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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

This Sunday, Kanye Wests highly anticipated service at Joel Osteens Houston megachurch went down just as many expected: as a perfect mix of celebrity narcissism, privilege, and fundamentalist Christian certainty. read more


Monday, November 18, 2019

A CBS News investigation has uncovered a possible pay-for-play scheme involving the Republican National Committee and President Donald Trump's nominee for ambassador to the Bahamas. Emails obtained by CBS News show the nominee, San Diego billionaire Doug Manchester, was asked by the RNC to donate half a million dollars as his confirmation in the Senate hung in the balance, chief investigative correspondent Jim Axelrod reports. read more


While the president's past and present intervention in war crimes cases poses the most serious threat to the military he professes to love and support, there is a litany of actions he has taken that can collectively hurt the military as an institution as well as those who serve in uniform, and their families. Here's a sample of them.


Garry Kasparov: It was foolish to hope that Donald Trump would be cowed into better behavior by the start of impeachment hearings last Wednesday. read more


Saturday, November 16, 2019

President Donald Trump is dishonest about a whole lot of things. But he is rarely as comprehensively dishonest as he has been about his dealings with Ukraine and the impeachment inquiry they have triggered. read more


Comments

Here's a good article on the bi-partisan history of naming donors to ambassadorships:

Donors to the Trump inaugural committee got ambassador nominations. But are they qualified?

"Trump's picks are less qualified than prior presidents'," said a law professor at Marquette who has looked at the qualifications of nearly 2,000 nominees.

www.nbcnews.com

Some points that seem relevant to this thread's discussion:

When President Donald Trump's pick for ambassador to the Bahamas testified before Congress to make the case for his nomination, he incorrectly stated that the island nation was part of the U.S. It is an independent country.

An NBC News review of those who donated to the Trump inauguration found at least 14 major contributors to its inaugural fund who were later nominees to become ambassadors, donating an average of slightly over $350,000 apiece. Though the Trump administration says the business acumen of these nominees qualifies them to represent the U.S. abroad, six of the 14 nominations have languished for months in the Republican-controlled Senate. One nomination has stalled for about two years.

While it is not unusual for a president to offer plum posts to wealthy donors, the Trump administration is nominating a greater number of political appointees to top-level slots, and is seeing a larger share stall in the Senate, according to two diplomatic experts and a senior Senate staffer.

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