Thank you! Some Fireworks to Share, Not Rum!



Our thanks and appreciation to 540 people who made this blog’s funding campaign a success! People even took time out from their weekend and turned out for the campaign! Some made second donations to help ensure that we get to where we want to be. We reached our funding goal hours before our self-imposed deadline of August 5. So sharing some fireworks (from Winfield House’s 2017 event), but not rum:-)!


As of this writing, the campaign has raised $41,432. GoFundMe deducted $1,364.02 in transaction fees, and left the campaign with $40,067.98 to withdraw. We won’t get the funds for a few more weeks but we are now funded from August 2019 to August 2020.
We are relieved we don’t have to worry about funding for the next 12 months, and at least for the moment, we are able to put the bag lady nightmare at bay. Thank you for making this possible!



GFM: A Few Words From Some Campaign Supporters

Help Fund the Blog |  Countdown: Less Than 24 Hours to Go



Update via GFM:
We’re getting close to our goal but we’re not there yet. Do we bring out the fireworks or do we bring out the rum? Opps … rum could be subject to tariffs starting September 1.
To the 495 people who came out to support the campaign this last couple of months, thank you. To blog friends who have been tireless in reminding their circles to support our campaign, thank you. Since 2015, you all have made this blog’s continued existence possible.


Below are some of the notes we’ve received from our campaign supporters. We appreciate your taking the time to tell us what the blog means to you. Not surprisingly, these made our eyes water but we got boxes of Kleenex!




“I have family at State and I enjoy the posts.”

“This is my second donation to help reach the goal. Keep shining a light on the truth Diplopundit.”

“I see you are getting close, but just in case this is the end, I want you to know how much I appreciate everything you’ve done to keep us all informed. Your work to get a FAM section on sexual assault, all the OIG reports, and all with just enough snark – thank you!”

“Proud repeat supporter who relies on you to keep an eye on things.”

“Can’t be without your insightful commentary and passing on little publicized DoS happenings.”

“I donated because I think you’re performing a valuable service. Thank you!”

“I’ve been following Diplopundit for years and value the diverse coverage of all things State Department.”

“Someone needs to hold our leaders accountable.”

“In an era when our civil liberties and free speech and dissent of all kind is being maligned and suppressed, this blogger has done a great job of getting important, useful info to us.”

“My colleagues need the information and support you provide. Thanks!”

“Diplopundit is the best way to follow what’s going on at State – and DS has a great sense of humor!”

“I read the blog obsessively.”

“I donated because, although I don’t read your blog regularly, it’s important.”

“You have been a voice for many who don’t feel they have a voice.”

“In the field and at home you provide the information, good and bad, we need on the institution we are a part of. Keep up the great work!”

“Diplopundit does the deep dive I wish I had time for.”

“Been reading you for years. Thank you.”

“Don’t give up the ship!”

“Diplopundit addresses real impactful issues that are often swept under the rug by Main State”

“You write the things I can’t.”

“I donated because I’ve been following and donating. As a retired FS Specialist I am interested in keeping current on the events in the Department of State that you report on.”

“Your blog is keeping me sane.”

“I’m retiring from the FS … Diplopundit has always been there for me with the anti-swagger attitude we need to do our jobs effectively. Thanks for serving us all these years and hope there’s some way your brilliance can continue to delight us.”

“Diplopundit shares what’s going on in the Department of State, unlike the Department itself.”

“I donated because your blog is indispensable in these desperate times!”

“Diplopundit provides insights into Foreign Service life that I don’t find elsewhere. And I appreciate its sharp, yet humorous tone.”

“Love diplopundit! No one else reports on (and refutes/confirms) the rumint that can affect our careers. You help people in the institution learn more about those we serve and each other. Invaluable!”

“This is a unique and vital voice in our world.”



GFM Campaign Ends on August 5: It looks like we’re coming to the end of the line …

It looks like we’re coming to the end of the line. We’ve purposely limited the fundraising to a 60-day campaign because we don’t want to be distracted by raising funds for the rest of the year. We wanted to get it done and put it behind us. But our campaign is proceeding slowly and running out of time. It is likely that we may not reach our goal by August 5. So … such is life. Either 10,500 readers/subscribers/followers find the blog useful or they don’t.
For the 235 funders who came out to support the blog during this fundraising and during our previous efforts, we thank you. We are grateful for your continued support and your kind words. Below we are sharing some of the notes that we’ve received during this campaign. Sending love to all (no, I’m not crying, just something in my eyes).



“Diplopundit is a terrific blog that adds value consistently.”
“Thanks for covering the FS world. Not many places cover it with any context.”
“I find your blog informative and entertaining.”
“Please hang in there, you’re irreplaceable in this dire diplomatic age.”
“It’s the correct thing to support independent freedom of speech.”
“Accountability is important.”
“I enjoy updates. Avoid letting them get snarky.”
“Your independent coverage of news from the State Department is invaluable.”
“Diplopundit keeps us honest and is an indispensable service to public servants”
“The blog continues to report without opining or defaulting to partisan excuses.”
“I donated because it’s important to have accurate information at the appropriate time.”
“I believe in what blog is doing and I feel strongly about need for knowing all we can about what goes on at State. Sadly, these days, there’s not much good, if anything, to cite. All the more reason to watch closely. Huge mistakes are being made. No telling how repairs will be made…or if?”
“I’m a DOS retiree and live in total fear.”
“I donated because I’ve followed your blog for years.”
“You do a fantastic job of selecting and reporting on topics of particular and timely interest to the FS crowd.”
“Diplopundit is irreplaceable.”
“This is a fantastic blog.”
“It takes seven blind men to see an elephant.”
“I value what you do.”
“I love Diplopundit”
“Diplopundit matters, we on the inside can trust her to uphold the core values of the Department of State.”
“I read and enjoy your posts!”
“I value Diplopundit”
“Valuable, independent, below and inside the headlines.”
“I read Diplopundit.”
“You provide a useful service to the FS community. Keep up the good work.”
“I enjoy reading about the State Department.”
“Diplopundit continues to do a fantastic job providing informed and independent coverage of State Department, USAID goings on. And is the only such source. A rare light in a sea of otherwise darkness. We would feel the loss.”
“I donated because Diplopundit is informative, specially on issues not reported elsewhere.”
“I read the blog.”
“Diplopundit provides a valuable resource — unvarnished, honest discussion of Foggy Bottom goings on.”
“invaluable service over a long period of time”
“you shine a light on things that need lightin’ up.”
“… it’s totally the right thing to do. Gripe on!!!”
“Diplopundit is a must-read.”
“Please keep up the great work-Diplopundit shines a light where needed!”
“I value this blog.”
“I appreciate getting state Dept updates from this blog on important issues and happenings.”
“I love knowing what is really go on. It’s the anti-swagger.”
“Keeping up with State Department news is vital for the public. Blogging is 4th state in the 21st century and needs to be supported.”
“Keep up the good work.”
“Democracy dies in darkness.”
“Thank you for all the work you do! I’ve been reading your site since before I started A100 and I very much appreciate your honesty about foreign service and US policy.”
“You need to keep blogging.”
“I rely upon Diplopundit for honest news and appreciate their impartiality.”
“I’m retired FS, and your observations are spot on!”
“Diplopundit performs an invaluable and irreplaceable service.”
“These updates are more informative than Miles with Mike!”
“I enjoy your blog.”
“I value your updates and humor.”
“Appreciation for your good, long service as Diplopundit for all of us interested in your reporting on State Dept and foreign affairs.”



A Note to Readers

Help Fund the Blog | Diplopundit 2019 — 60-Day Campaign from June 5, 2019 – August 5, 2019



Diplopundit will not be updated for the next two weeks. Your blogger will be on the road with obligations that could not be put off, and also will have very limited to zero online access. Blogging is expected to resume around the third week of July. 

The GFM fundraising is chugging along. 183 campaign supporters in 26 days stopped by to pitch in. Thank you all, we appreciate every help! 

We’re not quite halfway to our funding goal and time clearly is gaining on us.  We’re looking at the rest of our subscribers to remember the blog and help, if their circumstances allow it.  Whether or not we will get to our goal by August 5 remains a cliffhanger.  Maybe we’re seeing the end of the line here, though the universe may still surprise us.  For now, be well, don’t start a war, and we’ll see you in a bit.

White Cat on Grass Field by Pixabay



Week 3/8 Funding Campaign: Top 10 All Time Hits

Help Fund the Blog | Diplopundit 2019 — 60-Day Campaign from June 5, 2019 – August 5, 2019



To the 115 donors who contributed generously for the first 14 days of this campaign, we are grateful for your support and thoughtfulness.

We’re starting the third week of an eight-week funding campaign. It could be good news at the beginning of August or it could be the start of our Goodbye Girl tour. There’s no certainty in a blog’s life. Unfortunately. If you follow the blog and wants us to stay around longer — even if we’re starting to grow a subtly mismatched eyebrows to become a female version of Andy Rooney — tag a couple of friends to help “she who must not be named’s” funding campaign. We realized that this is already the summer transfer season, and folks are busy and occupied, but hopefully, those friends would tag a couple more folks for help.

Below, we want to share our Top 10 All Time Hits (only covers the items posted since we moved to WordPress). We posted this on our campaign page but for some reason we could not insert links in the update function of GFM.

#1. US Citizen born in Puerto Rico detained as illegal immigrant, what was DHS/ICE thinking?
#2. Senate Bill to Slash Embassy Security Funds in Half Until US Embassy Jerusalem Officially Opens
#3. Indian Diplomat Devyani Khobragade Strip Search Video Is Fake – Here’s Proof
#4. IamA United States Diplomat: Anonymous FSO Gets on Reddit and He’s a Riot!
#5. Tom Countryman’s Farewell: A Diplomat’s Love Letter to America
#6. Raymond Maxwell: Former Deputy Asst Secretary Removed Over Benghazi Pens a Poem
#7. Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road? The Must-Read Embassy Edition
#8. Are #EFM positions literally about to become…extinct under #Tillerson’s watch?
#9. Top Hardship Assignments in the Foreign Service
#10. Inside @StateDept: Leaked Cable Provides Guidance For ‘America First’ Cost Savings Initiatives



We’re not buying a plane, but we do need your help :-)


We’ve been putting this off for as long as we could. Our last fundraising was done the year before last from May 10-July 20, 2017. That funding ran out at the end of May 2018. We have not done a fundraising since then, so we’ve been in a hole for the last year.

We’re not about to splurge on a private plane after we splurge on unlimited coffee, but we do need your help :-).  This year we’re going to attempt to raise $40K for 60 days from June 5 to August 5. This would fund the blog from August 2019 – August 2020. We don’t want funding to start before that as we have some obligations to attend to. and blogging could be light to nothing for at least a few weeks this summer.

If we don’t make our goal, that probably is our signal to exit. The blog will then stop updating in August 2020. If we do make more than our goal, we will apply any amount beyond our goal to our funding for the following year.

We are looking forward to  hanging around a bit longer on this watch, but our ability to do that depends on the generosity of blog friends and readers. We know this year has not been particularly easy for many people, but if you are able to help us keep this blog going for another year, we’d appreciate your support.

Please see our GFM page here:



DISCLAIMER: For over a decade, Diplopundit has covered the goings on in ‘Foggy Bottom’ and the ‘worldwide available’ universe. Note that this blog has no/no official connection with the U.S. Department of State, the Foreign Service, or any other branch of the U.S. Government.

NOTE:  For first time donors using GoFundMe, here is a list of FAQs for you: .  For donors who do not want to display their names on the campaign page and want to make their donations anonymous, this one’s for you:


It’s March 11, We’re Officially 11 Going on 12, Curious as Ever, But Sadly Funny No Mooo

We must admit, we are losing our sense of humor. Your blogger regrets this deeply. Inevitably as the years go by, we start losing familiar people and things — loved ones succumb to age or go off on their own adventures. We part with cherished objects and pets. Sometimes when we lose an old friend, we don’t even get to say goodbye. So goodbye, E, a lovely and exceptional human being who enjoyed the written words; may you rest in peace in a heaven filled with books.

Last year, your blogger also said goodbye to an old house. And to an old garden that kept one sane. We bid farewell to the familiar hundred-year-old red cedar tree that stood watch over our backyard. But we had moved many times before; one become accustomed to taking leave of familiar places and homes and to settling into new ones. One gets used ti taking leave of old friends and finding new ones. However, these recurring and often sad transitions are not what is make us lose our sense of humor.

Dr. Web told us that the loss of humor could be an indication of the road to dementia. Alrighty, so advised. But we are not taking that road.  No. No. No. Thank you very much, we are in full possession of our faculties.  We may be losing old friends and and at least temporarily, a sense of place, but we have not yet damaged  our brain cells, people.

We are simply having issues with laughing, especially laughing out loud. Life is freaking funny, but we want it “funny ha-ha” like the way it used to be, not “funny kill me now” the way it often seems to be these days.  We’re hoping that ours is only a temporary affliction brought on by our current national circumstances and by the wretchedness  in our daily discourse.

This year, we can’t promise you the funnies, or even that we may become wiser as the year goes by. We do promise you that we’ll keep trying to do both, even if we may not always be successful. This blog began during the last year of Secretary Rice’s tenure, spanned the entire tenures of Secretaries Clinton and Kerry, and through the long, dark and stormy 423 Tillerson days.  And now we are right smack in the Swagger Era. And who knows how long this will last.

This ride is making even mellow bloggers cranky.  So let’s chew on eleven but onward to year 12. We hope you’ll keep us company even if, like us, you just want to be bewitched at times, like Rip Van Winkle in the old-growth forests of the Catskills.

Note: For new dot-gov and related readers who are just getting acquainted with this blog, please read the plain print:  this blogger does not/does not work for the secretary of state or any government-funded entity. This blog is supported by a few ads and donations from generous readers. We conduct public discourse as a private citizen.  And as always, any take down notice will be published in full.



A Nest in the Woods (Far From Crazytown With Bats in the Belfry)

Hello there! We thought we’d be back to full time blogging before now but life happens. Short-short story, we found a new nest (yep! no more temp housing) but amidst the search, a loved one also had some medical issue that required surgery and  recuperation. We’re good now and things are almost normal again but it’s been awhile. Thanks to blog pals who had checked on us and kept us in the loop even when we were not always able to respond or respond timely. And thanks to blog readers who continue to visit even when our blog posts have been boringly sporadic.

Lots of stuff apparently happened. Now Bob Woodward’s book, Fear: Trump in the White House will be out tomorrow. So Crazytown, D.C. will have a large flock of bats in the belfry! Duck and cover in the forecast.

Lordy, this summer was all bananas, what hope is there for fall?

Photo by Noel McShane via Pexels


We’ve updated our privacy policy, please have a look

We’ve updated our Privacy Policy here, please take a look. The update reflects the newest updates from WordPress, our enterprise host and its implementation of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation that recently took effect. Note the discussion on cookies and what to do if you want to opt out. Subscribers to this blog are also able to unfollow it at any time; the link for that is included in the footer of the follow emails. You may also email us and we can remove you from all future mailings.