Wednesday, September 9, 2015

September, 2015, Political Class Insanity, Part 5: Iranians Buying U.S. Senators, The Federal Inability to Build A Fence and More

It is the start of another month which means it is time for our monthly review of the latest political class insanity that continually spews forth from America’s politicians. Their actions, words, quotes, incompetency, and general ineptness continue to reinforce our theory that we are currently being served by the worst set of politicians in the history of the nation.

As you read about the latest shenanigans and ineptness of the political class, keep in mind what should be their priorities in these difficult times and compare this list to what they are actually working on:

  • NBC recently reported that ISIS forces are getting larger and stronger despite the Obama administration spending billions of dollars on a failed air campaign and military strategy.
  • The stock market is in free fall.
  • Job creation is barely keeping up with population growth.
  • Wage growth is anemic, growing just .2% in the second quarter, the lowest quarterly growth since 1982.
  • The labor participation rate is at the lowest level in decades because the Obama economy cannot generate enough jobs.
  • Thousands of veterans are still not getting the medical care they were promised by the Federal government.
  • 46 million Americans are still receiving monthly Federal food assistance.
  • Our borders still leak and thousands of illegal immigrant criminals continue to walk our streets
  • A record number of police officers have been assassinated in the past week.
  • Major programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are hurtling towards insolvency and lose hundreds of billions of dollars every year to fraud and mismanagement.
  • Our kids are still getting lousy public educations at most public schools.
  • The IRS and other government functions seem to be getting their computer systems hacked on a regular basis, exposing tens of millions of Americans to identity theft potential.
  • Obama Care is a failure along so many dimensions as health care costs continue to soar despite the Obama promise that they would decrease.
  • Annual Federal deficits, while down, are still about half a TRILLION a year meaning that even though the Federal government is collecting more in taxes than ever before, it still cannot run a balanced budget.
Again, keep these real crises in mind as you read what our politicians are actually doing.

1) While we try to respect everyone’s opinion, we find it difficult to believe why anyone believes that Obama and Kerry did not get their pockets picked by the Iranians when you look at the lopsided, one sided deal that was agreed to to limit Iran’s ability to get a nuclear weapon or two. We will be talking about the idiocy of this deal in a near term future post and have already shown its shortfalls in the following past post:

But somehow dozens of Democrats in the Senate are supporting this atrocious deal which puzzled me until I remembered that old adage: “follow the money.” In a recent article by Daniel Greenfield, writing for the Israel’s Voice website, he laid out the the amount of money that Iranian interests and lobbyists have showered onto Democratic U.S. Senators. Once you follow the Iranian money, it becomes clearer why a Senator would vote to support this crazy deal:

  • Senator John Markey of Massachusetts supports the Obama Iranian deal and also was the top recipient of campaign funding contributions from the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) which maxed out the amount of dollars it could contribute to his campaigns.
  • Senator Al Franken of Minnesota also supports the deal and also received a load of money from IAPAC.
  • Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire also supports the deal but is obviously a lousy money negotiator since she supports the deal but only got half the amount of money from IAPAC given to Markey and Franken.
  • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York also supports the deal and she also had received IAPAC money a few years ago.
  • The Iranian lobbyists also tried to turn Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona and Charles Schumer of New York with campaign contributions but those investments went sour since neither supports this deal.
  • Iranian lobbyist Hassan Nemazee has also contributed to Gillilbrand, served as Hillary Clinton’s national campaign finance director, raised campaign funds for both her and John Kerry, pleaded guilty to a fraud scheme involving millions of dollars and has served as an IAPAC trustee.
  • Nemazee also contributed to deal supporter Senator Barbara Boxer who also received IAPAC money.
  • Vice President Joe Biden has also received big bucks from Iranian interests including the American Iranian Council and the Iranian Muslim Association of North America.
  • According to the article: A member of Iran’s oppposition had accused Biden's campaigns of being “financed by Islamic charities of the Iranian regime based in California and by the Silicon Iran network.” Biden’s affinity for the terrorist regime in Tehran was so extreme that after 9/11 he had suggested “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran”.
  • Akbar Ghahary, a co-founder of IAPAC, has donated and raised more than $50,000 for Obama’s election campaigns.

Now, supporters of the deal might point out that Israel also plays the lobbyist game and has probably donated far more to American politicians than Iranians lobbyists have done. There is a big couple of differences though:

  1. First, Israel’s leaders and its citizens do not preach “Death To Iran” and vow to wipe Iran off the face of the earth.
  2. Israel does not support terror organizations and terrorist attacks across a wide swath of the Middle East and throughout the world.
  3. Although the Israelis probably have had nuclear weapons for a long time, they have proven themselves to be responsible owners of such weapons, something that the Iranians have not proven they would be.
Of course, we could have avoided the whole mess of Senators prostituting themselves and their principles to the highest bidders if we had implemented Step 6 from our book, “Love My Country, Loathe My Government.” Step 6 would allow only individual American citizens to donate to political campaigns. No PACs, no foreign interests, only American citizens. 

But Step 6 is not in play and as a result, the worst set of politicians to ever serve in Washington have again proven themselves to be weak willed, shallow people who would trade the safety of millions of people for a few thousands dollars. Insanity.

2) We have often showed that projects and programs started by the Federal government never get completed as planned. Much money is promised, much ballyhooing is done at the beginning, and years and billions of dollars later, nothing has been accomplished. Such is the case with building a Federal government wall to secure our southern border with Mexico.

According to reporting by Paul Bedard, writing for the Washington Examiner, on September 4, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security recently admitted that only 36 miles along the U.S./Mexican border had effective double fencing. 36 miles out of thousands of miles. Pathetic. Especially pathetic since the Federal government has been trying to build an effective security fence since at least the Reagan administration over three decades ago...and probably billions of dollars ago.

How badly has the effort gone? Consider some recent Congressional testimony from Homeland personnel:

  • With a current budget of $2.5 billion, the Feds have still only been able to build less than 40 miles of effective fencing.
  • Another 352 miles of border have different types of less effective fencing which cost an amazing $7 million a mile. For that cost, the fence should go a mile under ground and a mile in the air.
  • Some of this 352 miles of fencing are built out of Vietnam era helicopter landing pads, not a very effective approach to security fencing.
  • 1,300 miles on the border have NO fencing at all. This is 66.5% of the border mileage.
Incompetence, plain and simple.

3) Let’s stay with the Department of Homeland Security for one more piece of insanity. This organization has probably received at least hundreds of billions of funding to secure the homeland since the 9-11 attacks. How well they have done is open for debate given the dozens of attacks, both executed and thwarted, over the years.

However, along one dimension of measurement they have been a total failure despite hundreds of billions of dollars. According to more Paul Bedard reporting from the Washington Examiner, a recent opinion survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs found that 72% of those surveyed think an Islamic terror attack on our shores is critical threat. 

Additionally, the percentage of respondents who perceive a "critical threat" from Islamic fundamentalism has increased 15 percentage points in just a year, to 55%, up from 40% in 2014 and is at the highest level since 2002. So much for making us feel safe. Given the ineptness of the Department of Homeland Security to build a simple, effective border fence, this fear and tribulation is probably real and justified.

Another day, another three examples of political class insanity: Iranian lobbyists buying U.S. politicians, a Federal agency that needs $7 million to build a mile long fence, and the same Federal agency that has not calmed our fears of being attacked in our own country. And the insanity will continue to march on again tomorrow.

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