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America’s Not-So-Secret Weapon for Dominating the Middle East

America’s Not-So-Secret Weapon for Dominating the Middle EastIt’s no secret that Donald Trump is one of the most aggressive arms salesmen in history. How do we know? Because he tells us so at every conceivable opportunity. It started with his much exaggerated “$110 billion arms deal” with Saudi Arabia, announced on his first foreign trip as president. It continued with his White House photo op with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in which he brandished a map with a state-by-state rundown of American jobs supposedly tied to arms sales to the kingdom. And it’s never ended. In these years in office, in fact, the president has been a staunch advocate for his good friends at Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and General Dynamics — the main corporate beneficiaries of the U.S.-Saudi arms trade (unlike the thousands of American soldiers the president recently sent into that country’s desert landscapes to defend its oil facilities). All the American arms sales to…


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Why Career Diplomats Are Becoming Campaign Advisers

Why Career Diplomats Are Becoming Campaign AdvisersBattered by haphazard decisions and neglect, the State Department has seen a mass exodus of diplomats during the Trump administration. Now some former diplomats are so worried about what another Trump term would mean—further erosion of alliances, more loss of credibility with friends and foes alike—that they are for the first time taking their services and experience to 2020 candidates, hoping to stop him.But whom to pick?A former diplomat concerned about immediately working to repair relationships with foreign counterparts, and returning to “business as usual” American diplomacy, might favor Joe Biden.Others who think that presidential war powers should be reined in, and that the U.S. should take a harder-line approach toward traditional allies such as Saudi Arabia, might instead choose Elizabeth Warren as their favorite candidate.And if they are hoping to split the difference, diplomats might gravitate toward Pete Buttigieg.Diplomats are donating to, advising,…


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Charles Barkley sorry for ‘inappropriate’ joke about hitting women

Charles Barkley sorry for ‘inappropriate’ joke about hitting womenFormer NBA star apologizes for ‘joke’ made to Axios reporterAnalyst said: ‘I don’t hit women, but if I did, I would hit you’Charles Barkley apologized on Wednesday morning for telling a female reporter, “I don’t hit women, but if I did, I would hit you.”The NBA Hall of Famer directed what he called a “joke” on Tuesday night to Axios election correspondent Alexi McCammond, who was in Atlanta to cover Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate. McCammond said Barkley had initially expressed support for former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, only to claim he was a fan of South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg when a member of Buttigieg’s campaign was within earshot. Continue reading… ….. Read More.THE GUARDIAN – General | World News & EventsWed, November 20, 20197 hours ago


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What’s Driving Apolitical Diplomats to Get Political

What’s Driving Apolitical Diplomats to Get PoliticalBattered by haphazard decisions and neglect, the State Department has seen a mass exodus of diplomats during the Trump administration. Now some former diplomats are so worried about what another Trump term would mean—further erosion of alliances, more loss of credibility with friends and foes alike—that they are for the first time taking their services and experience to 2020 candidates, hoping to stop him.But whom to pick?A former diplomat concerned about immediately working to repair relationships with foreign counterparts, and returning to “business as usual” American diplomacy, might favor Joe Biden.Others who think that presidential war powers should be reined in, and that the U.S. should take a harder-line approach toward traditional allies such as Saudi Arabia, might instead choose Elizabeth Warren as their favorite candidate.And if they are hoping to split the difference, diplomats might gravitate toward Pete Buttigieg.Diplomats are donating to, advising,…


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The Candidate Dividing Iowa Progressives

The Candidate Dividing Iowa ProgressivesPolitically speaking, Marie Herring, a 49-year-old supporter of Elizabeth Warren, and John Thomas Grindle, a 36-year-old Bernie Sanders fan, have a lot in common.Both Iowans want Medicare for All, student-debt cancellation, and a government that taxes the heck out of billionaires. Neither harbors ill will toward the other lefty firebrand in the race. But the two voters feel very differently about one 2020 Democrat: South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.“Definitely, I like him,” Herring told me. “He’s a rising star.”To Grindle, though, Buttigieg is just “another corporate puppet.”For the past several months, the trio of Warren, Sanders, and former Vice President Joe Biden has been leading the polls in the state with the first-in-the-nation caucuses. But over the past few weeks, 37-year-old Buttigieg has been gaining ground: The most recent surveys of Iowa voters have shown the Indiana Democrat at or near the top of the…


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The Atlantic Politics Daily: ‘The Answer Is Yes’

The Atlantic Politics Daily: ‘The Answer Is Yes’It’s Wednesday, November 20. In today’s newsletter: sorting through what Ambassador Gordon Sondland said. Plus, who will punch and who will be punched at tonight’s Democratic debates.*« TODAY IN POLITICS »(ANDREW HARNIK / AP)Ambassador Sondland didn’t disappoint, as a much-anticipated witness for the Democrats.1. “Was there a quid pro quo?” he said in his opening statement. “The answer is yes.” The effort to extract investigations from Ukraine in exchange for helping Trump’s political fortunes was extortion, and the president directed it. Everyone knows. The question is just whether, like Sondland, they are finally willing to admit it. Read my colleague David Graham on the day’s first bombshell.2. “Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret,” Sondland said. “They knew what we were doing, and why.”Throughout his testimony, the ambassador tattle-taled on Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state (and Sondland’s boss), who has…


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