What do they do, sell the stuff on Ebay?

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It’s always fun, the annual roundup of gift-giving to U.S. officials from foreign dignitaries; under current ethics rules, presents worth more than $305 are considered property of the U.S. government while those less than that are the recipient’s to keep, though exactly what you’d do with “a 16-inch bronze statuette of an Arab man helping a woman from a bath, mounted on a black-slate base, valued at $300” is not entirely clear (you’d have to ask former CIA head George Tenet, who got the artwork from an unnamed foreign official). Hillary Clinton turned a Versace wallet she was given in India over to the State Department, whose rummage sales must be something to see. Donald Rumsfeld, meanwhile, didn’t get to keep the $380 aromatherapy gift set he got from the Jordanian royals around Christmas ’04. Pity that.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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