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Trump taps S.C. Gov. Haley, charter school backer DeVos

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley spoke in Orlando, Fla. on Nov. 15. President-elect Donald Trump said he intends to nominate Haley to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

PALM BEACH, Fla. » Injecting the first diversity into his Cabinet-to-be, Donald Trump selected two Republican women who disparaged him during the presidential campaign: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and charter school advocate Betsy DeVos to lead the federal Department of Education.

Gov. Haley has little foreign policy experience, yet Trump praised her as “a proven dealmaker.” DeVos, like Trump, is new to government but has spent decades working to change America’s system of public education.

DeVos and Haley are the first women selected for top-level administration posts as the president-elect works to shape a White House team from scratch. Haley is the daughter of Indian immigrants, so she also would be his first minority selection after a string of announcements of white men.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said “an announcement is forthcoming” on his role, which would make him the first black choice — presumably as secretary of Housing and Urban Development — but he also suggested he’d be thinking about it over the Thanksgiving holiday.

“I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly to making our inner cities great for everyone,” Carson wrote on his Facebook page.

Today’s picks came as Trump worked to distance himself from the “alt-right,” a movement of white supremacists who continue to cheer his election.

He announced his two new choices in a statement released as he gathered with family behind closed doors at his Palm Beach estate for Thanksgiving. He’s spending the holiday there after a week of interviews of potential appointees in New York, punctuated by announcements of members of his national security team.

Bad blood between Trump and his new Cabinet selections was evident through much of this year’s campaign.

“The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley!” Trump wrote in March. Haley denounced several of his campaign comments and urged voters to “reject the siren call of the angriest voices.”

DeVos told The Associated Press in July, “A lot of the things he has said are very off-putting and concerning.”

On Wednesday, Trump said of his UN selection: “Gov. Haley has a proven track record of bringing people together regardless of background or party affiliation to move critical policies forward for the betterment of her state and our country.”

She said she loved her South Carolina post but “when the president believes you have a major contribution to make to the welfare of our nation, and to our nation’s standing in the world, that is a calling that is important to heed.”

While Republicans praised Haley’s selection, DeVos faced criticism from left and right.

The president of the National Education Association, Lily Eskelsen Garcia, said in a statement that for years DeVos “has lobbied for failed schemes, like vouchers — which take away funding and local control from our public schools — to fund private schools at taxpayers’ expense.”

And Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, tweeted, “Trump has chosen the most ideological, anti-public ed nominee since the creation of the Dept of Education.”

At the same time, some conservatives warned that the longtime Republican donor, who has spent millions of dollars — along with her husband — to promote candidates who favor charter schools and school vouchers, also supports the Common Core education standards that Trump railed against during the campaign.

Conservatives already were grappling with Trump’s Tuesday concession that climate change may be connected to human activity and his reversal of a campaign vow to pursue a criminal investigation into Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

DeVos addressed criticism head-on, posting a “Q&A” statement that said directly about Common Core: “I am not a supporter — period.”

“I do support high standards,” she said. But along the way Common Core “got turned into a federal boondoggle.”

Just two weeks ago, Trump shocked the political world — including many in his own party — by winning the presidential contest. The billionaire New Yorker has yet to take any formal steps to separate from his international business empire as experts in both parties warn of potential conflicts of interest.

Trump will be sworn into office in less than 60 days. Beyond his Cabinet, he must fill hundreds of high-level administration posts.

Spokesman Jason Miller said Trump now is focusing on his choice for secretary of state in particular. Among those under consideration: former New York Mayor and Trump loyalist Rudy Giuliani and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, formerly an outspoken Trump critic.

After secretary of state, the UN ambassador is the highest-profile diplomatic position, often serving as the voice for U.S. positions on the international stage.

As for DeVos, her family has been active in Republican politics for decades, especially as donors. Her husband, Dick, is an heir to the Amway fortune and a former president of the company.

The American Federation for Children Action Fund, which DeVos chairs, and its state-affiliated PACs invested in 121 races in 12 states in the general election, spending spent $210,000 to support “pro-school choice” candidates in Oklahoma alone.

“Under her leadership we will reform the U.S. education system and break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back so that we can deliver world-class education and school choice to all families,” Trump said.

DeVos said in her own statement, “The status quo in education is not acceptable.”

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        • Qualifications given I think they’ll do a great job! Like any job they will be given a chance to prove themselves and then the POTUS will evaluate.
          #MAGA is forming & taking shape & I look forward to President Trump & VP Pence bringing back the America I knew, Peace thru Strength, Respect, Unity, Economy 2nd to none!

      • Washington Post reports on how media bias works in the right-wing faux-news media:

        “The flood of “fake news” this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation.

        “Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery — including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human “trolls,” and networks of Web sites and social-media accounts — echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal hiding potentially fatal health problems and preparing to hand control of the nation to a shadowy cabal of global financiers. The effort also sought to heighten the appearance of international tensions and promote fear of looming hostilities with nuclear-armed Russia”

  • I like the way Trump is backing off of some of his crazy campaign statements and his willingness to consider Democrats for cabinet positions (4 Dems interviewed so far). And his appointment of “enemies” like Haley. He has listened to the matine general he interviewed and changed some of his views as a result (he is not saying he knows more than the generals anymore). The marine was able to get Trump to drop his support of water boarding for example. And he is denouncing the racist alt right and white suprmecist.

    • Does it seem surprising that the undefined jargon term “alt right” has so effortlessly and uncritically been accepted in our language?

      Looks suspiciously like another propaganda initiative – – like the corruption and dissemination of the previously innocent, care free word “gay” – – used to advance a particular political narrative that might otherwise elicit pushback.

      • For other concerns see the NYT editorial board’s response to Steve Bannon’s appointment as Trump’s senior advisor. They did not compare him to Hitler’s propagandist, Joseph Goebbles, but a columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer has:

        http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20161116_Jones__Bannon_like_another_hateful_propagandist__Nazis__Joseph_Goebbels.html

        http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/opinion/turn-on-the-hate-steve-bannon-at-the-white-house.html

      • “Success is the important thing. Propaganda is not a matter for average minds, but rather a matter for practitioners. It is not supposed to be lovely or theoretically correct. I do not care if I give wonderful, aesthetically elegant speeches, or speak so that women cry. The point of a political speech is to persuade people of what we think right…….We do not want to be a movement of a few straw brains, but rather a movement that can conquer the broad masses. Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing. It is not the task of propaganda to discover intellectual truths.”

        “The English follow the principle that when one lies, it should be a big lie, and one should stick to it. If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

        “It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.”

        “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.”

        “That propaganda is good which leads to success, and that is bad which fails to achieve the desired result. It is not propaganda’s task to be intelligent, its task is to lead to success.”

        “We shall go down in history as the greatest statesmen of all time, or as the greatest criminals.”

        See:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Goebbels

      • Google “Alternative Right” and you will find one of the guys who first used the words Alternative Right nd Alt. Right. He is a white supremecist and the guy who quotes Mein Kamf in German in his speeches. He also has a group called the
        “The National Policy Institute”. They are white supremecists. You will find essays by them on why whites are superior, why blacks, asians, hispanics (except white hispanics), and recently polynesians– so far as I have found, just Samoans and Tongans.

      • It was unsettling when Trump’s campaign manager, Steve “Turn on the Hate” Bannon, was anointed to be his chief White House strategist and senior counselor. Since its start in 2007, Bannon led Briebart News, a vehemently anti-Obama propaganda outlet that has pushed white-supremacist policy positions, as well as conspiracy theories, and racist, sexist and anti-Semitic opinions.

        It was truly creepy to hear Steve Bannon say that he idealizes Satan, the Prince of Lies, and to using the Dark Arts to defeat his enemies. This is what Bannon said in an interview published Friday, “Darkness is good. Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they (liberals) get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing.”

        The senior counselor for the President of the United States pushes hate and models himself on Lucifer and lies. Trump approves of this and says nothing. Fox News says nothing. Breitbart News says nothing.

        This is why so many other Americans are disgusted and upset about our post-truth president. This is why the MAJORITY of Americans voted against Trump.

        See:
        http://www.businessinsider.com/steve-bannon-donald-trump-satan-darth-vader-2016-11

    • Tempmanoa, You are surprised by his picks because you listened to all the liberal media narrative. I think Trump knows what he is doing and knows how to organize players to work toward a goal. Whether that goal is achieved and good for the country remains to be seen. Stop listening to the media rhetoric and start observing Trump’s actions (not words) to make judgements.

      • Agree.
        Just announced that Gov. Haley accepted the UN Ambassadorship.
        Awesome to witness President Elect Trump’s selections and actions so far (coming from a successful business entrepreneur)…very very interesting.

        A far cry from a community organizer.

        • Actually, Gov. Haley IS a model for a diversity poster. Read her bio. I think she’s a pretty good choice. We’ve never had a UN ambassador who is of Punjabi descent.

        • Sorry… I didn’t finish my statement. “…and brings a truly international perspective to the post.”

        • Cellodad, just because he picked someone who could be on a diversity poster, I’m confident that is not why he picked her. I have a feeling it was on Obama’s criteria list for picking his cabinet.

      • Not going by media, but by what Trump and Haley said. She was opposed to him and he was his usual blasting and insulting style. Glad he changed that, though. He is backtracking on what he said and that has nothing to do with media– but a good sign. For example, The Marine General who he is thinking of for Sec. of Defense says waterboarding is not effective, so Trump says he has changed his mind on it. He is softening on climate change, and he has shifted to spending and increasing the deficit vs deficit redction which has been a Republican focus.

      • Perhaps he’s not picking her for her foreign policy expertise.

        She’s probably more experience in PR and for explaining and apologizing for Trump’s mistakes in foreign policy.

        Rest of the world will have an easier time believing in a minority spokesman vs a white female. Powers may have riled the mysoginistic UN bureaucracy.

  • A giant step down from the supremely qualified Samantha Power to Nikki Haley, who has no experience or qualifications in foreign relations (being non-white does not qualify as foreign relations experience except, apparently, in the Trump administration). The best thing to be said about this appointment is that at least Trump didn’t appoint John Bolton to the UN, although the frightening possibility is that Bolton is still eligible for another position where he will present an even greater danger to America and the world.

  • Mrs. Haley has no experience, education or qualification for this position. None. Which may explain her shock. Interesting that this choice comes out a day after Mr. Trump was loudly criticized for nominating only old white men for the other jobs. Hmmmmmm

    Someone in Trump Tower really needs to figure out what a governing administration is.

      • she is a very decent human being

        Not only that but perhaps it is time for someone to tell Klastri/Vector that this bigoted racist rant against white people is getting a bit threadbare.

        • thos…actually great when they spew their racist rants…means they got NOTHING…NO SUBSTANCE LEFT!!! lol

        • Looks like you never took the time to learn what the word racist means. I figured after making so many mistakes with that word that you would eventually look in a dictionary.

          I have never written a “racist rant” and would never do that. That’s reserved for Trump supporters.

          Reading is fundamental!

    • klastri, it’s been two weeks already, give it up. You and Hillary lost. Also, when you use “no experience” as the basis for your argument you conveniently forgot that the current president had absolutely no experience as well. Oops, I probably shouldn’t have stated that as I believe our current president has been an absolute disaster when it comes to international relations.

        • Q: “What has O accomplished that benefited a MAJORITY of Americans?”

          A: We have three branches of Federal Government. Obama (executive branch) did his part to help working families, but the Republican “do nothing” Congress did not do theirs. Conservatives have spent the past 8 years desperately trying to prevent any actions that would benefit the majority of Americans. They are responsible for their failures, not President Obama.

          The next four years should be interesting for the 99% MAJORITY… Once Trump takes power, Republicans will have no one to blame for their own actions. This may be the only silver lining behind all these ominous dark clouds.

        • Obama passed Obamacare, doing everything possible to avoid collaboration. He then caused the Democrats to lose the Senate and the House, while electing about 20 more Republican Governors. Indirectly, he’s done a lot for America — topped off by motivating millions to vote against Hillary. American will be great again!

        • “Obama passed Obamacare, doing everything possible to avoid collaboration.”

          Um, that’s a twisted lie. You must be happy in Trump’s post-truth America. In fact, the Republicans did everything they could to avoid collaboration on Obamacare and nearly every other sensible policy proposal or budget put before them these past 8 years.

        • DannoBoy…”Obama (executive branch) did his part to help working families.”

          Exactly what did he do?

    • Someone in Trump Tower really needs to figure out yada yada yada

      Hmmmm.

      Aren’t you the [redacted] who so confidently and repeatedly predicted that PRESIDENT ELECT TRUMP would be buried in a landslide by Felony-Shrillary?

      Why would anyone in the PRESIDENT ELECT TRUMP transition organization pay ANY attention to what you say now, eh Skippy?

      • I did predict that Mrs. Clinton would win, and was wrong about that. She did win the popular vote of course – that may end up being a 3 million or so vote margin for her – but she did lose the electoral vote, and sadly for the United States, that’s what counts. None of this makes Mr. Trump any less mentally ill or more fit for office. I badly underestimated how many gullible people there are. When added to the racists, white supremacists, alt-right folks and poorly educated white folks ……. Oh well.

        So now it’s time to energize the opposition. Only this time, the opposition is well educated and well financed. Mr. Trump needs to prepare for a fight on everything he does.

        • Trump cynically manipulated anxious voters. He knew how to play with their heads. He was never sincere about anything other than his own narcissism. He has already backed off many of his absurd promises. Look for more to go when he becomes president. Drop the Iranian deal? Sure..and let them restart their nuclear program. Obama did the right thing as we all know.

        • “She did win the popular vote of course…” klastri, cling to that and over time it’ll get better. The sun will rise and the birds will sing again. Consider it a moral victory.

        • Clinton lost because she refused to acknowledge the danger that Muslim extremism poses and insisted in bring tens of thousands more muslim people into the US. That, and half the country believes she’s a liar, but mostly the Muslim thing.

        • Please define “poorly educated folks”. Are you just spouting what the media puts out or do you have your own interpretation of poorly educated? What exactly is a well educated person? Someone that holds a degree? Someone that has common sense? Someone that wins big on Jeopardy? Someone with good morals? Someone that has a bigger campaign chest? The way the media defines poorly educated are the ones that didn’t vote for Hillary. The media and polls are never biased or wrong so it must be true.

    • Nikki Haley is just as qualified to be Ambassador to the UN as Obama was qualified to be President of the United States. You apparently had no problem with that, so why the problem with Haley?

  • governor haley is an experienced, well educated and highly qualified individual who joins a widely diverse trump cabinet of candidates ready to represent all americans in international issues.

    as the dalai lama said, “so i have no worries.” be happy.

  • Nikki Haley’s nomination sounds all right. DeVos, common core, not so good. As for Carson, idiotic. Sleepy Carson as head of HUD and inner cities doesn’t have the inertia to revitalize anything.

  • With no educational, intellectual or experiential credibility or accomplishments in foreign affairs, Haley will be steamrolled by the pro-Putin faction (Paul Manafort, Gen. Flynn, Carter Page) in Trump’s inner circle as Putin tries to reassemble the Soviet Union while Trump is distracted by watching all of the U.S.’s former TPP partners form new trade partnerships with China.

  • haley is a liar, she denigrated trumpy during the campaign but now is taking a position in his cabinet. what a dufus, this clearly shows that she is in it only for herself, willing to pimp herself for a job with the dufus. she has not experience and trumpy does not care whether his appointees have any kind of experience being appointed for and many of them are bottom of the barrel picks.

  • Hey ! Is it me ? Isn’t Tulsi Gabbard supposed to be “One with Universe”.
    ___”You must be the change you wish to see in the world”._____
    Has her ego or her pride seem to have gotten the way? Is it me or what,but when the POTUS asks you for your service ,as a country ,you come to his aide, & for ALL! This is not about Ideology,Religion,Party affiliation, or your stance on Syria,it’s whats doing best for our country as a whole.

    I commend and applaud “Little One” Nikki Haley, as a Hindu ,she has shown to put her differences as side and see the bigger picture! She is truly ONE,with the rest of the country. IMUA

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