Ambassadorships should not be political payoffs

Were you impressed over the winter when hotelier George Tsunis, nominated to be U.S. Ambassador to Norway, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he had never been to Norway and confused a moderate political party with a “fringe” party?

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Does the Arab spring wither on the vine?

I am just back from a week-long conference hosted in Morocco focused on skills building and advocacy for Legacy International’s Legislative Fellows from Egypt, Libya and Tunisia – countries which have had their own version of the “Arab Spring.”  While the hurdles facing fledgling democracies in North Africa were also evident in Morocco’s capital of Rabat, those obstacles to development came into sharper focus as the delegation ventured into Fez, a good sized city in the country’s interior.

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Report from Rabat

I find myself in Morocco meeting with young activists from Egypt, Libya and Tunisia to provide training and mentoring in advocacy and democracy building in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Sponsored by Legacy International with a grant from the Department of State, the 5-day conference is focused on skills building, cultural exchange and brainstorming. It has been eye-opening.

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More Dysfunction at the FEC

The Republican and Democratic commissioners at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) are locked in another public dispute.  While this has become depressingly routine, the agency’s inability to function at almost any level is no small matter.

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Officials shouldn’t be beholden to special interest groups

The problem isn’t that members of Congress travel too much. In fact, they probably should travel more. The issue is who pays for the travel.

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