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Morning Musings

  • The European Union gives up on Iran sanctions. We should’ve completed the Keystone pipeline a while ago because the U.S. Congress pressing ahead with a fresh batch of U.S. sanctions.
  • They should listen to people who have first-hand experience: Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk warns that “the world stands on the brink of conflict, the consequences of which are not foreseen… Not everyone in Europe is aware of this situation.” 
  • Rubik‘s cube? U.S.-Iran policy does feel 1970ish, at times, but I’m certain the U.S. official who made the analogy was focused on other things.
  • To the House of Cards producers, N.B., Members of Congress do not wear badges when visiting The White House (at least not the Members of Congress we used to work with and accompanied on many a visit). Yleem and I held out watching the series as long as we could. But we watched a few episodes recently and, yes, the series has a little jaundiced view of this town and how it works. However, it is entertaining enough … maybe we will watch Season 2.
  • Chinese government and Huawei officials are “upset” the NSA allegedly did its job. Finally, someone doing something right.
  • The End Bulk Collection Act is DOA. So is privacy.  At least as my generation came to know it. When will the rest of policy establishment figure this out? A new concept of privacy is being crafted – and the government is not in the driver‘s seat. We can do better to accomplish national security as well as privacy goals.
  • Ukraine is getting hotter, meanwhile the Congressional debate on economic sanctions is droll and Russia needs to find economic pals. Suggestion.
  • Russia’s adventurism is serious. Just ask the Baltic states, for starters. It is time that the U.S. led. U.S. taxpayers have invested a lot of money in the military and national security apparatus. They deserve more than a paper war.
  • Did the U.S. and the E.U. want the Russians in the Ukraine to being with? Sure seems like it. The response has been anemic. As does our response to border security in our neck of the woods.
  • Senate Majority Reid is making threats. To be expected. The Democrats see the political future and it is very murky.
  • There is a panel in town today on Christian persecution in the Middle East. I thought the Iraq war ended all that? It is a democracy now, no?
  • A senior Congressional official tells me yesterday that something good coming on Venezuela. “What about the White House?”, I asked. You need both branches to agree on something. The response basically means that for now friends, there will be no Venezuela policy from the United States beyond wait-and-see.
  • From Guinea to Libera. Now, hemorrhagic fever in Canada. Outbreak?
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