"... Can a faulty or low quality USB cable damage the battery and or the board over time?"...
No, it causes just a lower current.
"...If not in a rush is it better, and if so about how much better, to charge the battery on the slow charge? ..."
As far as I know, this made no difference for a Li-Ion battery.
"... I have ordered a couple of data/charge cables from Monoprice.com
28/24AWG Cable w/ Ferrite Core (Gold Plated)..."
The power wires have 24AWG, this should be good enough for a 1m cable.
"... My bad, I want to be sure I understand.
So, if the charger is shorted a shorted USB cable is redundant? ..."
No, if you use a data/charge USB cable, the phone "sees" the shorted charger through the data wires.
But with charge-only USB cable (without data wires) the phone can't "see" the shorted charger. So the cable's microUSB itself must have this jumped data pins.
Google Translate is to blame for my grammar