The State Department’s entire senior management team just resigned
All are career foreign service officers who have served under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
By https://www.facebook.com/josh.rogin

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s job running the State Department just got considerably more difficult. The entire senior level of management officials resigned Wednesday, part of an ongoing mass exodus of senior foreign service officers who don’t want to stick around for the Trump era.

Tillerson was actually inside the State Department’s headquarters in Foggy Bottom on Wednesday, taking meetings and getting the lay of the land. I reported Wednesday morning that the Trump team was narrowing its search for his No. 2, and that it was looking to replace the State Department’s long-serving undersecretary for management, Patrick Kennedy. Kennedy, who has been in that job for nine years, was actively involved in the transition and was angling to keep that job under Tillerson, three State Department officials told me.

Then suddenly on Wednesday afternoon, Kennedy and three of his top officials resigned unexpectedly, four State Department officials confirmed. Assistant Secretary of State for Administration Joyce Anne Barr, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele Bond and Ambassador Gentry O. Smith, director of the Office of Foreign Missions, followed him out the door. All are career foreign service officers who have served under both Republican and Democratic administrations.


November 22nd 1890: Charles de Gaulle born

On this day in 1890, French military and political leader Charles de Gaulle was born in Lille. De Gaulle was raised in Paris, and in 1909 enrolled in the prestigious Saint-Cyr military academy. In his first deployment, de Gaulle was commanded by Colonel Philippe Pétain, who would later became famous for his leadership of the collaborationist Vichy regime. De Gaulle served with distinction during the First World War, and was captured during the Battle of Verdun in 1916. After the war, de Gaulle advanced through the ranks to serve on France’s Supreme War Council, and wrote widely about what he perceived to be France’s military weaknesses, largely due to an overreliance on the Maginot Line. After the outbreak of the Second World War, de Gaulle continued to advance professionally, becoming brigadier general and undersecretary for defense and war. However, after France’s invasion by the Nazis in 1940 and the subseqeunt surrender and collaboration of Petain’s regime, de Gaulle fled to England rather than accept France’s capitulation. With support from Prime Minister Winston Churchill, de Gaulle led the Free French movement and a government in exile, urging his countrymen to resist the Nazis and organising colonial soldiers to continue the fight. After liberation in 1944, the popular de Gaulle - who received a hero’s welcome in liberated Paris - became president of the French provisional government. At the war’s close, de Gaulle successfully secured his nation an occupation zone in the defeated Germany and a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council. De Gaulle soon resigned the presidency, however, after his desires for a strong executive were rejected, and retired from politics in 1953. However, as the government crumbled, the famed leader stepped in and became president of the Fifth Republic government in 1959. A dedicated nationalist, President de Gaulle pushed for French independence from the two Cold War superpowers, even withdrawing from NATO in 1966, and asserted French military strength through a nuclear weapons programme. Controversially, he also supported Algerian independence following a series of colonial uprisings. De Gaulle retired in 1969, amid rising protests and calls for reform, and died in November 1970. Charles de Gaulle was mourned as a national hero who, even in the dark days of the Second World War, dedicated himself to the freedom and independence of France.

“Paris outraged! Paris broken! Paris martyred! But Paris liberated! Liberated by itself, liberated by its people with the help of the French armies, with the support and the help of all France, of the France that fights, of the only France, of the real France, of the eternal France!”
- Charles de Gaulle after the liberation of Paris on August 25th 1944

Sir Robert Orange Peel - Volume 1 [Full]

Sir Robert’s debut explores sound that circles around the likes of disparate elements: Jason Williamson, the bands of messthetics, an artist like Pulco, two coworkers forcing their way through small talk during a lunch break, early Mute Records, Jeremy Paxman smugly threat-whispering at undersecretaries while dreaming, 10-year-old unheard Stormzy demos, and (of course) The Fall. All of that! Excited that you’re going to listen to the man’s first album in its entirety right now!

1. Audio Spangle (02:31)
2. Deep Water (03:28)
3. Fifty 45’s (03:38)
4. Open Heart Surgery (04:00)
5. Damage (04:25)
6. Scum (03:01)


William Schallert, best known to Star Trek fans as the paranoid Federation undersecretary in charge of agricultural affairs Nilz Baris in The Trouble with Tribbles, passed away this weekend at the age of 93. 

In addition to his appearance in The Original Series, the former SAG president also appeared as Varani in the DS9 episode “Sanctuary.” The prolific actor could also be seen in the films Charley Varrick, In The Heat of the NightInnerspace and The Jerk as well as on TV series such as The Patty Duke Show (in which he played the titular actress’s father for three seasons), Mission: Impossible and The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Trump’s hiring the Bear Stearns economist who promised the economy was fine right before it went bankrupt
David Malpass, a veteran of two previous Republican Party administrations as well as a former chief economist for the now-defunct investment bank Bear Stearns, has been nominated to serve as undersecretary of Treasury for international affairs. In August 2007, for example, the housing market had been cooling for a year or more, and it was becoming clear that economic problems were going to spread to some of the financial institutions that had invested heavily in mortgage-backed bonds. Into the breach stepped Malpass, then of Bear Stearns, with a reassuring Wall Street Journal op-ed titled “Don’t Panic About the Credit Market,” urging the Federal Reserve and other policymakers not to overreact. Read more

Valerie Amos (b. 1954) is a politician and diplomat from Guyana, who served in a number of important positions in British parliament and the United Nations. Most notably, she was the Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, which saw her coordinate large-scale efforts to handle natural disasters and other emergencies.

In 1997 she was made a Life Peer and became the Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council. Upon her appointment as Secretary of State for International Development in 2003, she became the first black woman to sit in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom.

BREAKING: Senate confirms first openly gay Army Secretary
Eric Fanning was confirmed unanimously.

On Tuesday, the Senate confirmed Eric Fanning as the United States Secretary of the Army, making him the first openly LGBT person ever to be the head of a U.S. military service.

Fanning was confirmed unanimously on a voice vote. He previously filled a number of senior positions in the Department of Defense, including acting undersecretary of the Army, special assistant to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and undersecretary of the Air Force.

Huge, huge moment. 


The Royal Family in the meeting of Sweden’s new export strategy:

The Royal Family- the King & the Queen, Crown Prince Victoria & Prince Daniel and Prince Carl Philip & Princess Sofia - the primacy of the Government Mikael Damberg, Undersecretary Oscar Stenström, Foreign Affairs, and Eva Walder-secretary Karin Olofsdotter runited at the Royal Palace to discuss a presentation of Sweden’s new export strategy external link, opens in new window. The strategy, developed in close collaboration with industry addressing government challenges that Swedish exports are faced with a multitude of concrete actions.

The King and Victoria also attended a cabinet meeting, they were informed by each currently minister on policy initiatives, investigations and pending legislation in their respective ministries and answer questions from the King. | February 10th, 2016