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Morning Musings

  • Edward Snowden holds court, as if he had something to say. This time to Vanity Fair. If things were so bad at the NSA, then why has there not been armies of whistleblowers stepping forward, denouncing the great beast? This fellow used the revolving door. He wanted the Uncle Same on his resume, then he cashed out. Once he tasted the money, he went in for more. It was never about mom or apple pie, as he maybe said on his application (Yes, patriotism still matters). It was, continues to be, and always shall be, about Edward Snowden, as well as those who have supported him. Vanity Fair. I think he’s at home now.
  • A senior Member of Congress, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D.Md.), contrary to earlier statements, may have communicated with the IRS official under fire for investigating conservative non-profits. These Congressional communications may have led to more scrutiny of a conservative non-profit group. The ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Cummings, as well as his staff, have a lot of explaining to do. Whatever you may think about the Congressional oversight hearings and investigations of the IRS, manipulating committee rules, and possibly lying to fellow colleagues, is not how one is supposed to do business in this business. This may explain why the Democrats wants this investigation to go away. Fast.
  • Venezuelan opposition leaders should, respectfully, advise Vatican officials that the Maduro regime will never be ready for peace. A government hell-bent on control can never be. Peace without freedom is neither. The Venezuelan people must sort this one out on their own. The United States needs to stand with the forces of freedom, as best it can.
  • My Congressman, soon to retire, Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) offered a bill yesterday to increase Congressional salaries currently set at $174,000. The Hill newspaper reports the measure “crashed and burned” at the Committee yesterday. As it should. According to The Hill, the Democrat ranking member of the Legislative Branch Appropriations subcommittee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Shultz (D-Fla.) hopes that the issue be considered in the future. And Democrats wonder why they keep losing Congressional seats and may lose control of the Senate later this year (at least one Democratic Senator is not waiting until November to make his views known)? Moran is concerned that a lot of rich people will become Members of Congress. The average household income in the U.S. is about $50,000. Members of Congress make a whole lot more than that. If you’re in Congress for the money, you’re in the wrong line of work.
  • When an agency spokesman says “I’m not sure that there’s any money that we can’t account for,” alarm bells should go off. Except the State Department IG lays it out in black and white, about $6,000,000,000 (that’s six billion of your tax dollars) is unaccounted for as a result of lost contract files, incomplete files, falsified records, corrupt people, and much more. That is a lot of money that could’ve been refunded to the Treasury or used for other programs, such as pensions or hazard pay or who knows what else. What does the fox say? The DiploPundit has a response, video included. As for Congressional oversight, [cue the chirping crickets].
  • Talking about State Department contractors, turns out that the wife of House Intelligence Committee Chairman turning radio talk show, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) has been doing business with Foggy Bottom through Aegis LLC. The Zero Hedge blog, citing Dick Morris who broke the story, unloads: “While this sort of crony capitalism is seen as “business as usual” in the cesspool that is D.C., the really crazy part of this story is that as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rogers is charged with investigating the adequacy of security at the Benghazi compound prior to the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack [emphasis added by Zero Hedge].” As I routinely tell our clients, one needs a lot of patience to navigate this town. Kudos to Dick Morris for penning the piece. Seems like the American people, and the family members of the Benghazi attack victims, will soon have the oversight hearings and investigations they deserve. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) had a plan. GOP leaders, and the oversight committees, should listen.
  • Rep. Vance McAllister’s (R-La.) Chief of Staff the Congressman is not resigning. Give him a few days, reality will settle in. From what I have read, the Congressman has a lot of explaining to do. His Chief is not helping matters either. Congressional Crisis Management 101, no one wants to hear from staff. McAllister is risking becoming an outcast in his own Conference, but things can become a whole lot more unpleasant. Give this story a few more days. If history holds, McAllister may be looking for a new career soon. There is a key mid-term election just right around the corner. GOP leaders cannot afford to let this story fester too much longer. Tear it off, like a band aid. If he refuses to leave, refer the matter to the House Ethics Committee.
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