Report: Trump Appoints 14 Inauguration Donors To Ambassadorships

Literally for decades, I have written about the continued and disgraceful use of ambassador positions to reward campaign donors and friends of sittings presidents. While most countries properly confine ambassadors to professional diplomatics and government officials, the United States routinely appoints embarrassing individuals who have no cognitive skills or talents for the positions. Now a  NBC news report  shows that President Donald Trump has followed this poor practice in giving ambassadorships to at least 14 donors to the inaugural fund. It is a pay to play arrangement that is not only legal but steadfastly defended by both parties who effectively sell these positions to the continued irritation of our allies.

Ethical relativists of course shrug and just say that people are naive in objecting to such practices. However, this is in my view an easy test for any administrative committed to good government. Years ago, I was at a dinner with an extremely wealthy Democratic donor was talking about how easy it is to get one of these posts if you give enough money to the President Obama’s campaign and how he passed the position to his wife who is delighted to now be called “Ambassador.”

Go deeper: U.S. ambassadors have become less quali

167 thoughts on “Report: Trump Appoints 14 Inauguration Donors To Ambassadorships”

  1. “Under the Obama administration’s watch, the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies from the BATF to the NLRB were illegally used to target and harass the president’s political enemies. The IRS targeting scandal was the most high-profile of these, but others are just as worrisome. Federal investigations and congressional oversight were obstructed, and investigators were lied to outright — a serious crime. The administration protected the wrongdoers and saw to it that they retired with generous federal pensions rather than serving federal sentences for their crimes.”

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/01/obamas-many-scandals-abuse-government-power-worse-sex-scandals/

    1. The crazy crazies are out in force. Buck up sane people. Memorize these lyrics for the long hard slog ahead:

      [Verse 1]
      Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons
      Packed up and ready to go
      Heard of some grave sites, out by the highway
      A place where nobody knows
      The sound of gunfire, off in the distance
      I’m getting used to it now
      Lived in a brownstone, lived in the ghetto
      I’ve lived all over this town

      [Chorus 1]
      This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco
      This ain’t no fooling around
      No time for dancing, or lovey dovey
      I ain’t got time for that now

      [Verse 2]
      Transmit the message, to the receiver
      Hope for an answer some day
      I got three passports, a couple of visas
      You don’t even know my real name
      High on a hillside, the trucks are loading
      Everything’s ready to roll
      I sleep in the daytime, I work in the nighttime
      I might not ever get home

      [Chorus 2]
      This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco
      This ain’t no fooling around
      This ain’t no Mudd Club, or C.B.G.B
      I ain’t got time for that now

      [Verse 3]
      Heard about Houston? Heard about Detroit?
      Heard about Pittsburgh, P. A.?
      You oughta know not to stand by the window
      Somebody’ll see you up there
      I got some groceries, some peanut butter
      To last a couple of days
      But I ain’t got no speakers, ain’t got no headphones
      Ain’t got no records to play

      [Bridge]
      Why stay in college? Why go to night school?
      Gonna be different this time
      Can’t write a letter, can’t send a postcard
      I ain’t got no time for that now

      [Verse 4]
      Trouble in transit, got through the roadblock
      We blended in with the crowd
      We got computers, we’re tapping phone lines
      I know that that ain’t allowed
      We dress like students, we dress like housewives
      Or in a suit and a tie
      I changed my hairstyle so many times now
      I don’t know what I look like
      You make me shiver and I feel so tender
      We make a pretty good team

      [Fading outro]
      Don’t get exhausted, I’ll do some driving
      You ought to get you some sleep
      Burned all my notebooks, what good are notebooks
      They won’t help me survive
      My chest is aching, burns like a furnace
      The burning keeps me alive

        1. A reminder to all Americans who serve as employees of the United States:

          I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” (5 USC 3331)

          Inigo/Nona/Estovir et al will never fill in the blank on that oath of office with any of his Fake names. And neither will Trump.

  2. TRUMP STAFFING TOP POSTS WITH ‘TEMPS’

    A total of 15 of Trump’s Cabinet-level appointees have left in the first three years of the Trump administration, according to Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. (That includes White House chief of staff and ambassador to the U.N., two positions that are not considered Cabinet-level jobs by every administration.)

    That compares with seven such departures in the first three years of the Obama administration and four for President George W. Bush.

    Trump will be on his third secretary of homeland security in that period, which Tenpas says is “record breaking.”

    She says the high turnover in the Cabinet and among White House staff is “off the charts” and undermines the president’s efforts to fulfill his campaign promises.

    Tenpas says it’s also surprising, given Trump’s business background.

    “In the private sector, corporations are all about how to retain their best people,” she says. “You would think President Trump would have a proclivity” for such stability.

    The reliance on acting officials is especially acute at the Department of Homeland Security, which lacks a permanent deputy secretary, as well as permanent heads of key agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    It also amounts to an end-around of the Senate, which under the U.S. Constitution has a role to advise and consent to the president’s appointments.

    “It’s not only the Senate that’s voting on them. In some very real way, it’s also a public vetting that’s occurring when the Senate is performing this function,” says Stier.

    To have so many people in acting positions, he says, puts off that public review and vetting.

    Edited from: “An Acting Government For The Trump Administration”

    Today’s WASHINGTON POST

    1. RE. ABOVE:

      Trump is on record as saying he prefers ‘Acting’ appointees to confirmed appointees because they’re ‘more flexible’. But as the article points out, ‘Acting’ appointees are like Substitute Teachers; they lack the recognition that comes with confirmation. Consequently they lack the stature and full confidence of the departments they direct.

      Between all these ‘Acting’ appointees and a diplomatic core of moneyed but dubious donors, the entire government is being run on a less professional level.

      1. Too bad the rejection of so called professionals doesn’t meet with the approval of those who are on the hit list for rejection themselves.Constitutional objectivism instead of socialist subjectivism a la FDR to be blunt.

        The problem is dubious democrats and their scientific system of systematic failures.

      1. Michael, since you presumably know ‘good sources’, why don’t you find a ‘good source’ that contradicts this article. See if you can. You won’t.

        1. Keep on ignoring what I wrote about two Hillary crony appointees to ambassadorships here Peter. Political appointments are part of our system and they are no big deal. You guys are always crying wolf over one thing or another.

        2. Bwahahahaha

          Two negatives make a clear example of liberal thuggery thinking

          You lose Trolly Peter Shill

    2. Trump is a businessman. If a person isn’t doing his job correctly in business he is sacked quickly. That is something our bureaucracy needs to learn. Get rid of the dead wood.

    3. Trump hasn’t been in office for a full 3 years yet, so there will be more departures because competent people can only take so much. This piece makes a lot of assumptions, the main one being that Trump has any idea how to run a successful business. The Trump organization has always been privately-held. The Donald has never answered to a Board of Directors. If he had been accountable to a Board of Directors, he would probably have been fired after the first business bankruptcy or the first audit of the books of the Trump casino. Trump’s Daddy used to send minions to the casino to purchase millions of dollars of chips, just to fill the coffers, because the casinos were operating in the red and couldn’t pay their creditors. Of course, the chips were never cashed in. These were essentially secret loans, to keep the money lenders off his back, and to hide the fact that the casinos were losing money. If A & E runs it again, be sure to check out the Trump biography. The Donald made a big splash with opening the casinos, including plenty of celebrity guests, lavish parties, plenty of glitz and glamour, including arrivals in the Trump private helicopter. The entire operation was a failure, floating on borrowed money. Eventually, even Daddy’s loans couldn’t save Trump casinos. Multiple craftsmen were never paid what was owed, and many of these were small, family businesses. There have been multiple Trump business failures. Trump got started in business by a million dollar gift from his father, who continued supporting him well into his mid-forties. Trump can never live up to the image of the successful billionaire entrepreneur he has tried to create. Why do you think he wants to hide his tax returns?

      The piece speaks of the wisdom of retaining “the best people”. Trump would be seriously intimidated by smart and talented people, because he is neither. He is a narcissistic bully. A truly smart leader knows his or her limitations and is wise enough to hire people who have the skill and knowledge to fill in the gaps for the things they lack. Part of such wisdom is admitting your own limitations, but being a narcissist, this would be impossible for Trump. Trump wants to look good, to appear successful, and won’t even listen to briefings. Reportedly Kjersten Nielsen told Trump she couldn’t violate a court order on removing migrant children and holding them indefinitely, so Trump fired her. Trump loves syncophants like Michael Cohen, who push people around and make baseless threats when they criticize him. Why do you think people like General Kelly left? Competent people can only take so much, so expect more instability until he’s finally out of the White House.

    1. How many participants were there, from where were they selected, and what measures were used to be sure that this represented a valid and legitimate representative cross-section of likely U.S. voters?

      No legitimate poll has ever had Trump polling anywhere close to 50%, and this is a new record low for the history of presidential polling, so I doubt the legitimacy of this alleged poll.

  3. Professor Turley, thank you for the revealing cartoon of the Body American Welfare State. It’s a Fat Comrade not a Fat Cat. Communists love wanton extravagance too. Your illustration represents all of the unconstitutional positions and revenue confiscated and consumed by American communists. Understanding that Congress has the power to tax merely for “…general Welfare…,” omitting and, thereby, excluding any power to tax for individual welfare or redistribution of wealth, affirmative action, quotas, welfare, food stamps, rent control, social services, forced busing, minimum wage, utility subsidies, WIC, TANF, HAMP, HARP, Education, Labor, Obamacare, Obamaphones, Social Security, Social Security Disability, Medicare, Medicaid, “Fair Housing,” laws, “Non-Discrimination” laws, etc. are all unconstitutional, anti-American communistic redistribution of wealth and social engineering.

  4. When will a Presidential candidate renounce all political patronage in appointments, and commit to strictly professional, meritocratic selection?

    1. When we have sufficient Constitututionalists to fill the slots and have sufficiently driven out the fsr left extremists from any position or consideration for any postions. Constitutionalism has it’s own center in The Constitution and has no nead for foreign ideologies especially those rejected by the founders.

  5. An ambassadorship is the traditional plum to big donors. This could be a fatal flaw in tense geopolitics.

    We need professionals in these positions, not gadflies. People with real skill and diplomacy who take their jobs seriously, rather than as a long term vacation. It is pay to play.

    There should be job requirements for these important positions. Education and/or work experience that suits one for such a delicate position. The temperament should be calm and unflappable, able to think under pressure and respond to a crisis. Not only soothe ruffled feathers in unreasonable regimes but also firmly speak on our behalf. Sometimes we need an ambassador to spring into action when one of our citizens or legal residents gets into an international incident.

    Perhaps it would be better to have a board oversee the distribution of these positions. There needs to be a meritocracy. We need to get the money out of politics.

  6. Kinda the same old story here again. Trump does what the Demosocialist have been doing for some time and “holy moly”, what a bad man. Boring and tiresome.

  7. Somehow my magnifying glass failed to find the same figures for other administrations. Which left me with the same answer as I used for the Supreme Court and other Judicial Appointees.

    So?

  8. Trump’s US Ambassador to Germany, who is gay, launches global initiative to end criminalization of homosexuality.

    1. Ambassador Grenell is a wonderful guy! I have always enjoyed his interviews. Among his accomplishments, a cancer survivor.
      I wish him all the best during these years representing us in Germany.
      He puts me in mind of another gay ambassador, Chris Stevens, who was left to die in Benghazi by Hillary and Obama.
      One thing I know…..Pres. Trump has Grenell’s back!

      1. Haha. Excellent. MORE BENGHAZI HEARINGS!! You can’t make this stuff up. So sorry for your loss and your condition.

        this is to “12 hearing aren’t enough” cindie

    2. launches global initiative to end criminalization of homosexuality

      Waste of time. Absolutely something with which we shouldn’t mess around.

    3. Democrats have to be very careful what they say and check withwhomever controls the PC talking points. One Democrat got into a lot of trouble sayin “All lives matter” which is true but he had to pay penitence for a statement that should be universal.

      So far this ambassador sounds pretty good.

      1. Allan……Dem presidential candidates Martin O’Malley and now Pete Buttigieg, have had to apologize for stating the obvious that “all
        lives matter”.
        I think the fact that Dems are not allowed to utter those words beggars description!
        This will be their legacy! Shameful!

        1. “All lives matter” Dems hate that
          “kill the new born baby” Dems love that.

          There has to be a more descriptive word than Shameful.

    4. good luck selling that to China, India, Africa, and the Muslim world

      gay is not ok, pretty much everywhere outside “the West”

      funny how liberals are not aware of that. interesting that Trump’s guy is going to push that. but it probably plays well in gay loving decadent Berlin. someone cue “Cabaret”

      1. Rick Grenell is a conservative who happens to be gay. I’m surprised he’s doing this, but I would be shocked if he didn’t have Trump’s blessing. He’s always been a team player…at least with Trump administration.

  9. TRUMP’S AMBASSADOR TO SLOVENIA..

    IS EVANGELICAL CONSPIRACY MONGER

    John Blanchard, a Montgomery, Alabama, real estate magnate, donated $553,500 to Trump’s inauguration fund under the name Joe D. Blanchard. He and his wife, Lynda “Lindy” Blanchard, have given more than $2.6 million to Republicans since 2015.

    In January 2018, the Blanchards collectively donated $250,000 to the Trump Victory Political Action Committee, a joint-fundraising effort by Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee. The couple also wrote four separate checks for $2,700 to Trump’s re-election campaign on the same day, the maximum permitted for individual contributions.

    Five months later, in June 2018, Trump nominated Lynda Blanchard to become ambassador to Slovenia.

    Lynda Blanchard, who founded and ran a charity called the 100X Development Foundation, dedicated to helping children and the poor, was an early Trump supporter who often shared stories on her Facebook wall that praised the future president.

    “May God our Father paint this country Red with the Blood of Jesus!” she posted on Election Day 2016.

    Many articles she shared on her Facebook page in 2016 were from now-defunct sites that peddled false stories about Democratic politicians. She shared a link to an article titled, “The Clinton ‘Body Count’ EXPANDS – 5 Mysterious DEATHS in the Last 6 Weeks,” pushing a baseless decades-old conspiracy theory that alleges Bill and Hillary Clinton murdered former friends and enemies.

    She shared “WATCH: Jaws Drop When Lib CNN Host Betrays Hillary With Shock Message on Live TV,” an article which has since been taken down from the far-right Conservative Tribune, a website known for false news, for failing to meet its “editorial standards.”

    An article from “Conservative Outfitters” carried the headline, “Hillary caught on camera breaking North Carolina election laws?” In the post, Blanchard asked, “Did this really happen????”

    In September, the Foreign Relations Committee approved Blanchard’s nomination. After the session ended in January, all pending nominations were brought back to the president. Trump then resubmitted her nomination and it is pending.

    Blanchard has not responded to requests for comment.

    Edited from: “Trump Inaugural Donors Got Ambassador Nominations”

    NBC NEWS, 4/3/19

    1. “….evangelical conspiracy monger”

      and you’re a paid troll conspiracy monger….

      who lies worse than Bill and Hillary Clinton combined

      🤡

      https://jonathanturley.org/2019/03/29/smollett-and-the-scourge-of-celebrity-justice/

      Good Anon says: March 30, 2019 at 6:45 PM
      Peter Shill: “As I noted yesterday, they could be in the country illegally.”

      They are American citizens you dumb ass.
      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6852889/Questions-mount-Nigerian-bodybuilders-Jussie-Smollet-case.html

      You are a pathetic troll. For all the crying you, Diane, Natacha, et al do about some politicians lying, you lie effortlessly, and like Bill and Hillary, smile about it

      1. Estovir, this fantasy in which you’re a Culture Commando upsetting liberals is a seriously deluded trip. In reality you’re just nerdy, loser reject undermining the blog of a respected law professor.

        Even conservatives here are leery of your participation. Your posts only hijack the flow of discussions. Consequently casual readers, scanning the thread, are hard-pressed to follow any serious debates.

        1. O! Brave Soul. They’ve got you outnumbered eleven to one and yet you stay at your post fully attendant to your duty.

          I Salute Sir Peter. (They truly are losing it. Not a one of them has mention the taboo word–Swamp.)

          1. Diane, have noticed? Estovir just plastered this thread with an endless series of posts; none of which is related to the others. Estovir is going to make these threads totally unreadable to any visitor.

            Perhaps Darren Smith mistakenly believes that Estovir is going to shake-out us liberals. But Estovir is really just burning these threads. It’s getting hard to even follow what the Trunper’s are posting.

            1. Peter, if this were an intelligence test you would have failed. Those comments were all related and not only that but they provided information left out of discussions reminding us of how bad things were before and how petty the complaints of Democrats are.

              1. I suspect ‘Estovir’ used to stuff Peter into lockers when they were in junior high school.

                1. And there you have it in black and white on a computer screen.

                  Triply Absurd never left high school. Triply Absurd never got over high school. Triply Absurd still fantasizes about getting even with them what done Triply Absurd wrong in high school.

                2. Absurd,
                  I’m going to to go back through the threads and find out just what Estovir did to get inside of Peter Hill’s head😵. Estovir, if you’re still reading these comments, good job!

                3. Tabby, I’ve noticed you’ve been less active since Estovir became a factor. And I doubt if you even care about the frivolous crap he posts. It’s just stupid culture war tidbits. Nothing that even relates to news of the day.

                  1. Peter
                    Quick, behind you. It’s Estovir🤪😲! I’ll try to periodically warn Peter when Estovir might be in the area. – Tom

            2. All Things Must Pass, Mr. H. This, too. Keep your shoes and socks on, Sir Pete. It’s going to be a long hard slog ahead.

              Remember: RBG lives! Long Live RBG! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip Hooray.

              For she’s a jolly good fellow. For She’s a jolly good fellow. For She’s a jolly good fellooooow.

              Which nobody can deny.

              1. Amy Coney Barrett will replace RBG soon, and then abortions will be overturned.

                You’ll move to Canada then right? Any day now

                1. I don’t live in a red state. Abortion will always be legal in the blue states. Besides, I haven’t been fertile since 1492. Try to keep up.

                  Oh! I just remembered: RBG will easily outlive the Trump presidency. Learn to live with disappointment.

          2. Maybe someday L4D will learn to count, and give up on the heroic “we’re SO outnumbered” crap. The Noble, Heroic Underdog bit she’s pushing is complete bull****.

            1. 95 pro-Trump comments out of 125 total comments at 6:00 AM this morning April 10th, 2019. That works out to 76% pro-Trump on just this thread. Let’s call that 3 out of 4. That yields 3 to 1 against anti-Trump comments.

              1. L4D rants: “95 pro-Trump comments out of 125 total comments at 6:00 AM this morning April 10th, 2019”

                Dishonest as always

                Tally the word-count of just your posts alone and get back to us with your “math” analysis then. Take the derivative of Peter Shill’s incessant copy/paste from his disreputable (does he have any other?) sources, multiply that by the n factorial of Anon, and throw in the reciprocal to your penultimate figure, while we ignore Fishbreath’s drunken hyperventilating slurs

                Not even by using your claws and paws to arrive at a figure will you be able to minimize the screed quotient of the irreligious left like you on these forums

                Lets call it a day so that you can throw back a shot of whiskey….to grow hair on your chest (nod to the FTM in you)
                🤡

              2. After taking note of the savagery and duplicity of the left many of the prior leftist bloggers have left the scene.

            2. The recent report of the top seven most frequent commenters on Res Ipsa Loquitur could be interpreted as 5 & 1/2 pro-Trump commenters against 1 & 1/2 anti-Trump commenters. That would yield 3 & 2/3 to 1 against anti-Trump commenters. Maybe the Trumpeters have been coasting lately.

    2. Then we have bleached “helmet hair” Calista Gringrich, Newt’s third wife, who had an affair with him while he was married, who is the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican! She is also listed as a choir member for the National Basilica in Washington, D.C.. Catholic hypocrisy.

  10. Oh My God! You mean presidents make appointments from a pool of people who support the president’s agenda? Shocking! Absolutely shocking!!

    1. RSA: OMG! You don’t grasp the gist of this piece, do you? That is, that ambassadorships are handed out as “pay to play”. Ambassadors are selected, not on the grounds of their diplomacy, knowledge of the U.S. and history of its relations with the foreign country, ability to advance the US’s interest, or even the agenda, which in this case, there is no agenda, other than attention and adulation for the fat, orange slob. Our ambassadors should be people who are qualified to work with foreign governments to smooth relationships and competently handle issues that arise, not those who just want the attention and perceived adulation.

  11. Well, let’s see: I would think the qualifications for Pres. should trump the ones for Ambassadors. As we know, to be qualified to be the leader of the free world as Pres. of U.S. you have to be a natural born citizen, 14 yr resident, and at least 35 yrs old.
    It seems to me that the most important qualification for an ambassador is for him/her to want to stand for our national anthem when played at the embassy, or any where! Taking a knee during the anthem should disqualify anyone wanting an ambassadorship.

  12. While most countries properly confine ambassadors to professional diplomats and government officials,

    Why? Academics with expertise might do as well, not to mention businessmen who know the lay of the land. To what extent have recruitment practices in the Foreign Service improved since Burdick and Lederer wrote The Ugly American (btw, the ugly American in the story was the hero – an engineer who produced technical innovations with local materials)? How much has it improved since John Rassias was noting that fewer than 20% of the American employees in the US Embassy in Iran were minimally proficient in Farsi?

    Remember James Hormel? When his appointment was delayed by congressional resistance you got editorial after editorial from outlets like the Sulzberger Birdcage Liner because reasons.

    Because constitutional provisions require it, we have confirmation votes in the Senate for all ambassadors. (Which is silly). If the Senate were sensible, you’d have ad hoc committees chosen by lot evaluating each. Instead, they get bottled up in the Foreign Relations committee, who don’t manage to prevent the scandals. The worst on record was George Bush’s appointment of skeevy lawyer-lobbyist Robert Strauss as ambassador to Russia.

    If they fobbed off unimportant posts on these people (e.g. the local state senator where I grew up, who was appointed ambassador to Fiji, or Hormel, who was given Luxembourg), it wouldn’t be so bad. Were any of Trump’s given consequential countries?

  13. NBC LINK REFERENCED BY TURLEY IS DISTURBING

    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.

    Since the 1950s, roughly two-thirds of confirmed ambassadors have been career foreign service officials and one-third have been political appointees. Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush kept within that range, according to the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), which is comprised of current and former diplomats.

    The Trump administration is different. Of its confirmed appointees, around 50 percent are career foreign service diplomats, and 50 percent are political appointees, according to AFSA.

    There are also 52 vacant ambassadorships out of about 250. Two years into their presidencies, Obama had 11 and Bush had 15. There are also a large number of vacancies in critical countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

    The rate of confirmation is also quite different for Trump nominees. Two years into their presidencies, Presidents Bill Clinton, Bush and Obama had 96, 84 and 89 percent of their nominees confirmed. Trump is currently at 66 percent, according to a senior congressional staffer.

    Why the lag in confirmations? R. Nicholas Burns, a former ambassador under Clinton and Bush and a former undersecretary of state under Bush, points out that the Trump administration was unusually slow to submit nominations.

    Edited from: “Trump Inaugural Donors Go Ambassador Nominations. Are They Qualified?”

    NBC NEWS, 4/3/19

    1. RE. ABOVE:

      The NBC link tells us that our least experienced president is appointing the least experienced ambassadors.

      I’ll be posting more from that link. Readers should know what’s in there.

      1. I’ll give you some Democrat stuff you can check on Peter from your backyard

        Do you know who Angelo Tsakopoulos is? Maybe you live in one of his developments. Six figure a year donor to the California Democratic party year after year for a long time.

        A successful developer and a generous philanthropist to many worthy academic and artistic causes. A great American, in short.

        And his daughter is a fine lady with a career in public service. Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis was appointed to the Ambassadorship to Hungary by Secretary of State Clinton in 2010. And she did a fine job in that office. Was it payback for millions of dollars of donations? Perhaps. But it did not stop her from doing a good job. And I believe she is now the Lieutenant Governor of California. In spite of the fact that she and her people are Democrats and I am a Republican, I have nothing but praise for their service as public servants. Of course, my knowledge is very limited since I don’t live in California.

        Is there any sense in criticizing Obama over this? No. And there are a hundred other examples. This is just one. You can make this your cause if you like but it seems pointless to me. Equally pointless to criticize Trump for exercising one of the political rights he earned by virtue of his victory in the election.

        Now if an appointed ambassador does a bad job, let’s talk about that instead, and hold the POTUS accountable. That’s worth talking about.

      2. We have not had the best of luck with our ambassadors in many occasions. Let’s see how Trump’s picks do. It depends on the nation involved and Trump knows a lot of smart people that are accustomed to many different cultures and countries.

        The Democrats in the Senate are busy holding up Trump appointments. I think at about this time during the Obama administration there were about 12 fillibusters holding up nominations while under Trump I think it is well over 100 (please correct me if I am wrong). Senate Democrats are intent on not doing much in the Senate

  14. 14? Wow, does that count the Russians and Ukrainians too? Wait till they open that can of worms on the cash for the inauguration from foreign governments and individuals.

  15. I think Turley is correct about ambassadors, but my question is do we have people with the necessary skill sets to be ambassadors? I have listened to Charles Hill who has expertise in this area and after reading and listening it sounds like the answer is no.

    1. As recently as 1992, the Foreign Service examination was composed to recruit people with a liberal education, not to recruit people who had any expertise (though some do have expertise). Below the level of Foreign Service Officer you have Foreign Service Specialists, who are supposed to be technicians of various sorts.

      We have a State Department employee in our social circle. She’s a vigorous conversationalist, but I can’t say as I find her intellect intimidating. Don’t think she’s been posted abroad much.

      They have a unit of the State Department called the Foreign Service Institute that’s supposed to offer language training. Not sure how effective it is.

      My wager is that the overwhelming majority of Foriegn Service Officers are cosmopolitans who identify with their foreign peers and despise ordinary Americans.

      Lewis Amselem, who had 30+ years under his belt with the Foreign Service and blogs at Diplomad 2.0 has said not all the hacks were insupportible. (He worked with Maureen Reagan when her father gave her a bauble at the UN. He says she was OK). He also said that the attitude of HRC to America and its people compared favorably to that of a great many senior FSOs.

      1. DSS two things stuck in my mind from Charles Hill. The first is that he felt people should be reading the classics like and in particular Thucydidies. The second thing was that the training was poor and much of the time in training foreign service students was spent having them do the scut work for the ones teaching them instead of the more important stuff needed when on the job. I think Charles Hill was involved in setting up a teaching program for foreign service students at Harvard or Yale.

        1. these arrogant people don’t bother with the classics they are into gender studies and all that jive.

          1. NATO is not The Delian League. The Ukraine is not Melos. Unless the Russian Federation is The Delian League. In which case, The Ukraine might be Melos. Either way, the events that took place 24 centuries ago are not likely to be applicable to what’s happening now. You’re just infatuated with the name, The Classics. And you’ve turned Thucydides into a just another fetish on your charm bracelet.

            1. ” Either way, the events that took place 24 centuries ago are not likely to be applicable to what’s happening now. ”

              That response is due to an over inflated ego and a person who thinks she has nothing left to learn. Diane stopped learning and adopted a faith based religion where she prays facing a picture of Stalin.

              1. The ignoramus, Allan, never heard of The Delian League. The ignoramus, Allan, never heard of Melos. The ignoramus, Allan, has not idea what significance The Delian League and Melos might have with respect to the historian, Thucydides. The ignoramus, Allan, has no idea that Thucydides wrote history 24 centuries ago. The ignoramus, Allan, has no idea where in the world Thucydides lived while writing history 24 centuries ago. The ignoramus, Allan, has heard of the name, Thucydides, from reading the work of one Charles Hill. And that is the one and only thing that ignoramus, Allan, knows about Thucydides.

                1. Diane, It sounds as if you had to look all this up so you could regurgitate it. It doesn’t change what Charles Hill was suggesting. It also doesn’t change your appearance as a very stupid and deranged woman.

      2. Triply Absurd said, “My wager is that the overwhelming majority of Foriegn Service Officers . . . despise ordinary Americans.”

        Yes, yes, of course, Foreign Service is all too obviously Un-American–(by Euclidean definition). Diplomacy, on the other hand, and Statesmanship, too–(Ooooh-La-La Gaga)–that’s where the Feringee finally get there long overdue comeuppance.

        Build that Wall. Finish the Wall. Make the World pay for it.

    2. Besides the people who are rabid Trump fans and campaign contributors, there are not many “qualified diplomats” left who would be willing to go to foreign posts and carry his water. He has nothing “diplomatic” to say to anyone. And he has pissed off or abandoned all of our allies. If you were a seasoned and committed civil servant in the foreign service, would you want to take a Trump appointment? Personally, I’d wait it out for a saner Administration.

      1. there are not many “qualified diplomats” left who would be willing to go to foreign posts and carry his water.

        Really, sister? Do you have data on resignations and retirements in the last 10 years? Do you have the name of a set of Foreign Service Officers who have refused ministerial appointments in the last two years?

        1. You’re perfectly welcome to answer your own questions. But you’re under no obligation to accede to your own demands. After all, Trump doesn’t see why it would’ve been Russia. And Trump doesn’t see why it wouldn’t have been Russia. And, when Putin tells Trump that it wasn’t Russia, Trump really believes him. So who wouldn’t want to work as a diplomat for Trump? It’s not like Trump is so hopelessly fickle and giddy that he’d renege on his own foreign policy decisions or anything. There could easily be hundreds of diplomats willing to play Simon Says for Trump.

      2. Melissa that is your opinion which you can have but I don’t think you have the credentials or proof of what you are saying to make any of it worthwhile.

        Many of our allies have pissed on us and abandoned us. Maybe you like being pissed on and paying for it.

        1. Allan says: April 9, 2019 at 2:42 PM

          I don’t think you have the credentials or proof of what you are saying. Many of our allies have pissed on us and abandoned us.

          The Russian Federation is not our ally. The Russian Federation did piss on us, though. Moreover, the Russian Federation pissed on our allies, big time. Did you know that the Russian Federation pissed on Israel, too? And what credentials or proof do you have that any of our allies have abandoned us? When? And over what issue? The Paris Climate Accord? What are you bleating about?

          1. Diane, though you have a strong affinity for prior Russian despots they are not our ally. The left has not permitted this administration to deal with them and has caused great uncertainaty. All of the garbage promoted by the left has brought our armies closer to theirs when more simple solutions were possible. The dirty tricks of the left have threatened the security of America.

            1. You just said precisely and exactly just nothing. You are a bloviating gas bag. Bluster is your lot in life. Flatulence, your birthright.

              1. Diane, when the ambulance comes to take you to the Sunny Isles Hospital for the Insane make sure you turn your computer off.

      3. the civil admin types are ticket punchers. they may not like trump but they will take a paying job and they move about laterally from agency to post with ease. not much has changed in the middle actually. Leviathan will be ok, don’t worry!

      4. This is the more likely reason the day glo bozo can’t find qualified foreign service professionals. Strong post.

        to melissa

  16. Appointing embarrassing, unprepared people with no congnitive skills is what Trump does! All an appointee need do is promise to do what Trump tells them to do and they are in. It doesn’t matter what the position is. Ambassodor, Supreme Court Justice, Attorney General, it just doesn’t matter. Fealty to Trump is the only qualification.

    1. I thought you were writing with reference to Obama, the only incompetent, ineligible “empty suit” entity ensconced in the Oval Office by the “deep state” to seize power and rule by force, duress and executive order in an extra-constitutional manner since, or prior to, “Crazy Abe” Lincoln. It never mattered what the position was, Attorney General (i.e. contemptible Holder and Clintonized Lynch), Supreme Court Justice (Roberts commingling the definitions of the words “state” and “federal” to uphold unconstitutional “faux tax” ACA), IRS Official (the 5th taking Lois Lerner), White House Staff (Rice, Jarrett et al. unmasking and otherwise conspiring to subvert the duly elected President Trump), etc., fealty to His Eminence, King Obongo, was the only (dis)-qualification.

      What a —-ing joke!

      Obongo will never be competent, outside of communist academia, and Obongo will never be eligible for the office of the president.

      BTW, do you know what a “natural born citizen,” as required by the Constitution for the office of president, is? Well, as the primary driver of that criterion was and remains “allegiance,” a “natural born citizen” is distinctly not the son of a foreign radical extremist, anti-Colonialist (i.e. anti-American) foreign citizen with immutable allegiances to a foreign country.

      Yep. You’re a thinker!

      1. President Barack HUSSEIN Obama was the greatest President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the armed forces since Harry Truman. Moreover, prior to his marriage, he undoubtedly had “access” to the white women.

        this is to “well, they can have the fat ones” georgie – paulie

  17. What need is there for competent ambassadors when we speak mostly through our military and economic might. After all, an ambassador, at this point, is just an echo of policy decided at the top and with so many means of communication available, the role of an ambassador has been reduced to formal messenger or host of a dinner party. Massive media such as CNN can more than turn a nation’s notions of another in minutes, whether for good or ill it would seem.

    It may seem a sorry state of affairs but technology has overtaken what had, in the past, been an essential means of communication between distant nations. It is perilous to think that we can allow a tainted media to be the first to speak for us around the globe but it would appear that the establishment has created this situation and cannot alter it.

    1. Ambassadors basically are there to look good. The mechanics of diplomacy are handled by their FSOs. There are exceptions to the rule, and I would hope the Ambassadors to Moscow, Beijing and the Court of St. James (UK) are chosen to be able to respond intelligently to crises.

      But Alma, you make a good point. Just as the Secretary of State in some administrations (Cyrus Vance under Carter, Colin Powell under Bush 2) is routinely bypassed for truly weighty foreign policy decisions, our Ambassadors don’t have much scope for good or ill. Ambassador Grenell, our man in Berlin, is a notable exception, someone who’s represented the nation ably when relations with Germany have been strained.

      Some of our ambassadors have unenviable postings. The People’s Republic of China called our Chinese-American ambassador to their country during the Obama administration Gary Locke a “brown banana”, which is difficult to take as anything but a nasty racist put-down.

      1. the PRC commies don’t like him because he was from a peasant family who came here from Guangdong, and he was a big success an Eagle Scout and a Yalie and governor. He was married to a Taiwanese hottie who was the grand daughter of the father of the first Chinese Republic, Sun Yat Sen (now divorced)

        So these jealous Chicoms saw him as exactly what they are afraid of, the enterprising quality of their very own Chinese people whom they keep in chains, locked up in the phony worker’s paradise. Gary Locke took in a dissident once named Chen at that was a big flap.

        Gary Locke is a model of a healthy person who appreciates his ancestry and his ethnic groups contribution to civilization, and retains that even though he is an American. He said:

        “I’m proud of my Chinese heritage. I’m proud of the great contributions that China has made to world civilization over thousands of years. But I’m thoroughly American. I’m proud of the great values that America has brought to the entire world and all that America stands for.”

        I am proud of my European heritage, likewise. I feel the same way Gary, thanks for being an inspiration!

        1. Gary Locke was a Hillary Crony. He got a political appointment as an ambassador and did good work with it. Thanks Gary and don’t worry too much about the spoils system folks. It was ever thus.

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