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Bush UN ambassador drops horrifying warning about the long-term effects of Trump’s chaos

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A career diplomat who was appointed by President George HW Bush to serve as United Nations ambassador warned that Americans are “no longer a predictable partner” due to President Donald Trump’s increasing self-interest and “fascination” with “dictatorial autocracy.”

“We’re getting out of agreements rather than fashioning them,” ex-UN ambassador Tom Pickering told journalist Ian Bremmer. “We’re no longer trustworthy.”

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The international diplomatic world’s response to the Trump administration is, perhaps, part of “the growing up of the alternative of the liberal progressive order,” Pickering said. “And that alternative is very clearly dictatorial autocracy.”

Referencing Trump, the former diplomat noted that “dictatorial autocracy is the, perhaps, fascination of a small group of leaders who aspire to it.”

Again referencing the current administration, Pickering said that it seems current American leadership is looking at its “own interest instead of your national interest.”

“Is it good to have a disheveled world?” he mused. “Is it good to have increasing competition for power? Is it good to have an America where you can’t turn and say, ‘what’s the United States going to do’?”

After World War II and during the Cold War, America’s allies could predict and rely on its moves — but that stability is “seemingly now all disappearing,” the seasoned diplomat added, noting that allied nations are “having a problem now of ‘once burned twice shy.'”

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“Americans at one time elected somebody who did all these things… that have not helped promote American leadership in the world,” Pickering concluded. “Can we ever trust the US again to stay on track?”

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Will Sondland turn on Trump? Watch live coverage of Day 4 of the Trump impeachment hearings

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On Wednesday the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence will hold its fourth public impeachment hearing looking into allegations that President Donald Trump abused his office by attempting to pressure Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky into announcing an investigation that would benefit the president politically in return for releasing $400 million in much-needed security aid.

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A historian explains why Robert E. Lee wasn’t a hero — he was a traitor

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There’s a fabled moment from the Battle of Fredericksburg, a gruesome Civil War battle that extinguished several thousand lives, when the commander of a rebel army looked down upon the carnage and said, “It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it.” That commander, of course, was Robert Lee.

The moment is the stuff of legend. It captures Lee’s humility (he won the battle), compassion, and thoughtfulness. It casts Lee as a reluctant leader who had no choice but to serve his people, and who might have had second thoughts about doing so given the conflict’s tremendous amount of violence and bloodshed. The quote, however, is misleading. Lee was no hero. He was neither noble nor wise. Lee was a traitor who killed United States soldiers, fought for human enslavement, vastly increased the bloodshed of the Civil War, and made embarrassing tactical mistakes.

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Adam Schiff moves to implicate Pence in the Ukraine scandal as Republicans go off the rails

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In the panoply of contradictory and incoherent defenses of Donald Trump, a favorite of Republicans has been to harp on the claim that witnesses to Trump's extortion scheme against Ukraine were all "second-hand" or "third-hand." This has always been confounding, as the official summary readout of the famous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump clearly conditioning military aid and U.S. support on Zelensky giving a public boost to Trump's conspiracy theories about former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders. The witnesses so far have simply affirmed what the written record demonstrates amply.

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