Register a SA Forums Account here!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
  • Post
  • Reply
Jul 19, 2009




Nap Ghost

Cabinet members are very influential but also tend to be somewhat obscure. It can be hard to get much information about them, depending on who they are.

This is not really a thread on whether they're "good" or "bad" per se. This is more like a boring index of information from reputable sources about what kind of people they are and what their past positions suggest about them, as well as what their decisions (moving forward) communicate to us.

Anyone on this list is fair game. Maybe some of the others like Press Secretary or whatever.

Again, not really to "stan" or to rag or to debate. Obviously some articles will cover people more or less favorably.

There is also a Cabinet Appointment Tracker here:

This is also, conceivably, where users can post excerpts of articles for academic purposes.

As of Jan 22, 2021:


An example is, today Lloyd Austin was confirmed. He did not have a Twitter before Dec 2020. Here's a Tweet.

He has like, eight tweets total or something.

Washington Post was originally pretty against him, and then ran some more nuanced articles later. The fact that he was previously a general was contentious. Eventually, he was confirmed 93-2.


Austin faces the task of accelerating and expanding the Defense Department’s involvement in the distribution of coronavirus vaccines. He also must restore alliances that frayed during President Donald Trump’s tenure, make hard choices in the Pentagon budget to compete with a rising Chinese military and deal with questions about possible internal threats.

Austin, 67, is likely to also face the task of fully winding down the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq, a goal that President Biden’s two predecessors campaigned on but failed to achieve.

For Austin to be confirmed, the House and Senate first had to pass a waiver exempting him from a law that requires defense secretaries to be out of uniform for seven years before occupying the top civilian post at the Pentagon. Austin retired in 2016; Congress granted him the waiver Thursday.


He has been described as an "intensely private" man[57] who loathed talking to the news media when he was in Iraq and has a habit of "referring to himself in the third person".[3]

However, the Foreign Policy article is seen as suggestive.


It was in 2010, when General Lloyd Austin was head of U.S. Forces in Iraq, that he got to know then-Vice President Biden. Austin had already become friendly with Biden’s son Beau (they regularly attended Catholic services together in Iraq, where Beau Biden was also deployed, according to the Washington Post), but it was his unflappability in person that most impressed the vice president, according to a senior Pentagon official with contacts in the Biden transition team.

Ten years later, those encounters in Iraq were one factor in president-elect Biden’s decision to select Austin as his secretary of defense. Austin has powerful Biden allies and political supporters, including retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who retains the president-elect’s admiration despite the embarrassing critiques McChrystal’s staff made of Biden back in 2010. (McChrystal did not respond to the author’s invitation to comment on his relationship with Austin.) But most crucially, it’s clear that Biden and Austin share common beliefs, including a healthy skepticism about America’s serial Middle East interventions, a deep-seated belief in the efficacy of diplomacy, and a nearly instinctive commitment to rebuilding U.S. alliances. These are the foreign-policy ideas that helped secure the White House for Biden—but have not always been as popular with the military as with the American public.

Austin’s commitment to these themes is a testimony to the equanimity Biden first noticed in him in Iraq—and which was prominently reflected in a notorious disaster that could have curtailed Austin’s career before it started. On the afternoon of March 23, 1994, an F-16 Fighting Falcon collided with a C-130 Hercules troop transport over Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina. The C-130 was able to land safely, but the F-16 barreled into the parking ramp of Pope’s east-west runway, where two battalions—about 500 soldiers—of the 82nd Airborne Division were lined up on the airfield’s “green ramp” in preparation for a training mission. The resulting carnage was horrific: 23 paratroopers of the two battalions were killed, and more than 80 were injured. Many of the injured suffered life-threatening burns, and one died the following year. The commander of one of the battalions was then-Lt. Col. Stanley McChrystal; the commander of the other was then-Lt. Col. Lloyd Austin.

The “green ramp disaster” was a searing experience for both McChrystal and Austin, who had attended West Point together—McChrystal graduated in 1976, Austin the year before—but had never been particularly close. In the tragedy’s aftermath, both commanders received high marks for reshaping units scarred by the disaster, but Austin’s work stood out, marking him for higher command. Forged by the tragedy, McChrystal and Austin followed dissimilar but parallel tracks to high command—with McChrystal’s meteoric rise resulting in a five-year stint at the head of the Joint Special Operations Command (and a controversial, all-too-public stint as the U.S. commander in Afghanistan), while Austin’s more prosaic arc resulted in steady if unspectacular promotions until he became assistant commander of the 3rd Infantry Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

It was during the 3rd Infantry Division’s assault on Baghdad, in April 2003, that Austin made his reputation. With the division poised outside of Baghdad, Austin greenlit the 2nd Brigade Combat Team’s sprint into Baghdad. “Austin was the brains behind the assault on Baghdad,” a senior military commander told me several years ago. “He was always pushing. Pushing, pushing, pushing. He was one of the finest combat commanders I’ve ever seen.” The assault was a spectacular success, and the high command noticed. In the war’s aftermath, Austin received a now-celebrated Officer Evaluation Report written by then-Lt. Gen. Dan Kelly McNeill, one of the Army’s most respected, if under-the-radar, senior commanders. The McNeill report kicked Austin into the Army’s stratosphere—where he served as command general of U.S. Forces-Iraq, Army vice chief of staff, and then head of U.S. Central Command.

While Austin remained predictably silent about the Obama administration’s 2008 surge of troops into Afghanistan, his doubts about implementing a counterinsurgency strategy (aimed at wresting control of Afghanistan from the hands of the Taliban) was well known among his fellow officers. Austin, his colleagues argue, believed the United States should adopt a more targeted counterterrorism strategy—aimed at disrupting and defeating al Qaeda. Biden, as it turns out, made the same argument to President Barack Obama.

Austin was also a private, though outspoken, critic of how Obama shaped the anti-Islamic State coalition in Iraq, in 2014, when Austin was the head of the U.S. Central Command. Austin stewed when Obama appointed retired Marine Gen. John Allen as the administration’s special envoy to the coalition, preferring that the president appoint a veteran diplomat. Austin complained to aides that Allen’s appointment would lead to confusion about who was leading the anti-Islamic State effort. Austin wasn’t alone in his criticism, which extended to Allen’s former service. “John Allen is a great guy,” retired U.S. Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni told one reporter, “but does it take a retired general to coordinate a coalition? What is Centcom, chopped liver?” Austin was so angered by Allen’s appointment that when Allen requested that Centcom provide him with air transport to the region, Austin’s staff turned him down—which would not have happened without Austin’s approval. Since he now worked for the State Department, Allen was told, he should check with them.

The incidents provide a counternarrative to what has been written about Biden’s “quiet,” “low-key,” and “introverted” secretary of defense-designate. That is all true: Austin is known in military circles as “the silent general,” a description that is often followed by one other description: that his reticence masks a deep competence—an ability to capably manage large organizations, like the Defense Department. “There are very few people I can think of who are more competent than Lloyd Austin,” retired U.S. Army Col. David Johnson, a senior researcher at the Rand Corp., said. “And if there’s one thing we need in a secretary of defense, it’s competence.” Then too, and for those who know him, the now-retired four-star general might be self-effacing in public, but he’s less reticent than is generally portrayed. It’s not that he doesn’t have opinions, it’s that “he just doesn’t like talking to reporters,” as one of his colleagues said. Nor do Austin’s reputed command failures stand up to scrutiny. Austin is criticized for failing to predict the rise of the Islamic State and for failing to anticipate Saudi Arabia’s March 2015 intervention in Yemen. “That’s all bullshit,” a senior retired Army officer who worked with Austin in Iraq told me. “Why blame Austin? No one saw ISIS coming and no one predicted what the Saudis would do. In both cases, this was a J-2 [military intelligence] failure. If you know anything about the military that’s not exactly shocking.”

What’s crucial is what Austin did in the aftermath of these failures, particularly after the Saudi intervention in Yemen. “Lloyd was enraged by the Saudi intervention,” a senior officer who worked with Austin at Centcom said, “because we [the Americans] were quietly supporting the Houthi fight against AQAP [al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] at the time.” Austin was so angered by the Saudi move, this now-retired officer said, that he considered formally requesting that the Obama administration denounce the intervention. “We waved him off of that,” the officer with whom I spoke at the time said. But Austin also predicted the troubles the Saudis would face and made his views known to senior civilians at the Pentagon. “He thought the Saudis would lose in Yemen and that, before it was all over, we would have to bail them out,” this same officer noted. Austin was right on both counts: The Saudis found themselves mired in Yemen and dependent on U.S. intelligence assets in their fight.

As crucially, the Saudi intervention marked the first time that Austin would cross swords with then-Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, who slammed the military for its failure to fully support the Saudi effort. The reason the Saudis didn’t notify Centcom of their plans ahead of time, McCain said, was because “they believe we are siding with Iran.” The rebuke didn’t sit well with senior U.S. officers at Centcom or at the U.S. Special Operations Command, who had been quietly supporting the anti-AQAP effort. And it didn’t sit well with Lloyd Austin. A senior commander who served with Austin said that McCain purposely “blindsided” Austin in order to make the Obama White House look bad. Siding with Iran? McCain, this officer suggested, knew better: “The reason the Saudis didn’t inform us of their plans,” the officer told me at the time, “is because they knew we would have told them exactly what we think—that it was a bad idea.”

Austin sparred publicly with McCain several months after the Saudi intervention when the Arizona senator slammed him for his lack of enthusiasm for a more intensive intervention against the Islamic State in Syria. “Lloyd just sat there and took it,” the senior officer told me last week, “and I have to say, I thought he looked bad. But after the confrontation Austin’s reputation grew. He could have told McCain to stuff it, that he was following the direction of the commander in chief. But he didn’t do it, and that was the right thing to do. He took one for the team.” Austin’s willingness to take one for the team impressed Obama, and it impressed Biden. But it was not only this willingness that impressed the now president-elect. As crucially, Biden was attracted to Austin’s oft-stated belief in “strategic patience,” a phrase that Austin has regularly used in implying his skepticism of those who think the United States should take a harder line on foreign competitors—and particularly on China.

And that, it appears, is the rub.

For while Biden has been criticized for appointing yet another retired general to head up the Pentagon, there’s a growing suspicion that the opposition to Austin isn’t because official Washington is worried his tenure will replicate James Mattis’s notorious military mafia, or that he won’t speak his mind when dealing with a new president, or even that his presence at the top of the U.S. chain of command will wreak havoc on civilian-military relations. The real problem with Lloyd Austin is that he’s not seen as sufficiently willing to take on China, the enemy du jour among a host of Washington policymakers, many of whom would prefer the appointment of someone who reflects their own interventionist credentials, like Michèle Flournoy. Indeed, the roster of anti-Austin and pro-Austin voices largely fall neatly into two categories: those who repeat the China-is-a-threat mantra and those who don’t.

For Washington’s China-is-a-threat crowd, the appointment of Lloyd Austin looms as a counterpoint to their foreign-policy agenda: one of larger defense budgets, less reliance on diplomacy, and a greater willingness to use force—all reasons why Biden appointed Austin in the first place.

It's been strongly suggested that he was chosen in part because he does not try to sway public opinion by going in front of the press like Petraeus did. Biden himself has a complicated relationship with the press.

Pick fucked around with this message at 06:29 on Jan 23, 2021


Jul 19, 2009




Nap Ghost

Pete Buttegieg is being put forth for Department of Transportation. He would be the first openly LGBT+ member of a presidential Cabinet if confirmed. Here are some of his hearings:


Janet Yellen is seen as essentially a shoo-in.


President-elect Joe Biden has picked former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to be his Treasury secretary, according to people familiar with the decision, in a historic move intended to satisfy competing factions within the Democratic Party.

Yellen, a widely respected labor economist, would blaze a new trail as the first woman to head the Treasury Department seven years after becoming the first to helm the Fed. If confirmed, she would wield immense clout in shaping policy on taxes, financial regulation and the economy, and have a preeminent role in the international arena.

“Congratulations to Janet Yellen,” said Sheila Bair, who led the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. during the 2008 financial crisis. “After breaking the glass ceiling at the Fed, she will now become the first woman to lead the US Treasury Department. Outstanding, unifying choice by the President-elect.”

Yellen would lead the administration’s response to an extraordinary economic collapse sparked by a pandemic that forced businesses across the nation to shutter and left tens of millions of Americans unemployed and seeking relief. The coronavirus has resurged in recent weeks, touching every corner of the country and threatening to cut off an economic recovery just as it was barely getting under way.

Democrats and Republicans have been locked in a stalemate for months in negotiations over a new economic relief package, and Yellen would likely play a big part in those negotiations on behalf of the Biden administration, pushing for a massive stimulus program that Republicans have been resisting.

Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Finance Committee, praised Yellen and said a confirmation hearing should take place even before Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20, noting that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s hearing was held before President Donald Trump was sworn in.

“When millions of workers are unemployed through no fault of their own and sectors of the economy are struggling mightily, there is no excuse for delay,” Wyden said.

Wyden is an Oregon senator from the progressive wing.



Pick fucked around with this message at 05:49 on Jan 23, 2021

Jul 19, 2009




Nap Ghost

Katherine Tai would be trade rep. She's well-regarded from the Ways and Means Committee.


Biden Trade Policy to Center on Workers, USTR Nominee Says

WASHINGTON—President-elect Joe Biden’s trade policy will focus on helping American workers by ensuring trade agreements protect and enhance U.S. jobs—and not just ensure low prices of imported goods for consumers, his nominee for the top trade-policy job said Tuesday.

Katherine Tai, in her first speech since Mr. Biden nominated her for U.S. Trade Representative, said the new administration’s policy priorities also include confronting China over its trade practices and enforcing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement signed by President Trump last year with bipartisan support.

“The president-elect’s vision is to implement a worker-centered trade policy,” Ms. Tai said in a video-streamed speech to the National Foreign Trade Council, a business-advocacy group. “What it means in practice is that U.S. trade policy must benefit regular Americans, communities and workers. And that starts with recognizing that people are not just consumers. They are also workers and wage earners.”

The emphasis on protecting U.S. jobs was a guiding principle of the Trump administration’s trade policy, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal published Monday, in which he credited Ms. Tai for helping win Democratic support for the USMCA, which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Ms. Tai has spent much of her career in the government, first as a lawyer for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, then as a congressional staff member. Most recently, she was chief trade counsel for the House Ways and Means Committee.


Katherine Tai, with her Asian appearance and family name, is being watched intently and with curiosity in China after Joe Biden nominated the 47-year-old trade lawyer to be his cabinet’s principal trade advisor and negotiator.

As the incoming US Trade Representative, Tai will be on the front line of managing and potentially recalibrating US trade relations with China in the wake of outgoing President Donald Trump’s trade and tech wars launched against Beijing.

Tai’s modest family roots, migration to the US, graduation from top-flight universities and ascent through the Democratic Party ranks is a tell-tale American Dream story.

After cutting her teeth at law firms in Washington, DC, the Yale and Harvard-trained Tai worked under Susan Schwab, then trade chief in the George W Bush Administration in 2007.

She was promoted to the trade office’s deputy general counsel specializing in China trade enforcement policies in the initial years of the Barack Obama administration. Before Biden’s nomination, Tai was the Democratic Party’s chief trade counsel on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, a position she has held since 2014.

Upon her nomination, the committee’s chair Richard Neal praised Tai for her “exemplary tenure” as chief trade counsel for Ways and Means Democrats, hailing her role in completing the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement by securing bipartisan support for its passage.

“Elected officials across the political spectrum, labor leaders and the business community all trust Katherine, and for good reason. Her exceptional experience and expertise are rivaled only by her understated grit and sterling character,” said Neal, adding that she was absolutely the best choice for this critical position.

“As the US seeks to repair strained relationships with our partners around the world and address increasingly perilous challenges from China, Katherine will be an honorable and effective representative for this nation, our people, and our interests.”

Katherine Tai speaks after Biden announced her nomination during a fresh round of nominations and appointments at a news conference at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., December 11, 2020. Image: Handout
Still, Biden’s pick of an American-Chinese to preside over trade policy, a major source of Washington-Beijing acrimony for years, has some Chinese netizens wondering if the appointment signals conciliation from the new US president at a time hopes are high for a reset in relations.

Discussion about Tai’s family background and the languages she speaks are buzzing in China. Born to a Taiwanese immigrant family in Connecticut, Tai’s mother tongues are Mandarin and Shanghainese, as her parents were said to have lived in Shanghai before moving to Taiwan during the Chinese Civil War and then further afield to the US.

Between 1996 and 1998, Tai reportedly paid a homecoming trip to Shanghai and then spent two years in Guangzhou, helping freshmen and sophomores at the city’s Sun Yat-sen University brush up on their English on a Yale University exchange program.

While netizens are hopeful of a thaw, top policymakers in Beijing are believed to be less sanguine given Tai’s avowed commitment to ameliorate America’s worsening trade imbalance with China.

The deficit hit a record-high of more than US$181 billion in the first nine months of 2020, when the Trump administration’s tariffs failed to dampen the need for Chinese goods as Covid-19 snarled production and logistics in other manufacturing countries.

Comparisons are already being made between Tai and Gary Locke, US ambassador to China between 2011 and 2014 and a former commerce secretary and governor of Washington.

Despite his record as the only Chinese-American to have served as a US state governor and top US envoy to China, Locke’s rising popularity among the Chinese masses once worried Beijing and his tenure in the country saw fresh disputes on human rights and the exile of a high-profile Chinese dissident, Chen Guangcheng.

State papers like the Global Times have warned that Tai is likely poised to carve out her own tough-on-China policy when leading trade talks and brokering any new deals.

“Don’t be fooled by their Chinese names and faces, and don’t get carried away by the US propaganda about their ‘inspiring’ life stories. They are all American politicians and just like their Caucasian colleagues, they see China as their arch-rival,” warned the Global Times.

Liu Chenyu, an assistant professor with the Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, said, “Tai is somehow thrust into her new position to lead more high-stakes talks with China as Biden weighs what to do with Trump’s legacy of a trade war and many tariffs.

“The new administration will have to navigate through seemingly conflicting needs to bring down deficits but also foster more trade with China to drive the US economy.”

Liu said the final say on any decision would rest with Biden as trade would just be part of his broader China policy. He said it would be naive to think Tai’s Chinese background would make her more receptive to Beijing’s demands.

In this photo taken on in September 2019, containers from China and other Asian countries are unloaded at Los Angeles. Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP
Tai has been involved in the cut and thrust of American trade policy towards China since the Obama presidency. Then, her job was to give advice on US responses to trade complaints lodged by China at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

She once suggested to the US Congress’ Ways and Means Committee that more subsidies and economic incentives could help the US shed its dependence on Chinese goods.

“When American manufacturers see steady demand and are given more assurances by the government, they would shift production back home,” said Tai during a congressional hearing on trade. She said the US and its allies should explore more options to source protective gear against the coronavirus from among themselves.

Tai’s new position, meanwhile, has kindled hope among some observers in Taiwan that her family ties to the island may facilitate and expedite preliminary discussions for a free trade pact between Taiwan and the US.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has already congratulated Tai on her still-pending appointment and said the island’s top representative in Washington, having attended Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, would seek to meet Tai to discuss ways to cement trade ties.

Jul 19, 2009




Nap Ghost

Marty Walsh was the AFL-CIO pick for Department of Labor.

He is the current mayor of Boston.

He is considered an aggressively pro-union selection, and his Cabinet announcement was not made until the results of the Georgia senate outcome were known.


Avril Haines fact-seeking confirmation video:


Please help me beef up this thread with credible information, either in favor of, against, or neutral towards Cabinet selections.

Pick fucked around with this message at 06:59 on Jan 23, 2021

The Oldest Man
Jul 28, 2003

The poo poo Avril Haines has done that should land her in the dock for crimes against humanity could fill a book.

Let's start with this. She didn't just co-author the Obama-era drone assassination policy, she personally made the call to put people on the kill list, including at least one American citizen who was then assassinated via a missile strike without ever facing charges.


We know that Avril Haines, at the NSC, was in charge of determining whether it was legal or illegal to place people on John Brennan’s kill list. We know that in almost all cases that she said it was legal to put these names on the kill list, and people were subsequently killed by drone, including American citizens, like Anwar al-Awlaki and his son. They were American citizens who had never been charged with a crime. They had never faced their accusers in a court of law. There was no due process for them. She’s never had to answer for that.

Newsweek had some reporting at the time that on a few occasions, she personally provided the legal justification for drone strikes in the middle of the night against people who weren't already on the pre-approved assassination list: Perhaps the most damning detail is the reporting at the time of how key her personal involvement was in pushing forward the drone killing program as a whole, which illustrates that she was a chief architect of this program and not simply a functionary cog in the machine carrying them out:


At one point, the entire initiative came close to foundering over one disagreement. It concerned the personal involvement of Obama (and potentially future presidents) in targeted-killing decisions. Since the beginning of his administration, Obama had made the extraordinary choice to personally sign off on lethal operations, known as "direct actions," away from conventional battlefields. But over time, the CIA and the military began to chafe at the close White House involvement in their operations. Meanwhile, some of Obama's aides sought to insulate him from the specter of the president having his finger on the trigger, particularly after stories emerged about presidential "kill lists." In one of the drafts of the presidential guidance approved for circulation by the White House, the president was taken out of the decision chain for individual strikes—and kill authority was shifted to the CIA director or secretary of Defense.
The change set off explosions throughout the national-security bureaucracy. The State Department and Justice Department responded furiously, arguing that it was imperative for the president to supervise such sensitive missions. It was an epic interagency fight that went on secretly for weeks. In the end, it fell largely to Haines, the onetime owner of an artsy bookstore, to broker a compromise. She did just that, by patiently listening to both sides, experimenting with different language, and gently prodding the adversaries to find common ground. As the policy stands now, the president decides whether a suspected terrorist can be targeted when the agencies can't agree on a resolution. The president must also approve lethal counterterrorism operations in a new country. Finally, the president periodically will review the government's kill list for high-value targets. Haines was able to get buy-in from all sides and, remarkably, all were able to claim bureaucratic and policy success. "She pulled it back from the abyss," says one source who was deeply involved in the process.

(note that the outcome of this "success" was that she personally became the authorizing authority for many drone killings, including the later killing of American citizens)

In 2015, the Senate was investigating Bush-era torture by the CIA and CIA-supervised allies at black sites around the world. The CIA responded to the investigation by gaining illegal access to Senate computers to see what they were up to. The CIA inspector general recommended disciplinary action against those responsible, but they were overruled by an adhoc "accountability board" led by Avril Haines who was CIA deputy director at the time. She then proceeded to black out 94% of the torture report. (

She also endorsed Gina Haspel, a woman who was site director for a CIA torture prison in Thailand under George W Bush and who personally destroyed video evidence of those and other torture crimes, to become CIA Director under Trump. Some of those videos reportedly contained victims vomiting and screaming for mercy while being tortured by their American captors.

Most recently, she's been working as a consultant with WestExec, the ghouls-for-hire shop co-founded by Anthony Blinken, Biden's Secretary of State-to-be. Those contracts included advising Palantir, which has been selling technology solutions to ICE to facilitate deportation raids, then attempting to sanitize mentions of that relationship from her official biographical details.


“Palantir’s information technology systems have given the Trump administration the ability to carry out mass deportations that have been tearing apart and terrorizing our immigrant communities,” said Yasmine Taeb, senior policy counsel at Demand Progress, a group that marshals support for causes ranging from human rights to transparency.

Haines’s biography on the Brookings site was captured by the Wayback Machine, which archives websites, on May 9. At that time, the page showed the Palantir affiliation. A printout of the Google cache of the page as recorded on June 20 — the same day that Biden’s campaign announced Haines as an adviser — shows the affiliation. By June 25, the Google cache shows the Palantir affiliation has disappeared; it is not clear when between those dates the listing was removed.

Jul 19, 2009




Nap Ghost

You immediately did exactly what was banned in this thread with little siren emojis.

Again, as was repeatedly stated in the OP, this is for linking information and not at all for talking about our personal perspective on these people. That is why the title is also titled fact an article repository with the addendum that this is a thread that is a boring index.

e: Articles that point out why someone sucks are 100% in the purview of the thread, but "Cabinet member sucks" is for USPOL etc. Questions about a Cabinet member's history and why they're viewed x/y/z way is also under the purview of the thread but should focus on direct excerpts from primary resources.

Pick fucked around with this message at 18:37 on Jan 23, 2021

Jul 19, 2009




Nap Ghost

Here's a long Education Week article about Miguel Cardona, the choice for Department of Education.


Miguel Cardona remembers how overwhelmed he felt when he walked into school for the first time as a student.

The son of parents who moved to Meriden, Conn., from Puerto Rico as children, he lived in public housing and didn’t speak English as a young child.

“I remember my first day of kindergarten at John Barry School,” the nominee for U.S. secretary of education said at a virtual farewell celebration with Meriden leaders earlier this month, referring to an elementary school in his home city. “That day, I ended up in the nurse’s office crying, and I had to go home early. I never wanted to go back. Here I am, 40 years later, and I’m having mixed emotions about leaving the place I love.”

Last month, President-elect Joe Biden announced Cardona, now Connecticut’s education commissioner, as his pick to be the nation’s top education official. Less than two years ago, Cardona was an assistant superintendent in his hometown’s 8,000-student district. If confirmed by the Senate, he could be a cabinet member within weeks.

He’s able to lead with an equity agenda without alienating the people who don’t understand it quite yet.
Robert Villanova, professor at the University of Connecticut
It’s a rapid ascent for a man who is known more by his long-time colleagues for solving problems than for standing on soapboxes.

Cardona, 45, is preparing to step into the role after the hot seat has been warmed to white-hot temperatures by former U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who left office Jan. 8 as the most high-profile and divisive education secretary in history. Making things more intense: a presidential transition marred by national turmoil, a deeply divided nation, and an ongoing public health crisis that puts schools front and center.

In selecting Cardona—a former teacher, principal, and district administrator—Biden fulfilled his campaign pledge to appoint a public school educator to the role. His choice was met with enthusiasm from education groups across the ideological spectrum.

But Cardona’s approach to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it should affect official judgments of schools’ performance could quickly erase that friendly reception.

Cardona’s peers paint him as a leader who seeks out every chance to collaborate and to find solutions by looking at the bigger picture. In conversations with those who know him, he comes across as someone who wants consensus, not confrontation. But one person who’s watched his career up close expressed concerns that such an attitude, along with his relatively short tenure leading a state education department, could make him susceptible to pressure in Washington.

His experience as a child who learned English at school and code-switched between the culture of his Puerto Rican community and that of his white peers has helped him build bridges and value relationships in his work, his colleagues also said.

“He’s able to lead with an equity agenda without alienating the people who don’t understand it quite yet,” said Robert Villanova, a former superintendent and education professor at the University of Connecticut, who worked with Cardona when the nominee was still a graduate student. “Some people may be wondering ‘Why him?’ And I think that’s legitimate because he’s an early-career leader. … But he has all of the right inclinations.”

He has deep roots in the community
The Biden transition team did not respond to a request to interview Cardona for this article.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, appointed Cardona to serve as his state’s education leader in August 2019, a tenure that has been dominated by the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

He has spent his life and most of his career in Meriden, a city of about 60,000 people midway between New Haven and Hartford. Cardona and his wife, Marissa, a middle school family liaison, have two children who are students in Meriden schools.

His father, Hector Cardona Sr., was a police officer for many years and famous for his distinctive handlebar mustache and for building relationships between law enforcement and Meriden’s Puerto Rican community.

Cardona Sr., who is honored in the Meriden Hall of Fame, often played traditional Puerto Rican music in a band with his son Hector Cardona Jr., a fellow police officer. Miguel Cardona sometimes accompanied his family on the bongo drums at events like the city’s Puerto Rican festival, where his father served as chairman.

Today, his wife and children also perform music together.

“I joke with Miguel: Your kids, your wife, they have the real music talent. They let you join their band once in a while,” said Mark Benigni, the superintendent of Meriden schools who was Cardona’s colleague for many years.

Overcoming his early anxieties and the awareness that he was different from many of his peers, Cardona eventually became a first-generation college graduate and developed the confidence and people skills that helped him feel comfortable in places “from the barrio to the boardroom,” he told his Meriden colleagues at the farewell celebration.

After completing his bachelor’s degree at Central Connecticut State University in 1997, Cardona took a job teaching 4th grade in Meriden, where it’s not uncommon for alumni to return as teachers. After five years in the classroom, he became the state’s youngest principal, leading Hanover Elementary School at age 28.

In 2001, Cardona told the Associated Press his office shelves were lined with books about different cultures, including one: Growing Up Bilingual.

As a principal, he oversaw a bilingual education program in his school. When he earned his doctorate from the University of Connecticut in 2012, his research focused on addressing “achievement disparities” between English-language learners and their peers.

His dissertation defense was so powerful that it brought some people to tears.

“He gave a very scholarly presentation but at the end, he talked about his own family and his upbringing in Meriden. He just wanted people to understand how [concerns about English-language learners] became a part of who he was,” said Villanova, the professor.

A mentor of other school leaders
Current Hanover Principal Jennifer Kelley remembers when Cardona hired her as an instructional assistant, a job that essentially made her an assistant principal, in 2012. She had been a teacher for 15 years before that.

Cardona was skilled at creating an inclusive culture, and he helped her sharpen her problem-solving skills by considering the bigger picture, she said.

In her first year, Meriden expanded from half-day to full-day kindergarten, and Hanover took kindergarten students from other schools as part of the shift. It created an unusual situation: There were about 200 5- and 6-year-olds in the building, compared to about 400 students in the older grades.

Kelley recalls being overwhelmed at lunch one day, trying to supervise a whole cafeteria of the school’s youngest students, who were just adjusting to being there. Seeing her frustration, Cardona helped her rearrange the schedule of teacher’s aides to bring in more support.

“He is passionate and caring, and people know that about him. And he’s good at the details.”
Paul Freeman, Superintendent of Guilford, Conn., schools
Meanwhile, Benigni, the Meriden superintendent, recalled being impressed with how Cardona responded calmly but thoroughly to a disconcerting incident in which a student brought bags of marijuana to school in his jacket: “That day was when I said, ‘You know what, I have someone here who’s going to be steady under pressure, and someone who’s going to give clear information to the staff and to the community.’”

But Cardona also excelled at the light-hearted parts of the job. He charmed the young students by dressing as a train conductor on “Polar Express Day” when they all wore pajamas to school.

Along the way, Kelley felt like Cardona was giving her tools to grow in her position.

“He told me I would work harder than any other [instructional assistant] because we are preparing you for the next step,” she said. “You have me as a safety net, but you are going to really learn.”

Paul Freeman, the superintendent in Guilford, Conn., remembers observing Hanover as part of a superintendents’ leadership group when Cardona was principal there. Good principals lead their schools’ logistical and instructional efforts, and they also play a huge role in shaping the climate, Freeman said.

“It was clear that he could be skillful in all of those areas,” he said. “He is passionate and caring, and people know that about him. And he’s good at the details.”

Someone whose ‘integrity is beyond question’
Cardona was tapped to lead several statewide education efforts, including a 2011 task force charged with making recommendations for closing the academic achievement gap between student groups.

The committee was “a broad group of powerful people,” including legislators, university deans, and district administrators, said Freeman, who was a member. It took on some politically tricky topics, making recommendations in a 2014 report that touched on housing policy, hunger, and social services as part of the systemic conditions that stifled some students’ achievement.

Jason Rojas, a state legislator who served on the committee, said he and Cardona had similar childhoods, which gave them personal insights into some of the issues they discussed.

“I remember him being so sincere about the pain he was going through in seeing what was happening in our communities,” Rojas said.

Seven years and several transitions in state leadership after it released its final report, many of the task force’s recommendations have not been put into action. In October, Cardona emailed the group about “putting the band back together,” attaching a new study on housing policy and educational outcomes.

After serving on two state task forces with Cardona, one about teacher evaluations and another on what testing requirements there should be for students, Joe Cirasuolo came away impressed by Cardona’ knowledge and ability to explain “complex truths.”

“I came to respect him. His integrity is beyond question,” said Cirasuolo, a district superintendent for 23 years who used to lead Connecticut’s superintendents association and is now retired.

A record of collaborating with the teachers’ union
Cardona’s experience navigating state-level politics as commissioner might be limited, but that doesn’t mean he’s avoided dealing with common snares in school leadership.

Erin Benham, now a member of the state board of education, first encountered Cardona when she was the leader of the Meriden teachers’ union and visited his school to discuss potential layoffs as a result of budget cuts. Rather than talking about overall positions, Cardona talked about individual teachers, lamenting that any of them may lose their jobs.

“He said ‘Is there anything I can do to keep this person?’” Benham recalled. “He felt as glum about it as we did. You don’t always see that.”

State Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona, right, and Gov. Ned Lamont talk during a 2019 forum on improving public school education.
An Early Honeymoon for Miguel Cardona Could Be Tested by Biden's Push to Reopen Schools
Andrew Ujifusa, December 22, 2020

7 min read
In 2013, Cardona moved into a new role as the district’s performance and evaluation specialist, where he served as a bridge between the labor union and the district’s administration, helping to carry out a new Connecticut requirement for evaluating educators. Such efforts can be highly fraught and fragile.

Benham, Cardona, and other district leaders traveled to observe evaluation systems in other states. They piloted a model in elementary schools, encouraging lower-scoring teachers to observe their higher-performing peers’ teaching to improve their own.

And they refined the system, scaling down the role of student test scores in the overall evaluation, differentiating between teachers of different levels of experience, and encouraging teachers to be concerned with whole-school performance, not just student test scores in their own, narrow subject areas.

Meriden’s work won praise from the American Federation of Teachers as a model of labor-district collaboration.

“We were adamant that this was not a gotcha tool,” Benham said. “This was a tool that would show a teacher an area where they need assistance and who they needed that assistance from.”

That’s consistent, people say, with his overall approach.

“If you’re looking for someone who’s going to kick and scream, or going to pound his fist, that’s not Miguel,” said Benigni, Meriden’s superintendent. Rather, he said, Cardona is “comfortable in his own skin” and knows how to reach a goal without making the process all about his desires. “Don’t think for a minute he doesn’t have strong convictions,” Benigni added.

But not everyone views Cardona’s approach to controversial education issues as encouraging.

Gwen Samuel, the founder and president of the Connecticut Parents Union, said she’s been unable to pin down what Cardona truly thinks about key issues over the years, and that he’s demonstrated a reluctance to stake out clear positions and stand by them.

That’s a sign, in her view, that he “doesn’t do well under pressure.” Although she said she likes Cardona on a personal level, Samuel worries that tentative approach, along with the fact that he’s never been a district superintendent and hasn’t been state education commissioner very long, could lead him to be pulled apart by nasty Beltway fights. She cautioned that “his learning curve could be a learning catastrophe for families.”

“His neutrality concerns me,” said Samuel, whose group has sued the state over access to magnet schools. “Because he’s going to have to take positions on things. I know him personally. He plays it safe.”

The pandemic proved a leadership test
When Cardona was appointed as state commissioner, it surprised some people who hadn’t paid attention to his work in Connecticut education circles, said Freeman, the Guilford superintendent.

His reputation as a bridge builder was quickly tested by the coronavirus pandemic. As schools rapidly closed in the spring of 2020, Cardona asked Freeman to help manage a massive task: using philanthropic dollars to distribute standards-aligned learning materials, wireless hotspots, and 60,000 laptop computers around the state, prioritizing students in high-need districts.

But some of the challenges went beyond numbers and logistics, and tested Cardona’s ability to be thoughtful while also acting swiftly.

When Fran Rabinowitz began discussing with Cardona how Connecticut should respond to the pandemic’s earliest phase, she thought the two of them had agreed to support a statewide plan for schools. But not long afterwards, Rabinowitz, the executive director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, received a call from Cardona that he was having second thoughts, and that he believed local circumstances should ultimately determine local school district decisions, not the state.

She wasn’t pleased at first, but that changed.

“I was certainly bent out of shape. I was like, ‘Really? We worked on that,’” Rabinowitz recalled. But thanks to Cardona’s arguments, she said, “I really came to understand that going with the local context was far better.”

Meanwhile, in March of last year, Greg Florio was worried about feeding students. As schools entered the first stage of the pandemic, one of Florio’s main concerns as the executive director of the Capitol Region Education Council in Connecticut’s Hartford region was ensuring that students in the region who rely on schools for at least two meals a day didn’t go hungry. He said that starting on a Friday, Cardona worked with him over the weekend to address the challenge.

Miguel Cardona, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Education, speaks after being introduced at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020, as Biden, right, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, look on.
Miguel Cardona, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Education, speaks after being introduced at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020, as Biden, right, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, look on.
Carolyn Kaster/AP
“The issue was critically important, and we can’t wait for Monday morning to solve that problem. Kids need to eat on Monday. Working with Miguel and working with his staff, the urgency and the desire to get to a solution was just so evident,” Florio said. “We needed his help to get to an answer, and he did an incredible job, as did his team.”

This school year, Lamont, Connecticut’s governor, has stressed the importance of opening schools for in-person learning, and Cardona has sought to make that happen while still respecting the state’s emphasis on local control.

He made videos, social media posts, and took part in virtual events emphasizing the importance of having students in schools, and he shared information about ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in school buildings. Some teachers have criticized his approach, saying he’s put lives at risk by putting too much emphasis on in-person instruction and not enough on remote learning.

And his push for schools to administer mandatory state exams despite the pandemic won’t sit well with some if he makes that a priority at the Education Department.

A big step onto a national stage
Cardona’s speedy rise from district administrator to state chief to potential cabinet official took some in Connecticut by surprise.

In addition to K-12 education, the federal Education Department has the massive task of overseeing the nation’s student aid system and addressing other difficult issues in higher education, a broad portfolio that would challenge any administrator. Then there are the unprecedented challenges for education stemming from the pandemic he’ll have a role in addressing, as well as other issues that predate COVID-19.

In a speech after Biden announced him, Cardona listed problems in education that have persisted “for far too long,” including students graduating from high school “without any idea of how to meaningfully engage in the workforce,” a lack of respect for the teaching profession, and the use of “Band-aids to address disparities” instead of broad, systemic solutions.

Cardona’s opinions about big issues aside, Samuel, of the Connecticut Parents Union, said she was taken aback by the news that Biden had picked him.

“To be honest, if he doesn’t have a nice team around him, I think he’s going to be in for a challenge,” she said. “I’m just concerned about the experience, or lack thereof. … I think he’s a goldfish in shark-infested [waters].”

Others who’ve worked with Cardona throughout his career are more optimistic. “I don’t just think he’ll calm things down. I think he’ll move things forward. He will be a champion of public schools” without being an “enemy” of school choice, Rabinowitz of the Connecticut superintendents group said.

“I don’t think that he’s just a pragmatic, nuts and bolts guy,” said Freeman, the Guilford superintendent. “He loved supporting those kids and watching them come up as he had come up in that neighborhood. Take that and zoom out, and he will apply that to every child in every classroom across this country.”

Jul 19, 2009




Nap Ghost

Here's another article about Cardona. I think it will be interesting to see an ESL person in charge of an institution that takes such a central role in teaching English as a second language to young persons.


When Miguel Cardona was 5, he started kindergarten in public school. His parents had moved from Puerto Rico to Meriden, Conn., where he was born. His father worked as a city police officer, and his family lived in public housing. They spoke Spanish at home. When Miguel began school, English was something of a mystery. He was, in the term educators use today, an English learner.

Last month, President-elect Biden announced his intention to make Mr. Cardona the Secretary of Education, replacing Betsy DeVos. If confirmed, he could play a role in puncturing the conventional wisdom that has cast English learners as weighed down by shortcomings — as a problem that must be solved quickly.

He would be responsible for a vast and varied system of schools and colleges that has changed in many ways since he first enrolled 40 years ago. Academic standards are tougher, testing is more prevalent, and economic inequality has widened. And there are a large and growing number of students who speak a language other than English at home, just as he once did. As the nation’s first education secretary who was an English learner, he will have the opportunity to apply his considerable experience and expertise in language learning nationwide, as research and experience are pushing more states and districts to teach English learners in both English and their home languages.

When Mr. Cardona was born in 1975, America was near the bottom of a half-century-long decline in immigration. The percentage of foreign-born residents has more than doubled since, and the number of students from households where English is not the dominant language has grown along with it. But it’s a mistake to assume that most English learners are foreign-born. Seventy-one percent are, like Dr. Cardona, born in America. Among young children, the proportion is even higher.

Today, one in 10 K-12 schoolchildren are English learners. Among children 8 or younger, over 30 percent have at least one parent who speaks a language other than English at home. The percentages can vary because language fluency is changeable: Once students achieve mastery, they are English learners no more.

While most English learners come to school speaking Spanish, nearly a quarter do not. Arabic, Chinese and Vietnamese together make up 5 percent of the home languages of English learners. Nearly every language spoken on Earth can be found among the nation’s K-12 students. English learners are also no longer wholly concentrated in border states and cities that have typically received more immigrant newcomers. The states that experienced the biggest percentage increases in English learners from 2004 to 2014 were South Carolina, Maryland, Mississippi, Arkansas and Kentucky.

Conventional thinking once held that the best way to teach English learners was to throw them into the deep end of the language swimming pool and teach them exclusively in English. In 1998, California voters went so far as to ban most bilingual education in public schools. Massachusetts and Arizona soon followed. Many immigrant parents might have internalized the message that they shouldn’t practice their native language at home.

But time and research have revealed a more complicated picture. If you give Spanish-speaking math prodigies an exam in English, you’ll get the wrong idea about their math skills, and therefore teach them the wrong way.

Language learning is about much more than just vocabulary words and syntax rules. Students learn to read and write by learning facts and ideas about the world around them, even as they strengthen skills common to all languages. For many students, a mix of teaching in English and their home language is best. California reversed its bilingual education ban in 2016, and Massachusetts did the same the following year. States including New York, Texas and Illinois require bilingual education.

The pandemic crisis is badly disrupting education for many English learners, who rely on a combination of additional school programs and the benefits of face-to-face interaction with teachers and peers. As education secretary, Mr. Cardona will face an immediate challenge in offsetting those losses while safely reopening public schools nationwide.

In the long run, giving English learners the education they need is an issue of both pedagogy and politics — something he knows well (he wrote his doctoral dissertation on the subject). Local communities, he wrote, needed to focus political will on addressing the inequalities that often plague schools educating many English learners. Teachers need extra hours and training to help a student body that has changed over time.

Mr. Cardona started as a public-school teacher in Meriden; become the state’s youngest school principal; and ultimately ascended to Connecticut commissioner of education.

“As I learned through my experience as the principal of an elementary school,” he wrote, “the more engaged members of the school community are in changing the complacency, the better chances there are for improvement.”

As education secretary, Mr. Cardona could push for federal funding for programs that have lagged behind the growing English learner population, as well as more research on the complex task of training teachers and developing new digital tools devised specifically to help English learners. American public schoolteachers are, on the whole, substantially more likely to be white and monolingual than are public school students. In Seattle, one school district has developed a program to help bilingual teacher’s aides get on a fast track to full teacher certification.

Mr. Cardona’s ascension may also change how people think about English learners. In an interconnected world where goods, information and people cross borders with ease, being multilingual is more an asset than a liability. Notably, wealthy parents pay top dollar to enroll their English-speaking children in private immersion schools that teach Spanish, Mandarin and other languages.

They know that fluency in more than one language can expand a student’s perspective, open up whole libraries of literature and culture, and help form relationships and ideas in new ways. The multilingual advantage can take different forms throughout a life. It may propel one English learner all the way to a Cabinet post.

Pick fucked around with this message at 18:46 on Jan 23, 2021

Jul 19, 2009




Nap Ghost

A general comment on the Biden cabinet:


Two faiths dominate Biden’s Cabinet picks

President Biden’s Cabinet is set to make history in a number of ways.

If all the nominees he has chosen are confirmed, the Cabinet — including the vice president, the heads of 15 executive departments and eight other key positions — will be the most racially and ethnically diverse ever. Among them are six African Americans, four Hispanics, three Asian Americans and one Native American.

Half the nominees are women — the most ever nominated for a presidential Cabinet.

In terms of their religious backgrounds, the Cabinet nominees are also diverse. Like Biden, the majority — at least eight — are Catholic.

But five Jews have also been nominated, two Black Baptists and, if the surgeon general is included (often not), two Hindus. (A handful of Cabinet picks do not appear to identify with any religion.)

One group not represented? White evangelicals, the group most loyal to President Donald Trump.

Trump not only won an overwhelming majority of White evangelical support, both in 2016 and 2020, he also appointed many to his Cabinet, well beyond their demographic representation. (White evangelicals make up 15 percent of the U.S. population.) There was Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, as well as several others, including former secretaries such as Rick Perry, Jeff Sessions and Scott Pruitt.

Biden is a cradle Catholic who attends Mass regularly and often quotes from scripture. But unlike President Barack Obama, who made overtures to White evangelicals — inviting megachurch pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church to deliver his 2008 inaugural invocation, or picking Orlando megachurch pastor Joel Hunter as his spiritual adviser — Biden has not yet extended such invitations to White evangelicals.

And even if he wanted to, he might have a hard time finding an evangelical Cabinet member for one simple reason:

“Most evangelicals tend to lean Republican,” said John Fea, professor of American history at Messiah University.

And while White evangelicals could legitimately critique the omission, Fea said they probably won’t notice because, in their eyes, “an evangelical Democrat is not an evangelical, anyway.”

Of course, the Constitution specifies there should be no religious test for holding office. And Biden was probably more interested in picking nominees who would be broadly representative in terms of ethnicity, race and gender — not religion.

“For picking Cabinets, the two things are qualifications and experience, and then how representative of the country,” said Robert P. Jones, chief executive and founder of PRRI, the public opinion polling group. “It’s very difficult to check off every aspect of what the country looks like.”

One area that would be interesting to watch, Jones said, is whether Biden revives the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, now called the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. That would be a place to look for a more balanced representation of America’s religious landscape.

Josh Dickson: The evangelical behind Joe Biden’s outreach to religious voters

Catholics dominate
If confirmed, the Catholics include: Deb Haaland (secretary of the interior); Xavier Becerra (secretary of health and human services); Tom Vilsack (secretary of agriculture); Gina Raimondo (secretary of commerce); Marty Walsh (secretary of labor); Denis McDonough (secretary of veterans affairs); Jennifer Granholm (secretary of energy); and, sometimes included in lists of Cabinet-level appointments, John F. Kerry (presidential envoy for climate). Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who was confirmed Friday, is also Catholic.

President Biden's nominee for secretary of labor, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, speaks during an event in Wilmington, Del., in January. (Susan Walsh/AP)
Among the most publicly Catholic is Walsh, the Boston mayor, who is fond of saying, “Thy will be done,” if not the entire Lord’s Prayer, before speaking in public. He carries a rosary in his pants pocket and brought a gym bag full of rosaries to be blessed by Pope Francis when he was introduced to the pontiff alongside other U.S. mayors in 2015, Crux reported.

Several Jewish nominees
If confirmed, Jewish nominees include: Antony Blinken (secretary of state); Janet Yellen (secretary of the treasury); Merrick Garland (attorney general); Alejandro Mayorkas (secretary of homeland security); and, sometimes included in Cabinet rank positions, Ron Klain (chief of staff). Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, who was confirmed Wednesday, is also Jewish.

Two of the Jewish nominees are children of Holocaust survivors. Mayorkas’s mother, Anita, was a Romanian Holocaust survivor who fled Europe to Cuba, where she married Mayorkas’s father, who is also Jewish. Blinken’s stepfather, Samuel Pisar, was a Polish Jew who survived four concentration camps and was liberated by the U.S. Army in Bavaria, Germany. Blinken’s paternal grandmother, Vera Blinken, fled communist Hungary as a young girl.

2 Baptists, 1 Episcopalian
Vice President Harris and Marcia Fudge (secretary of housing and urban development nominee) are both Baptists. Pete Buttigieg (secretary of transportation), if confirmed, may be the lone mainline Protestant. As a presidential candidate, he spoke repeatedly of his faith.

A few Hindus
Neera Tanden (nominee for director of the Office of Management and Budget) and Vivek H. Murthy (surgeon general nominee) are Hindus. (The surgeon general requires Senate confirmation but is not typically included in the Cabinet.) Harris is also of Indian American descent and attended Hindu temples as the daughter of an Indian immigrant. She identifies now as a Baptist.

The Cabinet picks do not include any Muslims.

— Religion News Service

Aug 23, 2003


Pick posted:

You immediately did exactly what was banned in this thread with little siren emojis.

Again, as was repeatedly stated in the OP, this is for linking information and not at all for talking about our personal perspective on these people. That is why the title is also titled fact an article repository with the addendum that this is a thread that is a boring index.

e: Articles that point out why someone sucks are 100% in the purview of the thread, but "Cabinet member sucks" is for USPOL etc. Questions about a Cabinet member's history and why they're viewed x/y/z way is also under the purview of the thread but should focus on direct excerpts from primary resources.

Would you like me to get this thread moved to a more appropriate forum such as Ask/Tell?

Jul 19, 2009




Nap Ghost

Helsing posted:

Would you like me to get this thread moved to a more appropriate forum such as Ask/Tell?

This is exactly like the thread about historical presidents which is already in this subforum. A thread of "who are these obscure people" as a compendium is useful, especially since many of these articles with useful information for other threads and discussions are paywalled but can be provided here.

Most people aren't very familiar with people like Cecelia Rouse. This gives us a targeted environment to answer that question.

Posts like this are actually often out of step with the tone and content of their primary threads. This gives them a place to go.

Leon Trotsky 2012 posted:

Former aide for Patty Murray and Bernie Sanders and member of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Institute gets Deputy position at OMB.

Former analyst for the Senate Budget Committee who worked with Bernie Sanders and developed a report on the $8 trillion in uncollected taxes gets advisor to the OMB director appointment.

Pick fucked around with this message at 23:42 on Jan 23, 2021

Aug 23, 2003


You're more than welcome to have a thread about effort driven discussion of the new Biden cabinet, but you don't get to declare that debate and discussion are not allowed in a D&D thread.


Jul 19, 2009




Nap Ghost

If informational threads aren't allowed, I have a better idea.

Don't forget to close the Presidents thread as well.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply