Thursday, December 3, 2015

December, 2015, Part 1, Political Class Insanity: Expensive Presidential Vacations, Presidential Absences, and Another Major TSA Screwup

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 politician 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) When Obama was running for President he promised that he would devote his entire life, every waking moment to being President. He claimed it was such an honor that he would forego vacations while in office, that is how dedicated he would be. His actual promise in his own words can be viewed at:

But as with just about every other Obama promise, this one was broken so very soon after he entered office and continued to be broken for the next seven years. Documents obtained by Judicial Watch show just how far he has fallen short of that promise by obtaining the cost to the American taxpayer of the Obama vacations that were never supposed to happen:

  • The President spent over $2.1 million in taxpayer money just on transportation to take a golf vacation for just himself to Palm Springs, California in June, 2015.
  • In addition, he incurred an additional $1 million in transportation costs to vacation at Martha’s Vineyard and in New York City this past summer.
  • Judicial Watch President Tom Fillon had the following comments on the President’s vacation costs: “President Obama evidently cares not one whit about the costs to beleaguered taxpayers for his personal and political travel. Barack Obama is enamored with the presidency’s trappings of power, and taxpayers are left holding the tab.”
  • These costs do not include the cost of security for the many Obama vacations since the Secret Service has yet to comply with Judicial Watch’s request.
  • So far, the Obamas and Bidens have incurred over $70 million in vacation expenses since they came into office in 2009.

This comes out to a whopping $10 million a year in Presidential and Vice Presidential vacation costs by a President who promised not to take any vacations prior to his election. All of these expenses are being incurred while millions of Americans need food assistance every month, millions of veterans are not getting the medical care they were promised, and millions of Americans are homeless and unemployed. I am sure this $70 million could have been better spent on needy Americans vs. a President who wasn’t supposed to take any vacations to begin with.

2) A few weeks ago the President gave an interview on ABC News where he claimed his actions and strategies had indeed “contained” the threat from ISIS, the most vicious and well financed terror group in the history of the world. Later that day ISIS unleashed the worst violent attack on the residents of Paris since World War II, killing over a hundred French citizens and injuring hundreds more.

How could he have been so clueless and out of touch with reality as it applied to terrorism? Well, possibly that question was answered by a recent report from the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) where they asserted that Obama has attended only 42.1% of his daily intelligence briefings during the length of his Presidency. In fact, he has attended a lower percentage of these daily briefings in his second term, 41.3%, vs. his first term, 42.4%.

This is not surprising since three years ago Breitbart reported that Obama had not attended his daily terrorism briefings in the five days leading up to the attack at the U.S.consulate at Benghazi where our ambassador and three other Americans were killed. In addition, an Obama White House staffer recently told a Daily Mail reporter: “Unless someone very senior has been shredding the President’s daily briefings and telling him that the dog ate them, highly accurate predictions about ISIL have been showing up in the Oval Office since before the 2012 election.”

Thus, it is pretty clear that the American taxpayer had paid for a lot of intelligence gathering processes that the President either ignored or chose not to listen to. And who does he blame for his inattentiveness? Certainly not himself, this President cannot accept the concept that he could ever make a mistake. 

In an interview on “60 Minutes,” Obama blamed his Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, for his ignorance of what was going on the the world of terrorism: “I think our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria.” That’s right, he does not attend over 55% of the intelligence briefing sessions that people like Clapper put together and when he issues stupid statements that blow up in his face it is the people who write the intelligence that he does not listen to.

According to Daily Beast reporter Eli Lake, a former senior Pentagon official told him that, members of the intelligence and defense apparatus were “flabbergasted” by Obama’s attempt to shift blame: “Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullshitting.” How pathetic. A President who does not leverage the resources available to him and then blames the resources when he screws up. Unfortunately, as the victims at Benghazi found out, his inattentiveness to terrorism is often fatal.

3) We have often wondered which Federal government entity is the most inept. Top candidates usually include the Social Security Administration, Medicare, Medicaid, the IRS, and others. However, it is usually the Transportation Safety Agency (TSA) within the Department of Homeland Security that usually rises to the top of the incompetency list. 

The most glaring shortfall of the agency, that we previously covered, involved a test of the security procedures that the TSA uses. In that test of planting fake bombs and weapons on government agents posing as airline travelers, the TSA failed to detect those fake bombs and weapons a whopping 95% of the time. Since a primary function of their job is detecting fake bombs and weapons, failing to execute that job 95% of the time represents unparalleled incompetence.

But just when you thought the TSA could not perform any worse, they surprise you and sink even further into mediocrity. As reported by Newsweek, a review of TSA employee records revealed that 73 of their employees were on both the Federal terrorist watch list AND were on the TSA employee payroll. Thus, the very organization that was formed to protect us from terrorists has over six dozen potential terrorists on their payroll. You cannot make this insanity up, I swear. 

Furthermore, think about this in light of the national debate going on about allowing 10,000 Syrian refugees into this country and the fear that some of them might be terrorists. How are we able to trust Obama and the Federal government when they promise that they can scrub the refugee flow of any terrorists when this same Federal government actually just recently found out that potential terrorists are Federal employees. Insane.

That will do it for today’s insanity, we are certainly off to a good start. We have the Federal agency responsible for protecting us from terrorists actually hiring a bunch of them, we have a President so out of touch with the world of terrorism, quite possibly because he fails to attend over 55% of his intelligence briefings, and we have a President who said he would not take vacations if elected but has incurred over $70 million in vacation costs so far and still counting. More insanity tomorrow.

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