Dead Drop: March 19

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE:  Both Democratic and Republican leaders of the House Armed Services Committee think it is time for National Guard members to start packing up and heading home from their mission on Capitol Hill.  But Pentagon officials are saying that the nearly 2,300 guardsmen will remain until at least May 23. The Wall Street Journal says that National Guard members are being drawn from eleven states and the District of Columbia. The lengthy deployment famously started on the afternoon of January 6. National Guard members sign up with the understanding that they might have to go in harm’s way – but we doubt any of them anticipated they would be asked to defend our own Hill.  During the mission, some of the guardsmen were (temporarily) forced to cool their heels in parking garages – and others may have been sickened by undercooked meals provided by contractors. That got us thinking – shouldn’t someone be designing a special campaign ribbon to honor those who have been guarding the symbol of our democracy?  We are thinking something with red, white and blue with a set of Shaman horns for extra color.

APPOINTMENT DISAPPOINTMENT:  One way the Biden administration has distinguished itself from its predecessor is in the speed of making appointments (or lack thereof.) At this writing, the administration has nominated a grand total of one person to be an ambassador – and that is Linda Thomas-Greenfield for the UN. Ranging from A (Afghanistan) to Z (Zambia) the American Foreign Service Association lists 89 ambassadorial posts as vacant.  Axios is reporting that a list of new appointments is now being finalized by the Biden team.  Rumor has it that the Biden plan is to have far fewer political appointees – which should make it easier, not harder to fill the jobs quickly.  Over at the Pentagon, the administration has yet to nominate a single service secretary. By this point in the Trump administration – they probably had nominated, confirmed and fired several. Of course, just getting nominated doesn’t get you the job.  Just ask Ambassador Bill Burns the Biden pick to run the CIA who was unanimously approved by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence but was blocked from getting a vote by Senator Ted Cruz (R, Cancun.) The Senator had Burns on “Cruz control” as a way to pressure the Biden Administration to issue sanctions in connection with the Russia-Germany Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.  So, let’s get this straight, Cruz was willing to hold up the appointment of the next CIA Director so he could get his way on a project involving Russia?

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