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Brownback should free nomination

Gov.-elect Sam Brownback has a long to-do list for his new job. But there is something he should undo before his leaves the Senate: his four-month hold on the nomination of Francis Ricciardone Jr. (in photo) to be U.S. ambassador to Turkey. Ricciardone was ambassador to Egypt during the Bush administration, but Brownback has questioned whether he's the "right ambassador for Turkey at this time." Meanwhile, U.S.-Turkish relations are straining over Iran, Israel and more. Whatever Brownback's motivations, wrote Foreign Policy in Focus blogger Michael Busch, "the failure to situate an ambassador in Ankara — stupid even during moments of political calm — will surely produce negative dividends for both sides as WikiLeaks revelations continue surfacing over the coming weeks."