Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/11/2014 (2 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

President appears to back-pedaling on pledge to stop capital's back-scratching ways

In spite of pledging in 2008 to shake up Washington's back-scratching ways, U.S. President Barack Obama's awarding of  diplomatic gigs to reward bundlers and contributors is becoming more frequent than ever. In one telling incident last week, Obama's pick for Argentina admitted that he had never visited the country. 

One particularly embarrassing situation involved Obama's nominee to Norway, George Tsunis, had a few cringe-worthy moments during his hearing last month.

One particularly embarrassing situation involved Obama's nominee to Norway, George Tsunis, had a few cringe-worthy moments during his hearing last month.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/11/2014 (2 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Ambassadors, President Barak Obama, bundlers


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A string of gaffes by Obama's recent nominees has thrust the Washington practice of appointing donors to foreign posts back into the spotlight. Obama is using diplomatic gigs to reward bundlers and contributors seemingly more now than ever before.

Tracking ambassadorial appointments, the American Foreign Service Association found that in Obama's second term, more than 53 percent of these appointments were political. Less than half have come from the career Foreign Service pool.

This distinctive hooded sweatshirt can be yours -- by going here!

"Obama is pushing the envelope," Christian Whiton, former State Department adviser in the George W. Bush administration, said.

The only major democracy that still uses diplomatic posts to routinely reward political friends, the United States has historically used less than a third of these appointments politically. Under former President Bill Clinton, 28 percent were political; under former President George W. Bush, that number was 30 percent.

Under President Obama, that number has climbed to 37 percent overall. By the time he leaves office, it could well be higher.

There are concerns that the United States may be sending the wrong message abroad. "Sending donors to be ambassadors -- not that uncommon," Whiton said. "Sending them that have no idea what they're doing or about the regions they're going to, that is new."

In its defense, the administration says it's too early to say based on scattered confirmation hearing performances, what competency these nominees would do in their jobs.

"I would encourage people to give those who have had tougher hearings a chance to go to their countries and see what their tenure will entail," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said last week.

"And the judgment can't be made about how effective they'll be or how appreciated they'll be by the government until we have that happen."

Psaki noted that many esteemed U.S. ambassadors have come from outside the Foreign Service career path, including former Vice President Walter Mondale in Japan, and Sargent Shriver in France.

The chief issue is whether Obama's picks are coming into their jobs with little connection at all to the country they would represent.

One particularly embarrassing situation involved Obama's nominee to Norway, George Tsunis, had a few cringe-worthy moments during his hearing last month.

During the hearing, Tsunis referred to Norway's president, although the country is a constitutional monarchy. He also downplayed the importance of the country's Progress Party but was sternly reminded by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., that the party is part of the center-right coalition government there. "I stand corrected," Tsunis responded.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Ron Paul says he will not pay IRS fine against his non-profit org Watch

Image of Ron Paul suggested his group will fight the IRS if they attempt to enforce a fine against Campaign for Liberty.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty, a nonprofit political group, has been targeted by the IRS. The IRS has demanded to see the group's donor list, a demand the group has refused to meet which has led to a fine. The organization now says it will not pay the fine. LOS ... continue reading


Report says Christianity should be taught Watch

Image of Religions place in public education is a hotly debated issue for Americas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is commonly, though wrongly, accepted knowledge that public school teachers are not allowed to teach the Bible, biblical values, or Christian history in public schools. It is a debate that dominates every part of life, from a single household to the federal ... continue reading


Obama has proposed 442 tax hikes since taking office and you won't believe what he could tax next! Watch

Image of Obama has proposed hundreds of tax increases and more could come within the last two years.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Obama has attempted 442 tax increases during his six years as president so far, and more are likely to come as the administration looks for ways to pay for their proposals. According to Americans for Tax Reform, the numbers suggest why it's important to have ... continue reading


Hey Eric Holder, where are the special prosecutors? Watch

Image of Hey Holder, why won't you answer simple questions?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At several federal judges said last week that in their professional opinion, Attorney General Eric Holder has exceeded his authority by giving federal prosecutors "improper instruction" to reduce drug sentences prior to official approval of new guidelines. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Corruption runs deep - Ranking member of Committee asked to explain 'surreptitious communication' with IRS Watch

Image of Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has suspicious contact with the IRS. He has also resisted efforts to compel Lois Lerner to testify.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The House Oversight and Reform Committee is asking its ranking member, Elijah Cummings (D-MD) why he had surreptitious communication with the IRS over a group that received unlawful IRS scrutiny. The committee says the public deserves a "full and truthful explanation" ... continue reading


Attorney General Eric Holder lashes out Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Attorney General Eric Holder has been under some intense, unflattering scrutiny as of late, stemming from the "Fast and the Furious" debacle. Holder went "off script" during a speech given at the National Action Network. While lauding the organization's effort ... continue reading


House Republicans contemplating jail for Lois Lerner Watch

Image of Lois Lerner could go to jail if she refuses to cooperate with investigators.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Republicans are contemplating the arrest of Lois Lerner for contempt in the event the Attorney General, Eric Holder refuses to act on their findings. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On Wednesday, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to investigate whether or ... continue reading


Attorney General Eric Holder gets 'ghetto' during hearing Watch

Image of Attorney General became angry and slipped into colloquial speech during a hearing with Representatives.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Attorney General Eric Holder might not be in contempt of a Congressional hearing, but he certainly behaved contemptuously in our opinion, when he was questioned as to why his department could provide documents to terrorists and their attorneys but not congress. After ... continue reading


Your government at work: Feds ATTACK lone cattle rancher with army --to protect a tortoise Watch

Image of Cliven Bundy is under siege on his cattle ranch by a small army of federal agents, over a tortoise and unpaid grazing fees.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A shocking paramilitary action in unfolding in the high Nevada desert pitting the Feds against a lone rancher and his cattle herd. It's the stuff of fiction, but it is happening right now and the U.S. government doesn't want anyone to know what they are doing. LAS ... continue reading


SEARCH AND READ - ACLU opens database of leaked NSA documents Watch

Image of Americans have widely condemned NSA spying, but little has changed.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The ACLU has launched its own database of documents leaked by Edward Snowden as well as other disclosures regarding at activities of the NSA. The ACLU says the documents will serve as a primary source for understanding the government's interpretation of its authority ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 61:1-3, 6, 8-9
1 The spirit of Lord Yahweh is on me for Yahweh has ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 89:21-22, 25, 27
21 My hand will always be with him, my arm will make ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:16-21
16 He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, ... Read More

Reading 2, Revelation 1:5-8
5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 17th, 2014 Image

St. Anicetus
April 17: Anicetus was a Syrian from Emesa. He became pope about 155 and ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter