, Idaho or Nevada is going to be rocking shades of the Sagebrush Rebellion/Tea Party  -- you can count on it. 

But let's visit other ongoing drama in the Executive branch.  Mattis (SecDef) and Pompeo (Sec. of State)  hosted their Canadian counterparts (Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Minister of National Defence Harjit Singh Sajjan, a Sikh !)  yesterday and this weekend.

Canada is in the middle of the clusterfuck precipitated by the US's request that Canada extradite China communications giant Huawei's  CFO Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Vancouver earlier this month.   According to Canadian TV,

Quote

"The detention of Meng was not a political decision on Canada’s part, Freeland told reporters.

The U.S. wants Meng extradited to face fraud charges. A Canadian judge released Meng on a $10-million bail Tuesday which included conditions she wear an electronic tracker and is monitored by two surveillance staff.

I hope she hops a jet boat in Vancouver harbor and heads home to China, but being surveilled makes that a difficult option.    The US wants her extradited so she can be charged with Iran sanctions violations.  

China arrested two Canadian citizens in China in response, but the US now says they'll help get those Canadians back to Canada (good luck with that, Pompeo). 

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland warned against using the situation for trade leverage, while Trump had already stepped on his own dick and said that he'd consider using Meng Wanzhou for leverage in China trade talks. 

So, our best and closest ally has been put in a totally suck position internationally due to Trump's idiocy.  I strongly suspect John Bolton is manipulating the levers of power in the background with anything related to Iran. 

 

Edited by Howl

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