Dead Drop: February 24

WAIT, WUT?  At The Cipher Brief, our focus is on easy stuff — like national security and world peace – so we intentionally stay away from hard things like domestic policy.  So cut us some slack, here but we vaguely remember an issue coming up during the most recent State of the Union speech when President Biden accused Republicans of wanting to “sunset” entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.  And Republicans said – “no we didn’t!”  And normally, we would not bring this up…but this week, Florida Senator Rick Scott reportedly modified his previously published “Rescue America” plan to make clear that it no longer proposed sunsetting (requiring re-authorization every five years) – Social Security, Medicare OR THE U.S. NAVY.  Huh? We were unaware that the Navy was an entitlement program or that it was in danger of every five years, Congress deciding they might make it go away.  And if the Navy DID get deep sixed – what was Congress going to do with all those ships and planes?  Oddly, Senator Scott’s plan apparently was silent on things like the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Space Force. As stipulated above – we don’t entirely understand this domestic policy stuff – but can say for our friends in the Navy that we’re pleased to know they’ll still be in business six years from now.

FIRST DRAGON LADY SELFIE:  It’s a good thing the US Air Force is still well funded, otherwise, we may have a different perspective on the big ball of hot air that was floating over the US recently.  The US Air Force scored a win not only by shooting down the Chinese Surveillance Balloon that drifted for days over the Continental US, but also when the pilot of a U2 Dragon Lady spy plane who was monitoring the balloon’s movements, shot a selfie with the most famous balloon in the world.  We found it somewhat entertaining that The South China Morning Post carried the story – and the selfie – that was apparently snapped a day before the balloon was relieved of its hot air by another Air Force fighter pilot.   

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