u.s.

June 9, 2017

Does life imitate art, or does it just seem that the longer the Trump adventure proceeds the more it resembles “House of Cards?” I’m not suggesting that our real-life drama borrows from the Netflix series, now seen round the world, but there is a sense in which the real and make-believe of American politics are converging as never before. Consider the debate over “real” news versus “fake news.” Consider that fact and non-reality are intertwined as never before in social media, IT games, and movies.

Agenda and MHP Communications has launched #WeAreNato, the organization's first major communications campaign in nearly a decade.[...] "Helping NATO reach audiences in more than 28 member countries and to explain its mission of guaranteeing peace and security for its citizens in the kind of work we love to do." [...] According to Agenda, the framework contract encompasses a wide variety of communications, public affairs and creative media relations. 

Brown’s upcoming visit to Beijing will focus on keeping up the COP21 Paris accords momentum Trump wants to radically reverse. California’s aggressive stance on pollution controls and environmental standards will be highlighted. The governor wants to make a lasting difference in the world. [...] California’s interest and right to combat climate change and seek China’s support is understandable and has precedent. But what’s in it for China?

Smog Mask

Markos Kounalakis on China's attempt to gain global influence through environmental leadership and policy.

Core practices of open government are eroding in the Trump Administration, with new limitations on the ability of the press to effectively question officials on U.S. foreign policy. The problem is starkly illustrated by comparing the press briefing schedules of the State Department for May 2016 and May 2017. In May 2016, the State Department held a press briefing nearly every weekday of the month, with only two exceptions. One of them was Memorial Day. In May 2017, by contrast, there was not a single State Department press briefing. The last briefing was on April 27.

As President Trump strains alliances and relationships around the world, some of the nation’s top career diplomats are breaking publicly with him, in what amounts to a quiet revolt by a cadre of public servants known for their professional discretion. On Monday, the chargé d’affaires at the American Embassy in Beijing, David H. Rank, announced his resignation after telling his staff he could not defend the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

The No. 2 diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing resigned Monday, telling staff his conscience would not permit him to formally notify the Chinese that the United States is withdrawing from the Paris climate accord. David H. Rank, a career Foreign Service officer of 27 years, had been acting ambassador until former Iowa governor Terry Branstad (R) was confirmed as the new ambassador last month. Rank held a town meeting with embassy employees to explain he had offered his resignation and it had been accepted.

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