- - Wednesday, December 5, 2012

LONDON — Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, John Quincy Adams and now Anna Wintour?

A report suggesting that the influential editor-in-chief of Vogue is one of the candidates being considered for the top U.S. diplomatic post in France or Britain has sparked spirited debate about her qualifications, exciting Britain’s glamour-hungry tabloids but raising hackles at the conservative Telegraph.

Anna Wintour may be an enticing pick for a celebrity-fixated White House,” wrote Nile Gardiner in The Telegraph. “But she is eminently unsuitable for America’s most prestigious diplomatic posting.”

The possibility that the British-born Ms. Wintour would move into London’s grand ambassadorial residence was raised several years ago by The Guardian newspaper — where her brother Patrick is a prominent journalist — and again this week by Bloomberg News, which based its report on “two people familiar with the matter.”

Officials at the U.S. Embassy in London said they would not speculate on President Obama’s eventual choice for a successor to Ambassador Louis Susman, who has announced plans to step down. White House officials have also refused to comment.

Officials caution that a decision is months away and would only follow the appointment of a new secretary of state to replace outgoing Hillary Rodham Clinton and would also include a thorough vetting process.


GOP immigration bill thwarted by Democrats

Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked Republicans from bringing up an immigration bill offering permanent residence visas for foreigners with advanced degrees that passed the House last week despite the opposition of most Democrats.

Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, sought unanimous consent to consider the bill that provides some 55,000 green cards a year to those with master’s and doctorate degrees from U.S. colleges in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“We all know that America’s immigration system is broken, but in particular by driving away highly skilled foreign workers who want to start businesses and create jobs right here in America,” he said.

New York’s Sen. Charles E. Schumer, a Democratic leader on immigration policies, objected to Mr. Cornyn’s request. Mr. Schumer said Democrats support creating so-called STEM visas and he has a proposal to do that. “But what we don’t do is take away other visas or add in other extraneous positions.”


Election spurs definitions of socialism, capitalism

NEW YORK — Thanks to the election, socialism and capitalism are forever wed as Merriam-Webster’s most looked-up words of 2012.

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