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  • Acting Solicitor General: Who Is Noel Francisco?

    Saturday, February 25, 2017
    Francisco represented R.J. Reynolds Tobacco in its successful First Amendment challenge to a federal regulation requiring cigarette manufacturers to display graphic warning images on cigarette packages. Francisco also won the appeal of former Republican Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia, who’d been convicted of taking bribes. He recently found himself in the midst of a prominent case as acting solicitor general when he had to argue that Trump’s travel ban should be implemented.   read more
  • Secretary of the Interior: Who Is Ryan Zinke?

    Wednesday, February 01, 2017
    In his 2014 fundraising emails, Zinke wrote: “I spent 23 years as a Navy SEAL and served as a Team Leader on SEAL Team Six — the team responsible for the mission to get Osama bin Laden.” What he didn’t mention was that he’d been out of the Navy for three years when the mission against bin Laden was carried out. He also said that while humans have some role in climate change, “the evidence is equally as strong that there are other factors...that have a greater influence.”   read more
  • Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Federal Housing Administration: Who is Edward Golding?

    Wednesday, February 01, 2017
    It was during the savings and loan crisis that Golding launched his career in mortgage finance with a job at the Federal Home Loan Bank Board. His ascension at FHA found him with limited authority to manage the agency. Republican lawmakers, led by Sen. Charles Grassley, criticized the Obama Administration for circumventing the Senate in appointing Golding to the FHA post. HUD officials denied there was any such intent. Industry trade groups, however, largely supported the choice.   read more
  • Secretary of Labor: Who Is Andrew Puzder?

    Tuesday, January 31, 2017
    Several of Puzder's food franchisees were fined by the Labor Dept, the very organization Puzder has been nominated to lead, for not paying employees properly. Puzder fought against minimum wage increases, donating money to a failed attempt to fight a ballot measure raising Nevada's minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $6.15. In response to critics of his sexually charged fast-food commercials, Puzder said, "I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it’s very American."   read more
  • Secretary of State: Who Is Rex Tillerson?

    Monday, January 30, 2017
    Tillerson's ExxonMobil cut a deal with Russia in 2011 for a joint venture to explore for oil in the Russian Arctic. But in 2014, the collaboration ended due to sanctions the U.S. put into place after Russia invaded Ukraine. Not surprisingly, Tillerson opposed the sanctions. Russia wasn’t the only place where Tillerson’s company acted in opposition to U.S. interests. It also signed an oil deal with the Kurds who control Iraq’s northern region. That agreement cut out the Iraqi central government.   read more
  • Which Countries have been Killing Americans? The Trump 7 vs. the Rest of the World

    Sunday, January 29, 2017
    These are the seven countries from which President Donald Trump halted entry to the United States: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Including all terrorist acts committed by terrorists who were foreign-born or whose parents were born abroad, the total number of Americans killed by terrorists from the Trump 7 is…zero. On the other hand, terrorists from other countries have killed 2, 689 Americans. Here are some examples.   read more
  • Acting Director of Federal Bureau of Prisons: Who Is Thomas Kane?

    Friday, January 27, 2017
    A member of the American Psychological Association, Kane is a recognized authority on the subjects of psychology, criminology and corrections. He joined the Bureau in 1977 as a social science research analyst, focusing on such issues as prison-based sexual assaults and violence, and inmate management. In 2012, Kane was named deputy director of the agency, taking on responsibilities that included oversight of restrictive prison housing, labor-management initiatives and staff safety.   read more
  • 15 Biggest Imports from Mexico

    Thursday, January 26, 2017
    What are the 15 biggest imports from Mexico to the United States?   read more
  • Administrator of the Small Business Administration: Who Is Linda McMahon?

    Thursday, January 26, 2017
    Linda McMahon helped make WWE hugely profitable, but some of that came from keeping costs low, especially when it came to paying the wrestlers. She sought exemptions that would allow WWE to be treated as entertainment instead of a sport, thus relieving it of the burden of drug testing. WWE is not forced to provide health insurance for wrestlers, nor does it pay into Social Security or unemployment insurance for them. Running for the Senate in 2012, McMahon called for the SBA to be abolished.   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to China: Who Is Terry Branstad?

    Wednesday, January 25, 2017
    Then governor of Iowa, Branstad first met Xi Jinping, now president of China, during Xi's stay there in 1985. Xi returned to the town in 2012 as China’s vice-president. An early Trump supporter, Branstad was mentioned after the election as a likely candidate for the Beijing post, even drawing supportive comments from the Chinese. "Mr. Branstad is an old friend of the Chinese people and we welcome him to play a greater role in promoting Sino-U.S. relations,” said a Chinese government spokesman.   read more
  • Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard: Who Is Paul Zukunft?

    Wednesday, January 25, 2017
    After having been in the Coast Guard only three years, Zukunft commanded a 95-foot boat, the Cape Upright, as the Mariel boatlift was going on. Zukunft and his crew took 200 people off a leaky 60-foot boat making its way to Florida. During his career, Zukunft was Chief of Operations for the Coast Guard Pacific Area and Chief of Operations Oversight for the Coast Guard Atlantic Area. In 2010, he was made federal on-scene coordinator of the BP oil spill cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico.   read more
  • Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Who Is Ben Carson?

    Tuesday, January 24, 2017
    As a 2015 presidential candidate, Carson took on the agency he would eventually run. He called HUD's new fair housing policies “government-engineered attempts to legislate racial equality.” His other positions included a 10% flat tax based on the Biblical reference to tithing; that being gay could be “cured”; that Obama was a “psychopath”; the Holocaust happened because of gun control; and that the Egyptian pyramids were built as grain-storage facilities. He also compared Obamacare to slavery.   read more
  • Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security: Who Is John F. Kelly?

    Tuesday, January 24, 2017
    Kelly’s appointment drew approval from Democrats as well as Republicans. But some civil libertarians are concerned about some stances Kelly has taken. He has been reluctant to support the idea of opening all military jobs to women. And he was critical of President Obama’s efforts to close the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, saying that human rights concerns about the prisoners in Guantánamo were “foolishness.” Like his new boss, Donald Trump, Kelly has railed against the media.   read more
  • Secretary of Defense: Who Is James Mattis?

    Monday, January 23, 2017
    In contrast to Trump, who said he’ll reinstitute waterboarding, Mattis gained a reputation for not tolerating the torture of prisoners. But Mattis isn’t shy about his love of battle. In 2005, he said about fighting the Taliban: “Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people... I like brawling.” Some say his conduct in Iraq amounted to war crimes. In 2004, he ordered an attack on what turned out to be a wedding party, killing 42 people.   read more
  • Director, Office of Infrastructure Protection: Who Is Caitlin Durkovich?

    Monday, January 23, 2017
    At Booz Allen Hamilton, Durkovich worked on pandemic flu continuity of operations plan for FEMA and security for the IRS. In 2011, she was chief of staff in DHS's National Protection and Programs Directorate. As director of OIP, Durkovich is in charge of tasks such as teaching schoolchildren how to survive a mass shooting and stopping ISIS attempts to hack the U.S. power grid. She also testified to Congress on the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, in which 12 people were killed.   read more
  • Director of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office: Who Is L. Wayne Brasure?

    Saturday, January 21, 2017
    In 2001, Brasure was made director of the Air Force’s High Power Microwave Program at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. In 2006, he became chief of the Stockpile Systems Division of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons and Counterproliferation Agency there. In 2008, he moved to the Dept of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. Two years later, he became executive director of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at the Kirtland Base.   read more
  • Delegated Director, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Who Is Kana Enomoto?

    Saturday, January 21, 2017
    In 2005, Enomoto worked on mental health issues related to Hurricane Katrina. That year she was made the principal senior adviser to the SAMHSA administrator, a job she held through 2009. She was named deputy assistant secretary and principal adviser to the assistant secretary in August 2011, duties she performed until taking over SAMHSA. Since her appointment, Enomoto has prioritized spreading information to help slow overdoses of opioid drugs and worked to cut the suicide rate.   read more
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