The record number of days to cover all of the insanity was attained this past August when we needed nine full days of posts to cover one month’s worth of politicians screwing up. Given that the Washington political class has been back in session for several week, there is a very good chance that the nine day record will fall this month. The excitement builds.
1) From the “you cannot make this stuff up” folder. Ohio State University’s public safety force has a brand new toy: an armored fighting vehicle known as a MRAP or Mine Resistant Ambush Protected troop transports. The university acquired the transport as free military surplus.
Apparently, MRAPs are used by the Army and the Marine Corps to give troops cover and concealment during recon missions and combat patrols. They can also survive a direct hit from an Improvised Explosive Device or land mines.
Does the university know something that the rest of us do not know? Is it bracing for an influx of IEDs or land mines? Why would the Federal government give a university such a vehicle is beyond my comprehension. Especially since the Ohio State police and all other Ohio local police forces do not have MRAPs or any military-grade equivalent. Wouldn’t they be better owners of such a device rather than campus police? Makes no sense at all.
2) Since 1972, Gallup polling organization has polled Americans with the following question: “How much trust and confidence do you have in our federal government in Washington when it comes to handling [international problems/domestic problems]--a great deal, a fair amount, not very much, or none at all?” If we look at some historical and recent results of their findings we see that:
- In April 1974, during the dark days of Watergate and four months before Nixon resigned as result of the scandal, 24% of Americans told Gallup that they had a great deal of trust and confidence in the federal government’s handling of international problems and 49% said they had a fair amount of confidence, for a combined 73% who said they had a great deal or fair amount of trust and confidence in the federal government in its ability to handle international issues.
- In that same survey fielded in the turbulent Nixon era, 9% said they had a great deal of trust and confidence in the federal government’s handling of domestic problems and 42% said they had a fair amount of trust and confidence—for a combined 51% who said they had a great deal or fair amount of trust and confidence.
- On September 2007, during the administration of President George W. Bush, the percentage of Americans having a great deal or fair amount of trust and confidence in the federal government’s handling of international problems hit 51%, 22 percentage points less than Nixon during his crisis time, and the percentage who had a great deal or fair amount of trust and confidence in the federal government in the handling domestic problems hit 47%, four percentage points below Nixon‘s ratings.
- Gallup published their analysis of that 2007 survey with the headline: “Low Trust in Government Rivals Watergate Era Levels.”
- So if faith in government was low in Bush’s second term relative to the dark days of Watergate, how would one describe the latest Gallup results during Obama’s second term: the most recent Gallup question on this issue found that only 49% of Americans had any faith the federal government could handle international issues and only 42% of those polled had any faith that the federal government could handle domestic Issues, both are all time LOWS from Gallup’s continuing survey.
- Those numbers are record breaking lows and trending downward.
All time lows. Just more data and realities to prove our hypothesis that we are suffering through the worst set of Washington politicians in the history of the United States.
3) Speaking of falling numbers, every year the Heritage Foundation, in cooperation with the Wall Street Journal, creates and publishes the Economic Freedom Index which measures the impact of liberty and the free market in different countries around the world. The index has historically shown a strong connection between prosperity and economic freedom, with measurements related to government spending, trade freedom and the rule of law.
Their latest analysis shows that the United States has fallen to the lowest level of economic freedom since the year 2000. This deteriorating performance now places us behind nine other countries that scored higher on economic freedom over the past year.
Other findings from their analysis include:
- Hong Kong received the highest economic freedom rank, followed by Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and Switzerland.
- The U.S. score has been declining for ﬁve consecutive years in terms of economic freedom.
- Only Ireland has posted a similar decline the past five years.
4) Several years ago, New York Congressman Charles Rangel got into some serious tax evasion and House of Representative ethics issues. His behavior was so bad that the House actually stripped him of some committee assignments, one of which was the powerful House Ways and Means committee. Nevertheless, he did not go to jail or even get kicked out of Congress for acts that would have gotten most other Americans jail time.
Well, it looks like the Congressman did not learn as lessons as reported in a recent New York Post article:
A Harlem political club, which benefits from taxpayer money and boasts Rep. Charles Rangel and Councilwoman Inez Dickens as district leaders, has received more than $200,000 in donations since 1999 but didn’t report the income or even register with the state, officials said.
Dickens also happens to be the Martin Luther King Jr. Democratic Club’s landlord, collecting monthly rent.
Want to bet he survives this scandal also, with no major financial impacts and no jail time at all? It must be great to be above the law.
5) Speaking of being above the law, this type of political class behavior does not happen just in Washington with Federal officials. According to a recent post on the excellent website, www.againstcroniyism.org, Washington state government politicians headed to work can't get speeding tickets, according to the Washington State Patrol (WSP) and at least one local Washington police department.
Washington lawmakers are apparently state constitutionally protected from receiving noncriminal traffic tickets during a legislative session, as well as 15 days before the session begins (come on, it might be a big state but unless you are taking a mule to a legislative session, 15 days is too long!)
State Patrol spokesman Bob Calkins says the privilege not only applies to moving violations near the state Capitol in Olympia, but potentially anywhere in the state.
The logic? Detaining lawmakers on the road, even for the short time it takes to issue them a speeding ticket, and even if the legislature is not yet in office, may delay them from getting to the Capitol to vote. Never mind that their needlessly speeding and other traffic antics might kill or maim their own constituents.
Just like Obmaa Care and just like tax evaders (e.g. Charles Rangel), the political class in this country, at the Federal and state level, continually carve out special exemptions for themselves at the financial and possibly life expense of the people they should be serving, not screwing.
So, are off to a rousing start and just scratching the surface of what our political class has been doing to us lately. Exempting themselves from laws but subjecting us to those same laws, reducing our political and economic freedom at a drastic rate, and most disturbing, destroying the confidence that we have in their ability to resolve any domestic or international issue and crisis. At least they had one accomplishment: the students and staff at Ohio State University are now safe from IEDs and land mines (sarcasm).
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