Government employees shafted. Taxpayers, too

The U.S. Agency for International Development, the State Department and other federal agencies have drafted guides telling employees what they can and can’t do during a government shutdown. One thing many of them can do is apply for unemployment benefits. So taxpayers end up paying at least some of their salaries during the shutdown. Here … Read more

Diplomatic posts go vacant under Donald Trump

Cuba is one of 59 nations without an American ambassador. Not even Slovenia, Melania Trump’s homeland, has a U.S. ambassador, a State Department report shows. The Trump administration has also failed to fill an additional eight ambassadorial posts, including: USASEAN (U.S. Mission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Jakarta) U.S. Mission to the … Read more

Spike in civil rights complaints at State Department

The number of civil rights complaints at the State Department rose sharply to 216 in 2018, up from 170 the previous year. Complaints included accusations of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age and other factors, an Equal Employment Opportunity report shows. The State Department’s Office of Civil Rights touts the importance of diversity. … Read more

Beware of socialism, Trump advisers say

Donald Trump’s economic advisers warn that “socialism is making a comeback” in the United States. “Detailed policy proposals from self-declared socialists are gaining support in Congress and among much of the electorate,” according to the Council of Economic Advisers, an agency within the president’s Executive Office. Socialism, they say, may take the wealthiest 1 percent … Read more

91-year-old pact details diplomatic immunity

The “duties, rights, prerogatives and immunities” of American diplomats in Cuba is spelled out in a 1928 agreement that was signed in Havana and put into law in the U.S. in 1932. I learned that bit of diplomatic trivia from the State Department’s 130-page manual on Consular Notification and Access. Excerpts from the 1928 agreement … Read more