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Your Tax Dollars Pay for This American Ambassador

See that? It is a Christmas card, with the official seal of the United States on it. See the guy on the card? He is the American ambassador to Finland. You pay his salary. You paid for his Christmas card. You pay for him to represent your country.

The guy of all guys you see is Bruce Oreck. Oreck earned his lifetime title of ambassador and job by being the major son of famed vacuum cleaner manufacturer David Oreck, and by being a major Obama bundler and Democratic contributor ($500,000 in donations.) Oreck also served as Executive Vice President for his privately held family business, the major Oreck Corporation. So yeah, a self-made man.

Oreck is what is called a “political appointee,” someone who gets a cushy job like ambassador just because the president wants him to have it. No qualifications other than being tight with the president by buying his favor.

Fun Fact: Close to half of America’s ambassadors are “political appointees.” This tradition, pretty much unique to the U.S. and 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. See above.

But Oreck is no slouch. As an ambassador, Oreck’s signature accomplishment so far, not including the photo here, has been to get the U.S. government to spend more money on the very important U.S. embassy in Finland. Indeed, an official USG report acknowledged that “the embassy renovation project would not have been funded or advanced at an accelerated pace without the constant pressure of the ambassador, both from Helsinki and during frequent trips to Washington.” Oreck picked up 250,000 frequent flier miles (ambassadors fly first class, ‘natch, and get to keep their taxpayer-funded miles for personal use) in dozens of trips between Washington, D.C., and Helsinki to personally address concerns. Luckily, he was able to divert scarce State Department building and security funds from dumps like Benghazi.

In case you are not sure by this point if Oreck is or is not a jerk, check out his Facebook page.

The worst insult of all, however, is the kindergarten level Photoshopped tattoos. Look at his upper right shoulder. Steroids really fry your brain.

Proud of you America!

Image via Ambassador of the United States Bruce Oreck

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Peter Van Buren writes about current events at blog. His book,Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99Percent, is available now from Amazon

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Peter Van Buren

Peter Van Buren

Peter Van Buren has served with the Foreign Service for over 23 years. He received a Meritorious Honor Award for assistance to Americans following the Hanshin earthquake in Kobe, a Superior Honor Award for helping an American rape victim in Japan, and another award for work in the tsunami relief efforts in Thailand. Previous assignments include Taiwan, Japan, Korea, the UK and Hong Kong. He volunteered for Iraq service and was assigned to ePRT duty 2009-10. His tour extended past the withdrawal of the last combat troops.

Van Buren worked extensively with the military while overseeing evacuation planning in Japan and Korea. This experience included multiple field exercises, plus civil-military work in Seoul, Tokyo, Hawaii, and Sydney with allies from the UK, Australia, and elsewhere. The Marine Corps selected Van Buren to travel to Camp Lejeune in 2006 to participate in a field exercise that included simulated Iraqi conditions. Van Buren spent a year on the Hill in the Department of State’s Congressional Liaison Office.

Van Buren speaks Japanese, Chinese Mandarin, and some Korean (the book’s all in English, don’t worry). Born in New York City, he lives in Virginia with his spouse, two daughters, and a docile Rottweiler.

Though this is his first book, Peter’s commentary has been featured on TomDispatch, Salon, Huffington Post, The Nation, American Conservative Magazine, Mother Jones, Michael Moore.com, Le Monde, Daily Kos, Middle East Online, Guernica and others.

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