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  • Trump Administration Breaks Human Rights Tradition in Border Patrol Beating Death Case

    Wednesday, August 16, 2017
    Attorneys said the Trump administration will “lose badly” for failing to respond to a family’s petition regarding Border Patrol agents' killing of their loved one at the border. The family claims human rights abuses over the agents’ extrajudicial killing and an allegedly botched investigation by U.S. officials. The U.S. has remained silent – breaking decades of tradition of cooperating with the human rights agency IACHR, even with regard to abuse of prisoners kept at Guantanamo Bay.   read more
  • Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection: Who Is Christopher Krebs?

    Wednesday, August 16, 2017
    Krebs joined the George W. Bush administration as a policy adviser to Bob Stephan, then the assistant secretary for infrastructure protection. Krebs helped develop and implement DHS’ Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards regulatory program. Krebs left government in 2009 to join Dutko Risk Management, a lobbying firm, as a VP in a new division to focus on consulting with governments and businesses on risk-management issues involving threats and disaster recovery.   read more
  • Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs: Who Is A. Wess Mitchell?

    Tuesday, August 15, 2017
    Mitchell has spent his career since 2004 at CEPA, a foreign policy analysis firm. In 2015, Mitchell and CEPA secured a contract with the Pentagon to produce a study that supported moving NATO troops and “prepositioned equipment” closer to Russia to protect Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. Mitchell believes that Russia, China and Iran want to challenge U.S. power by nibbling away at smaller countries and that the U.S. needs to challenge this strategy.   read more
  • United States Ambassador to Canada: Who Is Kelly Knight Craft?

    Monday, August 14, 2017
    Craft is primarily an activist in GOP politics. After getting assurances from Donald Trump that he would not try to oust Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Craft and husband Joe gave $431,000 to Trump Victory, which supported Trump’s 2016 campaign, the RNC and state Republican parties. They also donated $750,000 to Future45, a pro-Trump PAC that produced attack ads against Hillary Clinton. Joe Craft once gave more than $3 million to Karl Rove’s super PAC.   read more
  • United States Ambassador to Algeria: Who Is John Desrocher?

    Sunday, August 13, 2017
    Desrocher started his State Dept career with stops in Monrovia, Liberia, and Bonn, West Germany, and served in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative working on free trade agreements with Chile and Singapore. He also served as the State Dept desk officer for Iraq. Desrocher was serving as economic officer in the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem in 1999 when he helped get Palestinian customs agents to destroy bootleg 17,000 CDs of American musicians’ work.   read more
  • Acting Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration: Who Is Carolyn Flowers?

    Friday, August 11, 2017
    Flowers joined FTA as a senior advisor in 2015, and was named acting administrator in 2016. After leaving FTA when Donald Trump assumed the presidency, Flowers joined Los Angeles-based engineering firm AECOM as senior VP and head of its transit practice. That move has generated ethics criticism, as AECOM is set to be a major beneficiary of a large ($647 million) grant for a California rail project that Flowers approved two days before resigning and two weeks before she went to work for AECOM.   read more
  • Chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission: Who Is Ann Marie Buerkle?

    Thursday, August 10, 2017
    Appointed in 2013 to a Republican seat on the CPSC, Buerkle has been a consistent pro-industry vote for looser regulation and trusting businesses to enforce their own safety standards. In 2016, she was the only CPSC member to vote against the record $15 million civil penalty imposed on Gree Electric for selling humidifiers they knew were prone to catch fire. And she was the only commissioner to vote against even publishing a proposed rule addressing risks associated with portable generators.   read more
  • Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence: Who Is Joseph D. Kernan?

    Wednesday, August 09, 2017
    President Trump's nomination of Joseph D. Kerman shows that his love affair with military officers shows no sign of abating. A former commander of Navy SEALS demolition teams, Kernan, in 2002, took part in the Battle of Takur Ghar against al-Qaeda forces in Afghanistan, considered the largest battle fought by the U.S. military in more than a decade. In 2009, then-Secretary of Defense Gates made Kernan his senior military assistant, and later deputy commander of the U.S. Southern Command.   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic: Who Is Stephen B. King?

    Tuesday, August 08, 2017
    King, who has no diplomatic experience, is a former FBI agent who, in 1967, investigated civil rights violations in the South. Over the course of his career, he has been a Wisconsin Republican operative who served as state Republican Committee chairman and held a position in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He was later founder of venture capital firm King Capital, a Boy Scouts of America board member, and an RNC delegate bound to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in the 2016 presidential election.   read more
  • Assistant Secretary of Interior for Insular Affairs: Who Is Doug Domenech?

    Monday, August 07, 2017
    President Trump nominated a notorious climate change denier to run federal policy on U.S. island possessions—several of which are threatened by rising seas caused by global warming. In 2015, Domenech joined the oil industry-funded Texas Public Policy Foundation as director of a project that opposes legislative measures to fight global warming. He has called the EPA “an overreaching federal agency unbounded by public opinion or congressional oversight that acts recklessly on secret science.”   read more
  • Director of the National Institute of Justice: Who Is David Muhlhausen?

    Sunday, August 06, 2017
    A research fellow at the right-wing Heritage Foundation, Muhlhausen is pro-death penalty, asserting that it’s a deterrent to crime, even though studies show otherwise. He has opposed the Violence Against Women Act because he believes the money it allocates is not well-used. And he supports voter IDs, claiming they may boost voter turnout, in spite of studies showing that minority voting has dropped in states with strict voter ID laws, benefiting the GOP.   read more
  • Under Secretary for Energy Science: Who Is Paul Dabbar?

    Friday, August 04, 2017
    Dabbar, a Trump campaign donor, has long worked for investment banker J.P. Morgan, handling mergers and acquisitions of power plants and utilities. Former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz was not pleased with Dabbar’s nomination because it will reverse a department reorganization that combined the under secretary of energy and of science into one position that had facilitated innovation by enabling rapid integration "among basic science, applied research, technology demonstration and deployment."   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to Peru: Who Is Krishna Urs?

    Thursday, August 03, 2017
    In 2009, two days after the inauguration of President Obama, Urs, stationed in Bolivia, caused a controversy when he walked out of a speech by Bolivian President Morales, who said: “The U.S. has fomented the regional disintegration of the country, holding secret meetings to promote disturbances against the national government.” Urs was then chargé d’affaires because Morales had already kicked out the U.S. envoy amid accusations the he was involved in a plot to overthrow the Bolivian leader.   read more
  • Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): Who Is Christopher Wray?

    Thursday, August 03, 2017
    On August 1, 2017, the Senate's 92-5 vote to confirm Wray reflected bipartisan confidence in his professed commitment to independence--a concern of lawmakers in the wake of the James Comey firing and Trump’s alleged attempts to influence the Russia investigation. Wray promised that any such attempts under his watch would be dealt with “very sternly,” and that he'd “never allow the FBI’s work to be driven by anything other than the facts, the law and the impartial pursuit of justice. Period.”   read more
  • Not the Director of the Office of Personnel Management: Who Was George Nesterczuk?

    Wednesday, August 02, 2017
    A member of Trump's transition team, Nesterczuk was announced in May as Trump’s nominee to lead OPM. However, on July 31, Nesterczuk withdrew his name from consideration five days after 16 unions representing hundreds of thousands of federal workers sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs citing multiple objections to his nomination.   read more
  • Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration: Who Is Ronald Batory?

    Tuesday, August 01, 2017
    The nation’s top train man will be a retired railroad executive with nearly 50 years’ experience in the industry. Ron Batory, recently retired president of Conrail, had, in his youth, been advised by his father not to “waste a college education on a railroad.” But young Batory rejected that advice and joined DT&I Railroad, where he worked for years before taking top posts at CMW, Southern Pacific and others. In 1997, CSX and Norfolk Southern recruited Batory to become operations VP of Conrail.   read more
  • Not the Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: Who Was James Clinger?

    Monday, July 31, 2017
    President Trump’s dubious claims that he will “drain the swamp” continued when on June 19, 2017, he nominated James H. Clinger to chair the FDIC, which insures bank deposits. A mere three weeks after that announcement, Clinger—on July 12—abruptly withdrew his nomination, citing “family-related obligations.” Although he has a reputation as a hard-working follower, as the new FDIC chairman he was expected to be more sympathetic to bankers than to their customers.   read more
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