Thursday, October 1, 2015

October, 2015, Part 1, Political Class Insanity: Failure I Syria, Failure at the DEA, Failure at the Department of Education and More

It is the beginning of another month which means it is time again to review the latest political class insanity from the American political class. Each month it takes us multiple posts to cover the wasteful spending, incompetent government organizations and employees, government programs that usually make a problem worse than resolving it, inane and idiotic politicians' comments, etc.

To review past posts on this insanity and idiocy, just click on the first few posts in each month listed to the right of this page. After reviewing just a handful of these insanity posts we think you will agree that we are currently being served by the worst set of American politicians ever to hold office in our entire history.

So let’s get started with the latest insanity:

1) The Federal Department of Education has an annual budget of over $60 billion a year. Which means since 2005, the American taxpayer has probably spent well over half a trillion Federal tax dollars on education in this country. This half a trillion dollars does not include what state and local government spend on educating our kids.

Given this outrageous amount being spent by the Federal government, one would hope that we are turning out the brightest kids in the world for these prices. But alas, hope and reality when it comes to Federal government spending seldom match up. According to a recent Washington Post article that was summarized in the September 18, 2015 issue of The Week magazine, the average SAT scores for high schools students graduating in 2005 is at the lowest levels since 2005. In other words, for well over half a trillion dollars, our kids are getting dumber.

In just the past year, the average combined SAT scores for 2015 seniors in high school was 1490 out of 2400, down 7 points from 2014. Only 42% of all high schools seniors and a very depressing 16% of African-American students achieved a score of at least 1550, a benchmark for college readiness.

Obviously, this disgraceful performance for our tax dollars was achieved over two different Presidential administrations including almost seven years of the Obama administration. One would have hoped that the first African-American President could have brought some focus and hope to the this very low SAT performance by African-American students but again, hope and reality are two different things.

If public education in this country was a new kitchen blender or new car that cost half a trillion dollars and performed this poorly, we would surely have returned it to the store or car dealer and demanded our money back. Unfortunately, we somehow allow the Washington politicians to get away with this pitiful performance and not hold them accountable or demand they start doing things differently since maintaining the status quo is accomplishing little if anything. As far as Obama’s once infamous “hope and change” political slogan, that apparently did not apply to the sad state of public education in this country on his watch.

2) Given the putrid performance of the Federal Department of Education, it should not come as a surprise that another Federal agency, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), is also a disgrace and waste of money. The DEA is the main Federal law enforcement entity that is fighting the drug war for us in this country. According to a recent USA Today article, the DEA appears to be just another incompetent and corrupt government agency:

  • An internal Justice Department investigation found that the DEA allowed some of its agents to stay on the job even though they were found to actually have distributed illegal drugs rather than stop their circulation, lied to authorities, and committed other illegal and unethical acts.
  • In one of the most heinous acts of disgrace, DEA agents who attended so-called sex parties that were funded by drug cartels had not been fired from their jobs.
  • Even when agents were identified for job termination for unethical or illegal acts, only 26% were actually fired.
  • In one case where a review board proved that a DEA agent had actually distributed illegal drugs he was still not fired and given only a 14 day suspension.
Unbelievable that a Federal drug agent cannot be fired or will not be fired for distributing illegal drugs, the exact same thing that he was supposed to be preventing. Only in a government job can you get away with doing the exact opposite of what you are supposed to to… and get paid for doing it. Insane.

3) When President Obama talked at the funeral of U.S. Senator Daniel Inoyue, he mentioned his himself more than the dead Senator.

When President Obama put out a statement relating to the death of Neil Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon, accompanying that statement was a picture of the President and not a picture of Armstrong.

When President Obama had his official White House portrait done he made sure that it was larger than any other President portrait.

When the latest day of remembrance for the victims of the 9-11 attacks was held around the country, the President did not attend any of the memorials in New York City.

He did not attend the memorials in the spot in Pennsylvania where brave passengers brought down a hijacked jet.

He did not attend the memorials at the Pentagon which were in the same city where he was. 

He did not post any tributes to or honor the brave firemen and policemen who gave their lives trying to save Americans that day. 

No, but he did tweet out a picture of himself at the permanent 9-11 memorial in New York City:

The man does not do humility very well at all. Pathetic.
4) It is really tough trying to determine what is the biggest failure of a government program but recent Congressional testimony certainly put forth a really good candidate for biggest failure, possibly of all time. A major component of Obama’s fight against ISIS that he put forth over a year ago was to spend a lot of American taxpayer money to train Syrians to carry the fight against ISIS in Syria. How is that program working out, one year and half a billion dollars later: 
  • A top U.S. general testified that only “four or five” U.S. trained Syrians are still battling against ISIS. The original objective was to have 5,400 trained soldiers ready to go by the end of 2015. Thus, the Obama administration missed their target by about 99.9%.
  • Congressional reaction was brutal. Senator Claire McCaskill stated: "So we're counting on our fingers and toes at this point when we envisioned 5,400 by the end of the year" and went on to suggest that perhaps (PERHAPS???) it's time to declare the $500 million program a failure.
  • Senator Jeff Sessions observed that: "This is a total failure. A failure. I wish it weren't so, but that's a fact." 
  • In a sad understatement, Christine Wormouth, testifying as undersecretary of defense for policy testified: "The program is much smaller than we hoped." 
  • Defense officials said that there are only another 100-120 potential fighters in the pipeline, indicating that this program is not on the verge of being successful.
Beyond pathetic. How many people in the real world outside of Washington would still have a job if they missed their objective by 99.9%? Only in Washington can your performance be so horrid and their be no negative ramifications to those who were responsible for the failure.A massively failed defense department program that cost half a billion dollars for nothing in return, a massively narcissist President, DEA agents who sell illegal drugs but do not get fired or prosecuted, and the long term failure of the Federal government in the area of education. Four examples of insanity and idiocy and it is just the first day of this month’s political class insanity. More tomorrow.
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