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Morning Musings

  • Our quiet city awakens this week as Congress returns from Spring break for nine weeks of legislating and prevaricating. It promises to be a very busy legislative cycle. Even the BREW Act is on tap. How much of it will produce product remains to be seen. With the mid-term elections right around the corner only must pass, at best, will.
  • House Republican Conference Chairman, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers says ObamaCare is here to stay. That is one talking point the GOP would prefer to keep under wraps, at least until after the mid-term elections. I expect many a dumb comment from our side of the aisle these coming weeks.
  • “If someone distributed any part of this classified [interrogation] report, they broke the law and should be prosecuted,” Senator Feinstein said a few weeks ago. When it comes to Congressional staff, wondering if she means it?
  • Business Insider (Australia)Chinese Spies Read Australian MPs’ Emails For A Year. Where is the outrage from the Left, the ACLU, Snowden, etc… [cue, crickets chirping]
  • After a conference in Washington, DC last week on the Edward Snowden matter, the International Committee of the Fourth International (yes, you read right) laments that “surveillance operations under both Bush and Obama far exceed the amateurish efforts of Nixon to attack his political opponents … [and that the U.S. is] assembling vast databases on the political and social views of much of the world’s population, to facilitate mass repression of political opposition to the capitalist ruling elite.” They never give up.
  • The Telegraph: Ukrainian intelligence officers detained by pro-Russian separatists (video).
  • From Dubai, the CIA’s former Chief Information Security Officer reveals new strategies to fight cyber-threats and hackers
  • Russia sanctions Monday? Meanwhile, there are reports this morning that Kharkiv Mayor Hennadiy Kernes was shot in the back in the morning.
  • DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson says that the immigration system is ‘not working“.  Of course, he blamed the Republican Congress (a party that only controls 1/2) and made veiled, agency morale bubble bursting pleas for amnesty. Are there any Captain Americas left in the federal government?
  • The Western Washington University International Affairs Association hosted former CIA Director and Defense Secretary Bob Gates this weekend.  Gates was they keynote speaker at a model UN conference. Among other things, Gates told the group that “[h]istory is littered with the carcasses of empires that underestimated the U.S.” Indeed. 
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