Biden's Cabinet of Curiosities

Silvanus

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Most of President-elect Joe Biden's nominees for his administration won't be known until tomorrow, but we've got enough names to start a thread.

* Secretary of State: Antony Blinken.

- Former staff director at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Vice-President Biden's national security advisor; special assistant to President Bill Clinton. Promisingly, he's an advocate of an immediate end to US involvement in arming Saudi Arabia. Here's a transcript of a CBS interview with him, discussing COVID-19 and Syria.

And here he is talking to Grover about refugees.


* Special Envoy for confronting Climate Change: John Kerry. No introduction necessary, of course: 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate, and Secretary of State under Barack Obama. Was involved in the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord. In the early 2000s, he also supported US involvement in several military conflicts, including Iraq and Libya-- though he reversed his position on Iraq when no WMDs were found.

* Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security: Alejandro Mayorkas. Mayorkas is a Cuban refugee, and has a long career in law, as both a US Attorney and a private practitioner. He acted as Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services for a time under Obama, during which he implemented DACA.

* US Ambassador to the United Nations: Linda Thomas-Greenfield. She was Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 2013 to 2017.

* Director of National Intelligence: Avril Haines. Former Deputy CIA Director. Haines personally chose not to discipline CIA personnel who were involved in hacking the computers of the authors of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on CIA torture. She also supported Trump's nomination of Gina Haspel as Director of the CIA; Haspel has overseen both torture and the destruction of evidence of torture.

* National Security Advisor: Jake Sullivan. A former foreign policy advisor to Hillary Clinton. Sullivan's most prominent role was as part of the negotiation team that brokered the Joint Plan of Action, limiting Iran's nuclear program and loosening sanctions.

* White House Chief of Staff: Ron Klain. Previously Chief of Staff for Vice Presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden. Briefly worked as a lobbyist for Fannie Mae.

====


All in all, there's a lot of Obama-era faces here, as was probably to be expected. I'm optimistic about Mayorkas, given the positive work he's done on facilitating citizenship for refugees (and not only through DACA).

Haines would be biggest alarm bell.
 

Revnak

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Mayorkas doesn’t appear to be an actually insane Cuban-American given his past work trying to open up Cuban-US relations, so I agree that he may be the cabinet member most worth looking forward to, though of that list he’s also the only one worth looking forward to and honestly he’s just a return to the Obama normal so it’s not really forward at all.
Edit: also, while Blinkin sucks, the idea of the US finally cutting off the Saudis is fucking amazing
 

SilentPony

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Wait wait wait, NONE of them are his children? None of them he saw on TV and thought they sounded smart?! How much blackmail does he have on them? How many of them are failed Presidential politicians he's made fun of, and was called an buffoon, idiot, sexist or racists by but then licked his asshole for a chance to stay relevant? How many of them are rich billionaires whose relatives helped conspire with foreign adversaries to corrupt the election and have since plead guilty to those charges?

Well I can tell you I don't like the way this cabinet is shaping up at all, no sir!
 

Trunkage

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Wait wait wait, NONE of them are his children? None of them he saw on TV and thought they sounded smart?! How much blackmail does he have on them? How many of them are failed Presidential politicians he's made fun of, and was called an buffoon, idiot, sexist or racists by but then licked his asshole for a chance to stay relevant? How many of them are rich billionaires whose relatives helped conspire with foreign adversaries to corrupt the election and have since plead guilty to those charges?

Well I can tell you I don't like the way this cabinet is shaping up at all, no sir!
Biden just the normal type corrupt. Not the hyper corrupt of Trump...

Like, a LOT of these are his buddies. Meaning that it's not about quality, the best person for the job. it's about knowing Biden. Like an average president
 

Silvanus

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Wait wait wait, NONE of them are his children? None of them he saw on TV and thought they sounded smart?!
There's still tomorrow...

How many of them are failed Presidential politicians he's made fun of [...]
Just one! Imagine, just one!

(I kid, I have no reason to think Biden's taken the piss out of Kerry... other than the fact that we all have at one time or another).
 

SilentPony

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Biden just the normal type corrupt. Not the hyper corrupt of Trump...

Like, a LOT of these are his buddies. Meaning that it's not about quality, the best person for the job. it's about knowing Biden. Like an average president
Sounds incredibly shady to me. How do we know these so-called cabinet members will be actively promoting Biden's businesses to foreign politicians, and charging the secret service $3 for a bottle of water? How do we know they won't demand personal flags flown over federal buildings when they're in office, and have private security details 2 dozen strong? How do we know they're not giving insider trading tips to friends and family?

If you ask me this who thing sounds suspiciously not-for-profit and maybe even borderline competent. I mean next thing you know Biden won't say he wants to fuck his own daughter, and then where will the country be?! Thanks Biden for trying to pretend incestuous lust isn't a qualification for president, you creepy bastard!
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.

Gordon_4

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Most of President-elect Joe Biden's nominees for his administration won't be known until tomorrow, but we've got enough names to start a thread.

* Secretary of State: Antony Blinken.

- Former staff director at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Vice-President Biden's national security advisor; special assistant to President Bill Clinton. Promisingly, he's an advocate of an immediate end to US involvement in arming Saudi Arabia. Here's a transcript of a CBS interview with him, discussing COVID-19 and Syria.

And here he is talking to Grover about refugees.


* Special Envoy for confronting Climate Change: John Kerry. No introduction necessary, of course: 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate, and Secretary of State under Barack Obama. Was involved in the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord. In the early 2000s, he also supported US involvement in several military conflicts, including Iraq and Libya-- though he reversed his position on Iraq when no WMDs were found.

* Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security: Alejandro Mayorkas. Mayorkas is a Cuban refugee, and has a long career in law, as both a US Attorney and a private practitioner. He acted as Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services for a time under Obama, during which he implemented DACA.

* US Ambassador to the United Nations: Linda Thomas-Greenfield. She was Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 2013 to 2017.

* Director of National Intelligence: Avril Haines. Former Deputy CIA Director. Haines personally chose not to discipline CIA personnel who were involved in hacking the computers of the authors of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on CIA torture. She also supported Trump's nomination of Gina Haspel as Director of the CIA; Haspel has overseen both torture and the destruction of evidence of torture.

* National Security Advisor: Jake Sullivan. A former foreign policy advisor to Hillary Clinton. Sullivan's most prominent role was as part of the negotiation team that brokered the Joint Plan of Action, limiting Iran's nuclear program and loosening sanctions.

* White House Chief of Staff: Ron Klain. Previously Chief of Staff for Vice Presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden. Briefly worked as a lobbyist for Fannie Mae.

====


All in all, there's a lot of Obama-era faces here, as was probably to be expected. I'm optimistic about Mayorkas, given the positive work he's done on facilitating citizenship for refugees (and not only through DACA).

Haines would be biggest alarm bell.
Haines is probably the official “Left Hand” of the administration is obviously a professional skullduggery merchant. Such people do not have fluffy history.
 

Agema

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Sounds incredibly shady to me. How do we know these so-called cabinet members will be actively promoting Biden's businesses to foreign politicians, and charging the secret service $3 for a bottle of water? How do we know they won't demand personal flags flown over federal buildings when they're in office, and have private security details 2 dozen strong? How do we know they're not giving insider trading tips to friends and family?

If you ask me this who thing sounds suspiciously not-for-profit and maybe even borderline competent. I mean next thing you know Biden won't say he wants to fuck his own daughter, and then where will the country be?! Thanks Biden for trying to pretend incestuous lust isn't a qualification for president, you creepy bastard!
I think Hunter Biden would be a perfect pick for presidential advisor, given his career as a co-founder of a hedge fund. And Howard Krein is an obvious pick for a major White House player and general fix-it man for the new president. You might not have heard of him, but as Biden's son-in-law, he's virtually overqualified for the role.
 

SilentPony

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I think Hunter Biden would be a perfect pick for presidential advisor, given his career as a co-founder of a hedge fund. And Howard Krein is an obvious pick for a major White House player and general fix-it man for the new president. You might not have heard of him, but as Biden's son-in-law, he's virtually overqualified for the role.
Fuck that, lets get Ashley Biden in on this! She's a fashion designer, just like daughter-wife Ivanka, and Biden can say he wants to date her and I mean that's all the qualifications I'm aware of for a senior advisor role, and maybe UN ambassador(depending if she likes to sit in daddy's lap).

Hunter Biden is a good choice, but he doesn't have any previous experience with dead people to help his dad win the election. I want every son of a president to be an unindicted co-conspirator in massive tax fraud and election interference cases before they can take a spot in the White House. How will we know they can multitask without it? and the more scam charities the better, gotta' be good with money.
 

Trunkage

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I think Hunter Biden would be a perfect pick for presidential advisor, given his career as a co-founder of a hedge fund. And Howard Krein is an obvious pick for a major White House player and general fix-it man for the new president. You might not have heard of him, but as Biden's son-in-law, he's virtually overqualified for the role.
Bleh

Stop giving them bad ideas.

Also, just because you're rich, doesnt make you smart or qualified. I wish the world would learn that
 

Tireseas

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* Director of National Intelligence: Avril Haines. Former Deputy CIA Director. Haines personally chose not to discipline CIA personnel who were involved in hacking the computers of the authors of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on CIA torture. She also supported Trump's nomination of Gina Haspel as Director of the CIA; Haspel has overseen both torture and the destruction of evidence of torture.

[...]

Haines would be biggest alarm bell.
Considering the track record of DNI under Trump, still an improvement.

DNI is also an odd position by the nature of its position. There needs to be a strong tie between the appointee and the intel community because the Director essentially acts as the broker for all 16 main US intelligence divisions. Having someone who was once part of the intel community in some form borders on necessity as being able to review and convert the intel into something more digestible for the President and Congressional leaders (the entire purpose of the position was to coordinate intel in a way that avoids the lack of communication that resulted in the 2001 terrorism events). Unfortunately, because of the nature of the intelligence agencies post-2001 (and the CIA in particular), there's already a lot of dirty hands in the upper management and not a lot of clean ones.


As a sidenote, Haspel's appointment has always given me mixed feelings. Remove her involvement with the torture program, and she would be a perfect candidate, especially compared to her predecessor Mike Pompeo, and a lot of national security observers saw her as likely the best they were going to get with the Trump administration. Overall a good candidate, but with a serious black mark that I think one can justify overlooking in the moment. On the other hand, I've also been someone who has viewed the Bush-era torture program as so repugnant that I don't think it would have been unreasonable to literally burn every career attached to it as a warning to future operations, especially since it produced no further intel and effectively confirmed what a previously buried cold war era report came to the conclusions of when such methods were used on a few soviet defectors. I personally think anyone who supported the program should have been drummed out of the CIA and any other agency that made the mistake of getting involved, but I can see arguments for why that might be a bad idea from a purely utilitarian perspective.
 

Silvanus

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Considering the track record of DNI under Trump, still an improvement.

DNI is also an odd position by the nature of its position. There needs to be a strong tie between the appointee and the intel community because the Director essentially acts as the broker for all 16 main US intelligence divisions. Having someone who was once part of the intel community in some form borders on necessity as being able to review and convert the intel into something more digestible for the President and Congressional leaders (the entire purpose of the position was to coordinate intel in a way that avoids the lack of communication that resulted in the 2001 terrorism events). Unfortunately, because of the nature of the intelligence agencies post-2001 (and the CIA in particular), there's already a lot of dirty hands in the upper management and not a lot of clean ones.
From what I can gather, the DNI role seems to be mostly about parsing and communicating information to Biden & his administration, as well as providing options and recommendations for them to act from. It's far less directly involved than roles actually in the FBI or CIA. I suppose there's not much damage Haines can do from that position.

Still, she's exhibited unethical and callous judgement. I wouldn't want her providing what she sees as available options to the President.
 

crimson5pheonix

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From what I can gather, the DNI role seems to be mostly about parsing and communicating information to Biden & his administration, as well as providing options and recommendations for them to act from. It's far less directly involved than roles actually in the FBI or CIA. I suppose there's not much damage Haines can do from that position.

Still, she's exhibited unethical and callous judgement. I wouldn't want her providing what she sees as available options to the President.
I can definitely see how a middleman between the president and all of his too-many intelligence agencies can go wrong. For example selectively providing information, or giving undue emphasis or de-emphasis. Personally I'm expecting a few more Libyas.
 
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Tireseas

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From what I can gather, the DNI role seems to be mostly about parsing and communicating information to Biden & his administration, as well as providing options and recommendations for them to act from. It's far less directly involved than roles actually in the FBI or CIA. I suppose there's not much damage Haines can do from that position.

Still, she's exhibited unethical and callous judgement. I wouldn't want her providing what she sees as available options to the President.
She's not the only person that provides those options (the Joint Chiefs tend to be that group when it involves direct force), though she is the person who would effectively be the point person for the intelligence community in the White House.

And, not gonna lie, callousness is part of the trade. Intelligence has always been putting the state and its agenda above all other interests, with its own internal and nebulous form of ethics attached to it, but generally making sure accurate information gets to principals being the biggest one (at least in western countries). At its core, the principal is going to want someone both they and the intelligence community trusts as someone who will insure the key information is passed on to the decision maker.
 
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Eacaraxe

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So...buncha K-Street dickbags comprised of the most cockeyed group of shameless grifters this side of the Harding admin. Who could have known?

Blinken's a professional wrong person who hasn't yet seen a war he didn't like.

Lol, John Kerry.

Dare we ask why Mayorkas was a Cuban "refugee", and what his dad was up to that got their asses kicked out of the country during the revolution. Protip: if your dad was a steel factory owner who supported the Batista regime, you don't get a "poor, oppressed refugee" card. Or we question the timeline of his tenure under Obama, which conveniently enough was around the kid cage building, arguing for indefinite detention, time.

Thomas-Greenfield? Haven't found the skeletons in her closet. Yet.

Haines? Well, what's been said has already been said, just other than the fact she was right there helping the Obama administration creatively redefine terminologies involving torture and drone warfare, helping the admin pretend the former didn't still happen while creating a legal loophole for cooking the books on civilian casualty numbers.

Sullivan, a man who was directly implicated in Hillary's colossal e-mail fuckup, is being appointed NSA. Bang-up job there, much competence. And by the way, when those leaked he was one of those ding-dong dipshits bringing us spicy takes like "al-Qaeda is actually our ally" and "it's unrealistic to expect 100% green energy by 2050".

Oh, and Klain, a man who lobbied for the asbestos industry. True man of courage, honor, and integrity right there.
 
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