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Obama nominates new U.S. ambassador for Iraq

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama nominated a career diplomat as the new US ambassador to Iraq on Monday, after the previous candidate withdrew amid allegations of sexual impropriety.

The White House said it was nominating Robert Stephen Beecroft, who has served at the US embassy in Baghdad since July 2011, first as the deputy chief of mission and since June as the charge d’affaires.

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Earlier he was the US ambassador to Jordan between 2008 and 2011, and has held positions at US embassies in Saudi Arabia and Syria.

Beecroft must still be confirmed in the post by the US Senate, where Democrats have a simple majority but opposition Republicans have enough strength to block the nomination.

In mid-June Obama’s original pick for the job, Brett McGurk, withdrew his candidacy after the revelation of racy emails sent in 2008 between the married diplomat, who was stationed in Baghdad, and reporter Gina Chon.

McGurk is now married to Chon.

At the time, six Republican senators urged Obama to pull McGurk’s name, saying he lacked sufficient managerial experience and that the emails raised questions about his judgment.


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2020 Election

So long, Steve King: 9-term white supremacist GOP congressman from Iowa loses primary

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U.S. Congressman Steve King, a nine-term Republican of Iowa, has just lost his primary to a GOP challenger. It's a huge fall from grace: In 2014 The Des Moines Register labeled the former earth-moving company founder a "presidential kingmaker."

But his racist, white nationalist, white supremacist, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, homophobic, transphobic, biphobic remarks and disturbing ties to far right radical European politicians – including one he endorsed who has ties to a neo-Nazi, finally caught up with him.

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When the president’s son-in-law truly was a great success

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For many Americans, the idea of the president tasking his son-in-law with solving national, even international, crises, seems problematic, if not absurd. But it happened once before and turned out to be the kind of “great success story” our current first family wants us to believe in again. Slightly over a century ago, as the US mobilized for the First World War, the nation faced devastating breakdowns of its financial and transport systems. In response, President Woodrow Wilson leaned heavily on his talented and experienced Treasury Secretary, William McAdoo, who just happened to be his son-in-law. Looking back at this episode tells us a lot about what makes for successful emergency management at the highest levels of government.

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Here are 7 ways Donald Trump is just like Henry Ford — and why that’s not good for American democracy

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On May 21, speaking at the Ford Motor Company’s Rawsonville plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Donald Trump paid his latest homage to Henry Ford, lauding the family’s “good bloodlines” with Ford’s great grandson sitting in the front row.

Ford, like Trump, was obsessed with bloodlines—with the idea that race and genetic origins determined who counted as the “best people.”

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