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Clinton Sells Ambassadorships -- Avoids Senate Approval

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Jeff, Sep 5, 2000.

  1. Jeff

    Jeff Clutch Crew

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    The same liberal media that plastered every detail of the Monica Lewinsky scandal on the front page of the paper every day for months.

    No one is safe.

    This story, however, is typical of politicians. They are all the same. Whether it is buying an ambassadorship or taking vacations at the expense of the tobacco or gun lobby. It's all crap.

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    [This message has been edited by Jeff (edited September 05, 2000).]
     
  2. Lynus302

    Lynus302 Contributing Member

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    I was watching Politically Incorrect a couple of weeks ago when ralph Nader was on.

    Bill Maher said something to the effect of how Americans always complain about politics and politicians and how we all want change, and that nothing will change until we as a people make it happen. Then we vote in the same politicians every year.

    That is so true. We as a people settle for crap like this. I'm afraid to vote for Nader for fear that I will only take away a vote for Gore, and then Bush will be get elected.

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  3. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    Jeff -- it should have been on the front pages...just as the Lewinsky stuff was. Certainly you think the Lewinsky stuff warranted media attention?? Certainly it was front page news. This story just posted wasn't even done as a news story, unless I missed it!! It was buried in a freaking editorial!!! That's a joke.

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  4. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    I read somewhere that Reagan's appointments like this are way higher than Clinton's. I'll try to find that.

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  5. Jeff

    Jeff Clutch Crew

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    The difference:

    Sex scandals sell papers. Selling ambassadorships don't. End of story.

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  6. RocketMan Tex

    RocketMan Tex Contributing Member

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    We have a bingo! Wonderful society we live in, eh? [​IMG]

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  7. Achebe

    Achebe Contributing Member

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    I need proof that the media is liberal. I don't need anymore proof that every single one of your posts is biased. You need to read Jeff's thread "Perception or reality".

    If you're up to the challenge, truly read his post. I'm not directing this towards just you MadMax... I think we could all use a collective *pop* from pulling our heads out of our arses.

    There's nothing more ridiculous than walking around w/ the "other side" mentality. The sides differ on issues and sometimes not even that.

    Don't ever be blind enough to think that your side has leasehold rights on morality... because you'll be proven wrong over and over again.

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    [This message has been edited by Achebe (edited September 05, 2000).]
     
  8. Jeff

    Jeff Clutch Crew

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    I guess I just know too many conservative news reporters to think that the media is mostly liberal.

    In addition, I know of a bunch of liberal reporters whose stories are regularly changed by conservative editors who are protecting their own interests as well as their advertisers.

    I can't tell you how many times I've heard of stories being done as a favor to someone who advertises with a paper or supports it in some way or stories killed because it protrays a big interest in a bad light. "The Insider" isn't just a movie, it is a true story and it happens every day in media in America.

    The media, like any other industry, has its share of liberal, conservative and middle of the road writers, editors and publishers. My father, his sister and brother and my wife have all worked in journalism. I have many friends who did or still do. It isn't all what you think.

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  9. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    Achebe -- and your posts aren't biased?? Your posts aren't biased by your own experiences or education?? Of course they're biased...they're my own freaking opinions!!! They're edited only by me!! I did read Jeff's posts. But like it or not, our own perceptions of reality are what lead us to action. Of course we all have perceptions..I'm merely sharing mine. Sorry if that bothers you.

    Your "i'm smarter than all of you" attitude isn't cute. You questioned my career the other day...stop making this so freaking personal! I read recently on one of your other posts that you like to put the opinions of your friends on here to the test by playing devil's advocate. Is this a job you take seriously?? Thanks for taking the authority/teacher role for us all!! I'm sure you'll all make us better men and women..with your careful guidance. What a joke!

    It's a freaking argument over the issues..nothing more! I don't think my side has the stronghold on morality..but that doesn't mean I can't comment on my perception of a lack of morality from this current administration. Ask me what I think about Nixon and I'll slam his ass too! You need to stop walking around thinking you're some intellectual elite who has a stronghold on all the right answers. "Because you'll be proven wrong over and over again." Just because you don't like my opinions doesn't mean that I'm wrong...watch your own freaking perceptions.

    Past that...Jeff..while I agree that not all reporters are liberal, I think it's interesting that Clinton got a pass on this one. If what I read in this article is true, I'd like to know why it wasn't even reported. I'm not talking about front page..I'm talking about being featured as a news story anywhere in the paper!! This was merely an editorial...I'm drawing a sharp distinction between editorials and news stories. What I see from the mainstream media is frightening to me. I know you're wise enough to know that's merely my perception...but there it is, nonetheless.

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    [This message has been edited by MadMax (edited September 05, 2000).]
     
  10. dc sports

    dc sports Member

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    It seems to be a media trend not so much to be libereal, but to strive for flash.

    A candidate gets caught saying a naughty word -- and that's cool. Broadcast it around the world.

    Clinton appoints diplomats to Norway, Barbados, and Slovakia. Yawn. Donors getting rewarded. Yawn. Recess appointments -- what's that, don't care. yawn.

    But you have to wonder why it took a month for someone to catch on that hey, Clinton broke one of the checks and balances in Washington -- used a loophole to avoid Senate confirmations.

    A side note -- I wonder what the governments of these countries thought? "Hey, the US thought so highly of us that they sent us a highly qualified diplomat..." Look at their qualifications:

    Slovakia gets -- A former columnist who's current occupation is -- art patron. But he does throw a good lunch.

    Barbados gets -- A chiropractor school dropout who runs a nursing home empire -- but he does have extensive experience promoting tourism in Boston.

    And Norway Gets -- A New York Socialite and birth control activist.


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  11. dc sports

    dc sports Member

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    This is so pathetic -- I can't believe this wasn't a bigger story.

    Clinton wants to appoint three huge campaign contributors to ambassadorships -- people with no experience. He knows the Senate will never approve, so he waits until they are in recess and appoints them under a loophole.

    It looks like an ambassadorship will cost you about $300K. I guess they really believe in campaign finance reform.

    http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/editorial/649188


    Sept. 4, 2000, 6:10PM
    Clinton 'recess appointments' a new low
    By ROBERT D. NOVAK


    On Aug. 3, with Congress on summer break, President Clinton quietly unveiled his latest "recess appointments" not subject to Senate confirmation. They included Bill Lann Lee, continuing his unconfirmed tenure running the Justice Department's civil rights division. Still more audaciously, three Democratic activists and donors were given diplomatic posts for this administration's last six months.

    No previous president approached Bill Clinton's contempt toward the constitutional requirement that the Senate "advise and consent" to high officials -- including diplomats. Now he has shattered precedents by creating three unconfirmed ambassadors whose common trait and salient qualification is loyalty to the Democratic Party.

    Since 1997, this trio has contributed or raised nearly $900,000 for Democrats. That includes $343,000 to fuel Al Gore's presidential campaign with unrestricted "soft money" (which Gore has pledged to eliminate as president) and $24,000 in direct contributions to him.

    Those funds helped transport New York advertising titan Carl Spielvogel to Slovakia, and Boston hotelier and tourism executive James Daley to Barbados. Less generous but very active on issues, New York socialite and abortion-rights advocate Robin Chandler Duke goes to Norway. Spielvogel was nominated in 1999 (and actually sent to the Senate floor by the Foreign Relations Committee), and the other two were named a few months ago. But the Republican-controlled Senate is averse to political nominees amidst a presidential campaign.

    Ambassadorial nominations for political donors with little or no diplomatic credentials is an old, bipartisan and unsavory American custom. What distinguishes this trio is how they reached their far-flung posts. With their nominations dead in the Senate, Clinton chose a technique developed to keep government functioning in bygone days when congressional sessions were short.

    There is no previous case of recess appointments in the closing days of an administration to political donors of the president's heir apparent. President Bush made only three diplomatic recess appointments (including illustrious career diplomat Deane Hinton to Panama and Lawrence Eagleburger as secretary of state after Clinton won the election). President Reagan made just three such appointments in 1984 -- including the distinguished Democrat Paul Nitze as an arms-control negotiator and foreign service officer Peter Bridges to Somalia.

    Clinton's nominees are not in that category. Spielvogel, 71, is a former New York Times advertising columnist who struck it rich on Madison Avenue. While a patron of the arts, he has no discernible foreign policy experience. But since 1997, he and his wife, Barbara, have contributed at least $246,000 to Democratic causes (including $142,000 in soft money). On Aug. 6, three days after his recess appointment, Ambassador Spielvogel raised another $250,000 for Gore with a fund-raising brunch at his estate.

    The foreign policy background for Daley, 59, is no more substantial than Spielvogel's, though the State Department report to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee cites his promotion of Boston tourism as valuable experience. A dropout from chiropractic college, he made his fortune running long-term care facilities in Newton, Mass. He and his wife, Kathleen, since 1997 have contributed $285,000 (including $200,000 in soft money).

    Robin Chandler Duke, 76, the widow of Angier Biddle Duke, has seen more of the world than the other two nominees, if only as the wife of a famous diplomat. Like Daley, she has no baccalaureate degree but has wide experience as a birth-control activist. She is president emeritus of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) and only last year was named director of the U.S. committee for United Nations population control. That activist record may make up for Duke's less spectacular political giving: $17,500 since 1997.

    Meager qualifications by Spielvogel and Daley and sustained activism by Duke made them unconfirmable by a Republican Senate in the closing days of a Democratic administration. To give them the lifetime title of ambassador and six months or less in their posts costs American taxpayers a total of $105,000 in moving expenses, as estimated by the State Department.

    "There is no foreign policy rationale in these recess appointments," said Senate Foreign Relations Committee spokesman Marc Thiessen. "They could be home before they unpack their bags." They could, unless Gore is elected and continues his supporters in their new posts.

    Novak is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington.


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  12. Achebe

    Achebe Contributing Member

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    MadMax,

    I never insulted your profession. I thought that since you were a lawyer, that you would be objective. That was my error, not yours. I misunderstood what it meant to be a lawyer.

    I don't consider myself 'in the intellectual elite'. I just like to learn. Part of that learning is knowing (striving to know) both sides of a story. Oftentimes I do catch myself w/ a bias. I admonish myself and strive to learn more about the issue.

    Being a republican I thought that you would like that little ounce of respect... I try to understand your side's story. I don't just pass it off as 'elitist/racist/white male junk' like I'm sure many people do. In the same vein I find it amusing when people post garbage/rhetoric without even questioning their own motives.

    I never said your opinions were wrong, MadMax. I was just curious to see if you had given up on learning... because you no longer seem to be interested in questioning your own beliefs. You throw out truisms about 'the media being biased'. Well, freakin' prove it. If I quoted some of the standard liberal rhetoric that I've heard in the past you guys would be furious for the same reasons (e.g. "republicans are racists").

    Read it as just a damn request to your own post: prove it. Did Reagan get a 'by' like others suggested? If so, then why are you reacting in this light?

    By the way, don't take these things so damn seriously. Sure, it's an argument... an exchange of ideas, but I have no ill will towards you.

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  13. outlaw

    outlaw Member

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    It's not like Clinton appointed these people the day after the Senate closed. The Republicans dragged their feet to vote on these candidates, probably on purpose just to spite the president.

    In 1998, the Republicans in the Senate led by Jesse Helms did the same thing to Clinton's nominee James Dale just because he was openly gay and Clinton made his first recess appointment then.

    The Senate had their chances to veto these appointments but I guess Trent Lott and Co. decided not to put it to a vote. I don't see how this circumvents the checks-and-balances system at all.

    As far as qualifications go, none of these nations are integral to US foreign policy. It's not like he appointed a Supreme Court justice who wasn't qualified (Clarence Thomas), a position that really matters.
     
  14. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    This kind of stuff doesn't even upset me anymore. It's so par for the course for this administration, that I've grown used to it all. I can still hear Bill Clinton saying early on that his would be the most honest administration this nation has ever seen. Of course, he also said he'd be the Education President. What a failure on both counts.

    Still need proof there's a liberal media???

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    [This message has been edited by MadMax (edited September 05, 2000).]
     
  15. mrpaige

    mrpaige Contributing Member

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    Actually, I think loopholes are part of the checks and balances system. If the government doesn't want the loopholes there, they should close them. I don't really see it as "cheating" or "breaking" the c&b, it's just using the system in a roundabout way.

    And the thing about appointing political donors, etc. to ambassadorships is certainly nothing new. That's gone on for about as long as we've had a United States. You don't put those people in the key ambassadorships, but you have plenty of them scattered around regardless of who is President.

    It's hard for me to get all up-in-arms about this, either.



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  16. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    "because you no longer seem to be interested in questioning your own beliefs."

    Gee, Achebe...can't imagine why I would take this personal.

    Don't pretend to know me. I post my opinions here. But you don't know how I wrestle over what I believe in. Damn, you're arrogant!! You talk about people posting here without questioning their own motives. Do you honestly believe you're so wise that you truly know the hearts of these individuals who post here?? You honestly think you're smart enough to pin down someone in here who posts their opinion. You seem to want to view yourself as the intellecutual who is trying to show off his smarts trying to keep everyone on his toes. Your veiled insults are nothing but funny. ("i thought since you were a lawyer you were supposed to be objective..that's my error, not yours"). Come on!!! Nice try, Achebe.

    I'm posting my opinions as they exist today. Have they always been my opinions..no. Will they always be...maybe not. I'm sure my views might change with age and wisdom. When that happens I'll post a different opinion. But to act like you know me well enough to make a statement like the one above is laughable. You have no idea what my beliefs used to be, so you have no guide for determining whether or not they'll change.

    I find the liberal media very hard to explain to people who choose to close their ears. It's extremely subtle. A great example was the other day in the Chronicle. Gore was defending one of his proposals on the same day Bush was doing the same. The headline for Bush was something to the effect that he was getting "defensive." For Gore it was a more positive note. This kind of crap happens consistently. And if you think Reagan got a pass from the media, you're high! They hated his ass...especially at the major networks. They hated him like Rush hates Clinton. I still question why the story this thread is about was not run at all in the Chronicle as a news story. And through all your long-winded posts about me and my beliefs I've yet to see you post an opinion
    about that.

    Absolutely, there's nothing wrong with learning. We're all learning more and more about these issues everyday. I'd say I've learned a good deal from some of the people who've posted here. But as I learn, that doesn't mean I'm forced to surrender my opinions if they're not truly changed in my heart. Will I look at both sides..absolutely. But it doesn't mean I'll subscribe to the other view. Some would call that integrity...you would call it close-mindedness.



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  17. BrianKagy

    BrianKagy Contributing Member

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    I bet you dinner anywhere in Austin this is not true.

    More importantly, CAN WE PLEASE STOP the 'I know you are but what am I' responses to political threads?

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  18. Jeff

    Jeff Clutch Crew

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    I agree that it is odd that this story wasn't reported, but are we just talking about the Chronicle or did it make it in the Washington Post or somewhere else? The decision to run or not run stories does NOT fall to the reporters, however. That falls on the editors and publishers who are, almost unanimously, conservative.

    Their decision not to run that story, as DC pointed out, I'm sure had more to do with the lack of flashiness than it's newsworthiness. Let's face it. Clinton, at this point, is old news to most people. He is on his way out and nothing sticks to him anyway. Most papers have just given up on him because they know it doesn't sell newspapers or advertising.

    DC is absolutely correct that flash wins out every time. Newspapers, in particular, are subject to that simply because they are in trouble. Print media is quickly going the way of the dinosaur with the advent of the internet. It started with CNN and is getting worse now that the net is so available.

    Newspapers will report ANYTHING if they think it will move papers. Hell, I'd be willing to bet that big news stories make newspapers drool simply because they think that there will be an increased sale to collectors who hope to make some profit on Ebay someday. [​IMG]

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    [This message has been edited by Jeff (edited September 06, 2000).]
     
  19. dc sports

    dc sports Member

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    Rocketman95, the editorial comments on Regan and Bush's use of recess appointments.



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  20. mrpaige

    mrpaige Contributing Member

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    Actually, most editors I know are very liberal. They are all former reporters who worked their way up through the ranks and eventually became editors. Granted, my experience is only with two newspapers, but I doubt that the Amarillo Globe-News and the Denton Record-Chronicle are unique in the world. And in the case of the Amarillo Globe-News, the Publisher has very little to do with the news part of the newspaper (actually, he has almost nothing to do with it. He controls the editorial pages, but the Executive Editor, who is very liberal, controls everything else in the paper.)

    And too, my cousin is an editor at the NY Times, and he's very liberal. And one of my former college professors was an editor at the Dayton Daily News, and he's fairly liberal.

    Of course, I don't particularly believe that there is some sort of massive liberal bias in the press. There is always going to be some unintended biases that can come out in stories now and again, but all the reporters I know are professionals and work very hard to keep biases out of the newspaper. Some reporters are better at this than others, of course, but try as I might, I have a hard time finding liberal bias in the media.

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