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Old 02.06.2013, 23:15
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New US Ambassador to Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

The Washington Post is reporting that an Obama fundraiser named Azita Raji is to become US Ambassador to Switzerland:

"San Francisco philanthropist Azita Raji, who reportedly raised more than $3 million in contributions in 2011-2012 and was said to have been eyeing Italy — wasn’t everyone? — looks to be headed to neighboring Switzerland, which is none-too-shabby and a short hop to the Villa d’Este on Lake Como."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...1a47_blog.html

Not a great surprise to see that there is a Goldman Sachs connection. Her husband is the former Managing Director of Goldman Sachs, San Francisco.

"A retired vice-president of JP Morgan where she focussed on fixed-income investments, Raji is a trustee of Barnard College, where she graduated in 1983 with degrees in architecture and French. Raji also earned a degree in finance from Columbia Business School, and although she has lived and worked in Asia and Europe, she currently lives in Belvedere, one of the wealthiest communities in Northern California. Active in local community organisations and boards, she has donated to the Marin ballet and her local swim league. She is married to Gary Syman, the retired managing director of Goldman Sachs in San Francisco."

http://www.firstpost.com/world/obama...ers-43629.html

Last edited by DuePonte; 03.06.2013 at 00:23.
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Old 03.06.2013, 06:42
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Re: New US Ambassador to Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

Another one with a golden hand shake.

When will we see US Ambassadors that are sensitive to their citizens needs? Sending ex-employees from Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan inspires no confidence in me. They will be looking to make future deals here with Swiss institutions, and not at the difficulties their citizens are having here with the jobsworthies in their own US government.
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Old 03.06.2013, 10:26
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Re: New US Ambassador to Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

It's of course the political patronage system in the US that Obama is perpetuating that grants plum US ambassadorships to Obama's fundraisers, friends and cronies.

My view is that a plumber is needed to be US Ambassador to Switzerland to try to repair the deteriorating US-Swiss relationship. Many Swiss and resident Americans are up in arms against the US' imperial overreach into Switzerland's affairs.

Goldman Sachs seems to have scored in Canada as well. According to Canadian CTV, Obama is to nominate Bruce Heyman, a Goldman Sachs partner from Chicago, to be US Ambassador to Canada:

"While a new U.S. ambassador has yet to be officially announced, another top Obama fundraiser -- Bruce Heyman, also from Chicago -- is the reported front-runner. ... Public records show that Heyman, a partner at investment firm Goldman Sachs, and his wife, Vicki, have been donating to Obama since 2007."

http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/after...#ixzz2Tx0wVggi

Some more of Obama's lack of change that we don't believe in.
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Old 03.06.2013, 11:26
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Re: New US Ambassador to Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

At least Don "let me show you this Volvo" Beyer will be getting the boot. Who ever comes in at least can't do less than nothing for us. It seems she used to work abroad in the private sector, so she may at least have a grasp of the FEIE, tax credit, and such...
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Old 06.06.2013, 09:25
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Re: New US Ambassador to Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

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Another one with a golden hand shake.

When will we see US Ambassadors that are sensitive to their citizens needs? Sending ex-employees from Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan inspires no confidence in me. They will be looking to make future deals here with Swiss institutions, and not at the difficulties their citizens are having here with the jobsworthies in their own US government.

I looked it up under

http://www.20min.ch/schweiz/news/sto...Bern--13979822

and see a lady who is
- good looking
- well educated
- versed in finance and economics
- speaks several languages
in other words ideal for the job in Bern

we have to see the positive aspects. The US embassy in Bern does not need a grumpy aging diplomat but somebody who has charm, knowledge and understanding
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Old 29.06.2013, 22:47
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Re: New US Ambassador to Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

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I looked it up under

http://www.20min.ch/schweiz/news/sto...Bern--13979822

and see a lady who is
- good looking
- well educated
- versed in finance and economics
- speaks several languages
in other words ideal for the job in Bern

we have to see the positive aspects. The US embassy in Bern does not need a grumpy aging diplomat but somebody who has charm, knowledge and understanding
In December 2009 Obama appointed Cynthia Stroum to be Ambassador to Luxembourg. Similar to Azita Raji, Cynthia Stroum was a major fundraiser for Obama. According to "Politico", she did such a poor job running the US Embassy in Luxembourg that staffers were requesting transfers to Afghanistan and Iraq to get away from her. She resigned under pressure in January 2011, i.e., she lasted 14 months:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/48843.html
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Old 30.06.2013, 00:59
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Re: New US Ambassador to Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

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In December 2009 Obama appointed Cynthia Stroum to be Ambassador to Luxembourg. Similar to Azita Raji, Cynthia Stroum was a major fundraiser for Obama. According to "Politico", she did such a poor job running the US Embassy in Luxembourg that staffers were requesting transfers to Afghanistan and Iraq to get away from her. She resigned under pressure in January 2011, i.e., she lasted 14 months:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/48843.html
I on a holiday trip to Athens, on an outing to Delphi, made the acquaintance of a former USA ambassador to Switzerland and was impressed by the personality. Alright, that man was a diplomatic professional. But Switzerland for some decades got some quite decent persons as US ambassadors, on exactly that basis. So that I hope that we will be lucky again this time

The problem WITH and FOR diplomats is that they only are in a particular place for between 2 and 6 years. The chap mentioned above did many travels around Switzerland just to get some understanding, and always in hotels declared himself as "employee of the US embassy". Which usually worked except one time in the Emmental, when he on departure was addressed by the receptionist at his car with Herr Botschafter wir wünschen eine schöne Reise ........ you are on the internet
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Old 30.06.2013, 01:49
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Re: New US Ambassador to Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

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In December 2009 Obama appointed Cynthia Stroum to be Ambassador to Luxembourg. Similar to Azita Raji, Cynthia Stroum was a major fundraiser for Obama. According to "Politico", she did such a poor job running the US Embassy in Luxembourg that staffers were requesting transfers to Afghanistan and Iraq to get away from her. She resigned under pressure in January 2011, i.e., she lasted 14 months:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/48843.html
requesting transfers to iraq yeh right: another lie from tabloid politico.

still, that's whatever: i totally agree with your cynicism regarding the wife of a goddam Goldmann Sachs Saint becoming the defacto legal counsel to this the world's classiest offshore money mine.
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Old 30.06.2013, 06:17
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Re: New US Ambassador to Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

The way I see it is another rich American fund raiser who probably has off shore accounts in the Bahamas, etc., but cannot identify with the plight of us normal american expats who cannot get a bank account, mortgage, or rental deposit account. Of course there is no double standard and as the Obama campaign has unleashed its full force against us for have the audacity to live abroad, she cannot even hint at going against the hand that feeds her. I predict another ACA kiss up medal campaign to win her over, but in the end another fruitless endeavour as these politico appointees are only in it for the champagne lunches, trips to lake Como, and the odd photoshoot. If you see the white house put a career diplomat here, then our issues might be taken with some slight seriousness, but with these three martini socialites, they are better off staying in California and save the taxpayers some money in my view.
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Old 30.06.2013, 10:31
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Re: New US Ambassador to Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

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requesting transfers to iraq yeh right: another lie from tabloid politico.

still, that's whatever: i totally agree with your cynicism regarding the wife of a goddam Goldmann Sachs Saint becoming the defacto legal counsel to this the world's classiest offshore money mine.
The Politico's comment on staff requesting transfers to Afghanistan and Iraq was from the DOS Inspector General's "Report of Inspection", January 2011, p.5:

"Since the Ambassador’s confirmation, most of the senior staff, including two deputy chiefs of mission(DCM) and two section chiefs, has either curtailed or volunteered for service in Kabul and Baghdad. Other U.S. staff members have also departed early. At the time of the inspection, additional members of staff were contemplating curtailing."

http://oig.state.gov/documents/organization/156129.pdf

Cynthia Stroud appears to be a JAP based on her father's obituary who likely got ahead by being from the right family:

http://community.seattletimes.nwsour...slug=stroum11m

Based on her name and background, I suspect that Azita Raji is a PAP (or possibly an IAP). She attended the finest schools that money could buy and then found herself a job with JP Morgan. I doubt her father worked on the GM assembly line in Flint or raised corn in Indiana. Nothing in her background suggests that she would qualify to be the US Ambassador to Switzerland.

Last edited by DuePonte; 30.06.2013 at 10:55.
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Old 30.06.2013, 21:49
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Re: New US Ambassador to Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

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The way I see it is another rich American fund raiser who probably has off shore accounts in the Bahamas, etc., but cannot identify with the plight of us normal american expats who cannot get a bank account, mortgage, or rental deposit account. Of course there is no double standard and as the Obama campaign has unleashed its full force against us for have the audacity to live abroad, she cannot even hint at going against the hand that feeds her. I predict another ACA kiss up medal campaign to win her over, but in the end another fruitless endeavour as these politico appointees are only in it for the champagne lunches, trips to lake Como, and the odd photoshoot. If you see the white house put a career diplomat here, then our issues might be taken with some slight seriousness, but with these three martini socialites, they are better off staying in California and save the taxpayers some money in my view.
Ambassadors and their embassies are NOT taking care of their compatriots in their country of residence but of the diplomatic relations with the local government and the economic links. An Italian ambassador in Bern is not concerned with the fate of Italians in Switzerland but rather with Italian exports to Switzerland, an Algerian ambassador in Paris does not care much about the Algerians in France but rather about Algerian exports to France.
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Old 01.07.2013, 10:02
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Re: New US Ambassador to Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

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Ambassadors and their embassies are NOT taking care of their compatriots in their country of residence but of the diplomatic relations with the local government and the economic links. An Italian ambassador in Bern is not concerned with the fate of Italians in Switzerland but rather with Italian exports to Switzerland, an Algerian ambassador in Paris does not care much about the Algerians in France but rather about Algerian exports to France.
However true that is, the expectation is that if we are having troubles, we are to turn to the Embassy - therefore, it would behoove them to actually smarten themselves up with the problems their countrymen face.

It sure would be nice to have folks in positions of "power" who got there via knowledge and experience rather than money and privilege.
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Old 01.07.2013, 10:17
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Re: New US Ambassador to Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

Any change is for the best. I have been seriously unimpressed with every dealing with the US embassy in Switzerland.
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Old 01.07.2013, 10:24
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Re: New US Ambassador to Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

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However true that is, the expectation is that if we are having troubles, we are to turn to the Embassy - therefore, it would behoove them to actually smarten themselves up with the problems their countrymen face.
Unfortunately that expectation is from a time gone by - if it was ever more than a polite fiction.

As Wolli points out, the function of the US embassy is not to represent or support Americans abroad, but to represent the interests of the US government.

And now, at a time when those interests are largely in opposition to the needs of overseas citizens, our expectations of the role of the US embassy probably need a dash of realism.

But the post of Ambassador (to wherever) has always been a payoff for political rainmakers. Plus ça change...
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Old 06.07.2013, 13:21
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Re: New US Ambassador to Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

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However true that is, the expectation is that if we are having troubles, we are to turn to the Embassy - therefore, it would behoove them to actually smarten themselves up with the problems their countrymen face.

It sure would be nice to have folks in positions of "power" who got there via knowledge and experience rather than money and privilege.
Working at JP Morgan must be financially rewarding at least for some. The future US Ambassador appears to reside in a $5.7 million home with a beautiful view near San Francisco:

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/10...19268690_zpid/

http://sf.blockshopper.com/property/...3-08/10_crest/

US ambassadors earn around $150,000 to 180,000. This salary should help pay the property taxes of $50,000. On the other hand, as a diplomat in Switzerland, she won't have to pay any differential between US/ California and Swiss income taxes unlike the US proles residing in CH do.
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Old 06.07.2013, 13:48
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Re: New US Ambassador to Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

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Working at JP Morgan must be financially rewarding at least for some. The future US Ambassador appears to reside in a $5.7 million home with a beautiful view near San Francisco:

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/10...19268690_zpid/

http://sf.blockshopper.com/property/...3-08/10_crest/

US ambassadors earn around $150,000 to 180,000. This salary should help pay the property taxes of $50,000. On the other hand, as a diplomat in Switzerland, she won't have to pay any differential between US/ California and Swiss income taxes unlike the US proles residing in CH do.
She will have quite some office space in future

https://maps.google.ch/maps?ie=UTF-8...d=0CJcBEPwSMAA

and the residence of a USA ambassador to Switzerland looks like bit more than just a Schrebergartenhäuschen


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Old 06.07.2013, 13:55
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Re: New US Ambassador to Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

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I looked it up under

http://www.20min.ch/schweiz/news/sto...Bern--13979822

and see a lady who is
- good looking
- well educated
- versed in finance and economics
- speaks several languages
in other words ideal for the job in Bern

we have to see the positive aspects. The US embassy in Bern does not need a grumpy aging diplomat but somebody who has charm, knowledge and understanding

I know some strippers
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Old 06.07.2013, 14:19
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Re: New US Ambassador to Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

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I know some strippers
Beside the point that they have to be US-citizens, the class of your acquaintances may be above the budget of the US Dept of State
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Old 06.07.2013, 14:52
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Re: New US Ambassador to Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

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Beside the point that they have to be US-citizens, the class of your acquaintances may be above the budget of the US Dept of State
Uhhhhhhhhhh I never thought of that The budget part of cours
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Old 06.07.2013, 15:04
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Re: New US Ambassador to Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

I hate to see Ambassador Beyer go. He was a very nice representative of his country. Very good with Swiss folks.
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