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 stalling.
- 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.
- A record number of police officers have been assassinated in the past week.
- 45 million Americans are still receiving monthly Federal food assistance.
- Our borders still leak and thousands of illegal immigrant criminals continue to walk our streets.
- 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.
1) We have often shown that many times Federal government employees misbehave in so many different ways but no one is ever punished for abusing their jobs and taxpayer wealth. The latest insult to taxpayers was reported by an October 22, 2015 article by Kathryn Watson, writing for the Freedom Force website:
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents who allegedly engaged in sex parties with prostitutes, that were likely funded by drug cartels, along with their direct supervisors who did not report the parties, still received bonus payments.
- This insult came about after an inspector general report found that 10 of the 14 agents involved in the parties received their bonus payments despite it being in violation of internal DEA rules.
- The bonuses were paid out despite the DEA having to testify for the scandal in front of Congress.
- One DEA regional director identified in the inspector general's investigation received four performance awards, three Senior Executive Service bonus awards and one Meritorious Executive Rank worth a total of $68,600 over a four-year period.
- One Congressman, Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform committee expressed his disgust, even though Congress did nothing to punish the agents’ infractions: “It is astounding that employees who should have been prosecuted, fired, or at a minimum, severely disciplined for their misconduct, were instead given undeserved promotions and bonuses. It is troubling that supervisors who looked the other way at employee misconduct received substantial bonuses. Rewarding bad apples promotes a toxic work environment.”
- Keeping with the Obama administration’s habit of stonewalling any investigation into the administration’s many scandals, the DEA failed to hand over the documents requested by the inspector general investigating the scandal.
Another day, another Obama administration scandal, another investigation stonewalled, another insult to the American taxpayer.
2) Richard Pollock, writing for the Freedom Force website on November 3, 2015, brought to light another affront to Americans. Glenn Woodell, a former NASA employee who had actually pled guilty to U.S. espionage laws that involved a Chinese contractor, was fined $250 and given six months probation. Another NASA employee and co-worker of Woodell, Daniel Jobson, had his espionage charges reduced to a misdemeanor and got away without any penalties.
According to Woodell’s indictment, he allowed a Chinese national to have “complete and unrestricted access” to NASA’s Langley Research Center. Sounds pretty series and yet, this NASA employee gets only a $250 fine? Are you kidding me? Former Congressman Frank Wolf nailed it when he said: “It’s like a traffic ticket or something for littering.”
If the cost of getting cost for espionage is only $250 while the upside of selling America’s secrets to foreign agents is likely to be substantially higher, where is the incentive not to indulge in espionage? Congressman John Culberson, who succeeded Wolf as chairman of the NASA appropriations subcommittee, also deplored the plea deal and held the same view as we do: “It is intolerable that espionage is not taken more seriously by the administration.” FBI Director James Comey told Congress that foreign citizens with green cards “wander around” sensitive U.S. facilities like NASA.
Unbelievable lax security. But given that the Chinese continually hack Federal government computer systems, it should not be a surprise that the Federal government and political class that operate it to allow Chinese nationals to ”wander around” secure government facilities.
3) Let’s stay with government employees’ misdeeds and incompetence. Continuing the stonewalling of the Obama administration, two senior executives from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pleaded the Fifth Amendment in front of a House Congressional hearing. As many people know, the Veterans Administration has been one of the most inept and corrupt Federal entities, failing to provide the needed medical care to our veterans that was promised to them.
Philadelphia and Wilmington VA regional offices director Diana Rubens and St. Paul VA regional office director Kimberly Graves took the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer any of the numerous questions put forward by committee chairman Congressman Jeff Miller. The employees were forced to come before Congress because, surprise, surprise, the Obama administration did not allow the VA employees to appear to a more causal request to appear.
The driving factor behind the hearing was an inspector general report that concluded that two VA employees abused the so-called relocation program to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The two officials called before the committee were accused by the inspector general of forcing subordinates out of their current job positions and the two officials then applied for the now vacant positions so that they could receive generous accounts.
The inspector general found the infractions serious enough that he referred the situation to the DC’s U.S. Attorney General for prosecution. The two officials ended up receiving over $400,000 in improper payments. And despite these actions and findings by the inspector general, the Obama administration still tried to stonewall yet another Congressional investigation.
That will finish up today’s discussion of political class insanity. Somehow today we ended up illustrating just a small sample of government and government employee misdeeds and disrespect for taxpayer wealth. Given that a recent public opinion poll, almost 80% of Americans said that the Federal government was corrupt, it looks like that poll was right, based on the malfeasance discussed above. More insanity tomorrow.
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