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Morning Musings

  • Your medical records are for sale. Your sensitive health data will be hacked. It is only a matter of time. And that is not much Uncle Sam can do to stop it, says one expert. As I’ve said numerous times on this blog, the anti-NSA lobby is on overdrive and, in addition to weakening U.S. national security, they are diverting precious political capital from an issue that really needs it and that impacts consumers a whole lot more. If and when there is a massive data breach of personal health care data, the politicians will awaken from the slumber.
  • Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), who represents the land-locked 4th Congressional District up north in Cook Country Illinois, claims the U.S.-Mexico is ‘secure‘. And folks still wonder in this town why even incremental immigration reform can’t seem to leave the station. Someone should start listening to Senator McCain on this issue.
  • Last week a Justice Department spokesman put to rest, at least for now, any hope of learning if Democratic Senate staff unlawfully removed a classified report from a CIA facility in Virginia. That’s too bad. If you’re going to work on certain Congressional Committees, it should go without saying, you’re going to be monitored when you access certain data. If the CIA was monitoring a computer or room where sensitive material was stored, good for them. Had they not been, who knows what documents politically enterprising Senate staffer could’ve walked away with and leaked to the press. If you’ve consented and enjoy holding a high-level security clearance, you’ve also agreed to certain levels of monitoring when accessing classified materials. The enhanced interrogation memo should never see the light of day; but certain Senators, and Representatives, wanted it out there. Even if it meant breaking the law by using staff to do their Nixonesque dirty trick. I know staffers who have lost their jobs over less. How times have changed; but we’ll see what the Senate Sergeant at Arms decides to do. In the meantime, the oversight process continues to suffer because of political immaturity on both sides of the issue.
  • The Cuban government was upset that one of its primary sources of U.S. dollars, France’s BNP Paribas, was subject to a close to $9 billion fine for violating U.S. sanctions on the regime. Let’s see if what happens in a few weeks with the Commerzbank investigation. New reports are that Commerzbank could face fines of as high as $900 million for alleged violations of U.S. sanctions.  The Castro regime is running out of banks to hide and launder their loot. And people still wonder if economic sanctions work?
  • Talking about Cuba, Vladimir Putin has been in Havana for a few days. The DC media? Tumbleweed. Putin arrived in Havana on Friday, his first stop in a multi-nation Latin America tour that includes Argentina and Brazil. In addition to writing off Cuba’s Russian debt, Putin is promising more oil exploration off Cuba’s coast and many more goodies. What does Russia get in return? If you’re a Cold War baby, you know.
  • Silence Patton, the First Victim of the Cold War, is a movie that is due out early next year. According to filmmakers, it focuses on why was General Patton silenced during his service in World War II. I’m glad someone is working to clear up Patton’s name and service record. He is one of the most misunderstood American hero. The 1970 movie, Patton, is an excellent film but if you read a few books about him, you’ll understand that the Hollywood flick glossed over a whole lot. Future generations of Americans have no idea who he was; and even less will ever read a book about him. In a town that needs political truth tellers these days, Robert Orlando‘s film about Patton’s efforts behind the scenes is long overdue. 
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