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Morning Musings

  • Secretary of State John Kerry’s Benghazi Congressional subpoena is on hold. Duty calls. Again. This time he’s headed for the national security hotspot known as Méjico. Might as well ramp up quickly the Select Committee processes; they should pack the staff with a lot lawyers, preferably those with a prosecutorial background or edge, as well as former Congressional staff who understand national security and foreign policy oversight. Certain leadership pockets at Foggy Bottom will not cooperate, unless cajoled or forced to do so.
  • Senator Jay Rockefeller’s (D-W.Va.) senate seat is one step closer to becoming a GOP outpost in West Virginia.
  • The President has ordered economic sanctions against several Central African Republic officials. White House spokesman Jay Carney expressed perfunctory righteous indignation: “Growing attacks perpetrated by both Muslim and Christian militias have brought CAR to a crisis of disastrous proportions.” What the political correct Carney did not say, of course, was that the growing attacks stem from a radical Islamic insurgency. The attacks against Christian groups have only increased during the short time that the Séléka regime took power. Sanctions? Too little. Too late. Maybe they need a hashtag?
  • U.S.-Ukraine foreign policy (almost exclusively) via economic sanctions is starting to generate some political blowback in this town.
  • Over at the DiploPundit blog: Phillip Assis, the Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Karachi performed with the other semifinalists during the Pakistan Idol semifinals last month.  
  • Rich: “We are very concerned about continuing to develop high-tech projects with such an unreliable partner as the United States, which politicizes everything,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said. More reinforcement that the United States needs to go at it alone, in outer space. That means investing a lot more in outer space programs.
  • Congress is in recess this week, so it can be a relatively slow news cycle. However, the POLITICO has an interesting article about data privacy and, fortunately, it is not another gratuitous NSA-bashing piece. “Who Watches the Watchers? Big Data Goes Unchecked,” delves into that political rabbit hole that no Member of Congress wants to really touch: data, sometimes very personal data, collected by the private sector about you and me. As the nation develops a modern-day “reasonable expectation of privacy” standard, Congress and regulators are the ones that need to be watched. The free marketplace will correct and balance privacy and commercial concerns. It already does it. Despite what certain privacy activists say in this town, the American people are voting with their wallets and they like what they have right now.
  • According to a European Union court ruling yesterday, you have a right to have your data scrubbed from the ether. For now, it’s just search engine results. Decision such as these are just the start of a larger complete anonymity trend. The opinion is available here.
  • The Miami Herald reports that yet another Medicare fraud ring has been broken up in South Florida that has ties to Cuba. If you’ve read this blog over the years, we call these business enterprises part of Cuba Castro Incorporated. These are companies based on South Florida, New York, and elsewhere in the world with ties to the regime or regime officials. I’ve always wondered why federal prosecutors have never linked these U.S.-based front companies to the regime. It has the makings of a great RICO suit. Al Capone was brought down via the tax code. The U.S. could take a serious bite out of the regime’s coffers by cracking down on these U.S.-based businesses that are nothing more than revenue generators for the regime in Havana. Sanctions enforcement alone will not make dent; there are too many loopholes and exceptions.
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