• Your State Department Douche of the Week

    December 22, 2012

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State

    Fun Fact: Close to half of America’s ambassadors overseas are “political appointees,” meaning they are friends of the president who typically donated large sums of money to his reelection campaign and are rewarded for this by being named ambassador somewhere. This tradition, pretty much unique to the U.S. and most third world crap nations, crosses all party lines and is warmly embraced by both Democrats and Republicans.

    These political appointees range from mildly competent to complete idiots, with a heavy lean toward the latter. And that allows me to introduce America to its ambassador to Finland, Bruce Oreck. Bruce’s official Christmas card is shown above. Oreck earned his lifetime title of ambassador and job by being the son of famed vacuum cleaner manufacturer David Oreck, and by being a major Obama bundler and Democratic contributor before getting the appointment to Helsinki. In addition to his private legal practice, ambassador Oreck served as General Counsel and Executive Vice President for his privately held family business, the Oreck Corporation. Oreck’s most important contribution to diplomacy was to bundle more than $500,000 in donations for the 2008 election.

    Not that Oreck is into himself or anything. Just if you look at the embassy homepage there’s his photo, and of course his official bio and list of really important official things he did in 2012. And then his Facebook page, and a video he made for the embassy Christmas thingee. If you watch the video you can see the mansion Oreck gets to live in that you pay for with your tax dollars.

    The good news is that your taxpayer dollars did not pay for the douchey Christmas card, that was on Oreck’s own dime. Your taxpayer dollars instead paid for Oreck’s “official” Christmas card, below, which still shows he is a douche.

    But there is good news about political ambassadors to come. Anna Wintour, the Editor-in-Chief of US Vogue, was announced as a possible candidate for the post of US ambassador to the UK or France. Wintour co-hosted a $40,000 a head event in June at actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s home, and in August hosted a Connecticut dinner that cost $35,800 per person at movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s house. By the end of the campaign she was one of Obama’s top ten fundraisers.

    We can hope that at a minimum she will have classier Christmas cards.

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  • Recent Comments

    • Tim said...


      Actually, I think the Wintour appointment would be an inspired choice, as good as Kennedy sending Galbraith to India. There seems to be no more reason to suppose that success in the mid-level State Dept bureaucracy makes some one a good Ambassador than that good battalion commanders make good Generals (separate issue – but all the greatest had early independent command). The key thing is to leave the DCM to run the Mission, and get out there and mix it with local society.

      12/22/12 8:52 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Unfortunately, political hack appointees occupy other important positions and then burrow in a more permanent status.

      12/22/12 10:48 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...


      Hm, douches, Vogue, etc. Why don’t they just rename it the Department of Lesbian Outreach?

      12/23/12 5:50 AM | Comment Link

    • Lafcadio said...


      Ahh yes. The political appointee. As PVB aptly points out, these creatures are found ranging from the highest level, being those who out and out buy their office, to the lowest level, being those to who are attached to a higher level political appointee personage (ohh, lest’s say HRC), and cling to that person like a lamprey to a lake trout, serving that person’s every need (HRC, you need your dingleberries cut, sure, I’ll use my teeth) while they themselves rise to the top.

      If you are inferring from my writing that I think the political appointee is the most oily, obsequieous, and low life form imaginable, you would be correct.

      In fact, I somewhat regret comparing the blood sucking lamprey to a political appointee.

      All in all, the lamprey is a more noble creature.

      12/23/12 2:39 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      Another side effect of all this political patronage is on the already frail minds of Foreign Service personnel. Attuned to “messages,” the message that you are to be led by some hack whose only claim to the job is having been a successful campaign donor is clear: what you are doing is basically just for show.

      12/23/12 2:46 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      OMG. Is that schmuck on the Christmas card for real?
      Really? I’ve seen some real zingers out there, but this guy is the plum bob of narcissists. I mean, take a gander at that image and tell me this guy isn’t a bona fide creep.

      Holy mother of horse manure. If I hadn’t seen this with my own eyes….sheesus.. this pathetic moron couldn’t get a Clue if he were dipped in Clue musk and paraded in a field of Clues doin an erotic Clue mating dance.

      And he’s an Ambassador.
      Priceless. Just fucking priceless.

      note to self..file this one under

      “Living proof that shit can walk upright.”

      12/23/12 6:43 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      quote: “All in all, the lamprey is a more noble creature.” unquote

      Brain sucking alien parasites notwithstanding.

      12/23/12 7:14 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      This “hoser” gets the “Betty Tamposi” Award for Political Hack of the Year, eh.

      12/23/12 7:26 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Of course, State can’t complain. If the Rice-erronies could be SecState, any fool could be an ambassador.

      12/23/12 9:07 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Pity the Finns-a notably sophisticated and informed people- having to interface with such an clueless exhibitionist.

      12/23/12 9:12 PM | Comment Link

    • Lafcadio said...


      Ahhhh Betty Tamposi!!

      For those unfamilar, Betty Tamposi was a political appointee in the H.W. Bush administration and the first of three straight CA Assistant Secretaries to get axed.

      Tamposi had the IQ of any of the various types of masonry you’d find at a job site. However, her daddy was a good buddy of one Mr. John Sununu, and a big contributor to the Repubs, so a job was fond for Betty as CA AS, and several other young Repubs accompanied her to the Bureau. The only other name of this undistingusihed bunch we need mention is Pam Covington, a ditzy flight attendant type who was placed as head of the passport office and, believe it or not, provided what little brains there was in this bunch.

      Until her firing, Tamposi was mainly known for CA’s lunch time softball league (hey what federal employee, or any employee for that matter, wouldn’t love two hour lunches twice a week to play softball), then using practically the whole of the CA bureaucratic apparatus to find a good diet plan so she could lose weight, and her infamous quote “I love New Hampshire because you can leave your mink stolle lying around at a party and you can be certain no one will steal it.”

      Fortuntely for the American people, Tamposi’s wasteful and inglorious tenure came to a end when a cunning republican political operator named Stephen Berry gave her a call, told her there were rumors that Bill Clinton had tried to renounce his citizenship, and gee, wouldn’t it be great if we could get our hands on those redcods.

      Being a fucking moron, Tamposi launched a full scale afterhours search of Clinton’s and Ross Perot’s passport records. The next morning, everybody in Washington knew that Tamposi had violated the Privacy Act, and she and her political appointee pals were quickly removed from office.

      As a certified dumb ass, Tamposi didn’t have a clue how to handle a slick operative like Berry. Having seen this manuever, and similar ones pulled by State Department scumbags, here is how Tamposi should have handled this. She should have feigned indignation at Berry’s request for an illegal search, then agreed to meet him, where she would let him twist her arm to do the seach. Then she should have waited about two weeks while doing precisely nothing on the search, then phoned Berry, telling him “oh, you know those things you wanted me to look for, I looked and could’t find anything, AND YOU OWE ME BIG!”

      After her firing, Tamposi hired a big time law firm to write a memo proclaiming her innocence. I guess when you have money to blow, you can just blow it on anything. And if you pay a law firm big money, they’ll justify just about anything you do.

      CA hasn’t had a political appointee since. Your political types tend to shy away from a place where the political appointee can get fired if some schmuck somewhere down the line looks for, issues or doesn’t issue a passport or visa.

      12/24/12 1:26 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      “Your political types tend to shy away from a place where the political appointee can get fired if some schmuck somewhere down the line looks for, issues or doesn’t issue a passport or visa.”

      Consular Affairs is different because it actually does something and A/S decisions have consequences. For example, A/S FSO Mary Ryan got fired for her many bad decisions like issuing visas to OBL friends because “all Saudis are rich and would never overstay their visas,” gutting the Passport and Visa Anti-Fraud Program, etc.

      12/24/12 1:54 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Speaking of Douche of the Week, Wayne the NRA Gun Nut said gun nuts should be proud of their guns and not cower to the media’s crazy attention. So Wayne would certainly endorse an Assault Weapons Registry program and a Public Notification Database, like the Virginia General Assembly’s decision to facilitate access to publicly-available information about persons convicted of specified violent and sexual offenses. The main purpose of providing this data on the internet is to make the information more easily available and accessible, not to warn citizens about any specific individual. Information regarding a particular gun nut can be submitted through the Tips icon located on each offender’s webpage.

      For example: James Holmes of Aurora, Colorado May 22, 2012, purchased a Glock 22 pistol at a Gander Mountain shop in Aurora, and six days later bought a Remington Model 870 shotgun at a Bass Pro Shops in Denver.[47] On June 7, just hours after failing his oral exam at the university, he purchased a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle, with a second Glock 22 pistol following on July 6. All the weapons were bought legally. In the four months prior to the shooting, Holmes also bought 3000 rounds of ammunition for the pistols, 3000 rounds for the M&P15, and 350 shells for the shotgun over the Internet. On July 2, he placed an order for a Blackhawk Urban Assault Vest, two magazine holders and a knife at an online retailer.

      Gun nuts would be happy to volunteer this information to encourage other gun nuts to show support for the Second Amendment.

      12/24/12 2:15 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      12/24/12 6:30 PM | Comment Link

    • Keep Your Friends Close and Your Campaign Donors Closer – By J. Dana Stuster | Foreign Policy | Ramy Abdeljabbar's Palestine and World News said...


      […] but outspoken State Department critic Peter Van Buren didn’t see the humor — he named Oreck his “State Department Douche of the Week.” The reviews haven’t been all […]

      07/30/13 3:38 AM | Comment Link

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