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.
- 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 often debate in this blog what is the most inept, ineffective Federal government entity. While a number of different agencies are often incompetent enough to grab this title, it is usually the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that wins out. This is critical since national security is currently a big concern for most Americans.
Our President keeps telling us that we are safe despite recent terrorist attacks in California and France, the rise of ISIS, and leaky U.S. borders. He keeps asserting that he and his administration are on top of the whole terrorist problem and for us not to worry, led by the TSA and DHS.
However, a recent news story kind of undermines this Presidential viewpoint. American Airlines announced that hundreds of its airport security badges have disappeared at various airports across the country. These badges allow possessors of those badges to bypass airport security checkpoints at airports. Given how wealthy the leading terror organization, ISIS, has become, it does not take a genius to figure out how valuable those missing airport badges would be to a would be terrorist and how much they would be willing and able to pay for them.
Just a little something else to worry about during your travels, is that airport employee real or is he a terrorist with a fake badge, brought to you by the Federal government and the TSA?
2) Prior to the Obama administration, the Secret Service would probably have ranked very high in competence vs. the rest of the Federal government. It had never been involved in any scandals or had royally screwed up in its job functions in any way. It had been fifty years since a President had been assassinated. This looked like one government organization that was efficient and effective and competent.
That illusion has certainly been shattered in the past few years. People have successfully jumped the fence surrounding the White House, with one fence jumper actually getting deep into the White House itself. The White House windows have been shot out be a drive by shooter. Just prior to a Presidential visit to Columbia, Secret Service agents were caught partying with prostitutes that may have been funded by drug cartels.
To this tawdry set of incidents we now can add another tale of Secret Service incompetence. According to CNN, a Secret Service agent recently had his gun, badge, radio, handcuffs, and computer flash drive stolen in the middle of the day from his car that was parked near the Secret Service headquarters in D.C. Not only were they stolen from his car, the agent had left the stolen items in a car that, according to the police report, had a window that had been “unzipped,” making stealing anything from the agent’s vehicle easy and not need to have a window broken.
As always, you cannot make this stuff up when it comes to government incompetence. A Secret Service agent, who works on the Presidential Protection detail, leaves his gun and other important material in a car that has a zip out window and parks it on a busy street in D.C. How lax, how amateurish, how stupid can one be? And this President wants to take control over all of our guns when a trained Secret Service agent cannot even protect his own gun? Insanity.
3) One reason writing this blog is so easy to write is that politicians constantly think that they can make up facts and reality and that we are too stupid to not checkout the validity of their claims, making them appear to be the outright, pathological liars that they mostly are. Our current President is particularly active in asserting things that are just not reality.
And apparently his former Secretary of State has the same problem with truth. In a recent Presidential debate, Hillary proclaimed that Donald Trump is being used as a recruiting tool for the terror group, ISIS. She claimed that ISIS is using videos of Trump to recruit others throughout the world to their cause.
Bad claim to make without having the proof. Since her accusation, no one has been able to find any videos from any terror group that is using Trump as a recruiting tool. What has been uncovered, though, as a result of her claim, is that her husband, Bill Clinton, is being featured in ISIS video recruiting videos. A four-minute ISIS video released last month, “No Respite,” includes an image of Bill Clinton, who is called a “fornicator,” a probable reference to his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, among many others. The video also showed pictures of Bush and Obama.
Note to Hillary and her staff: do not spread lies that can be easily checked out for facts, especially if your own husband is playing the role that you accuse your political opponent of playing. In other words, stay in integrity and don’t be stupid.
4) We have already discussed today another adventure in incompetence from the TSA but the Veterans Administration (VA) almost always gives the TSA a run for its money for ineptness. Recently the VA mistakenly declared that 115 veterans were dead but in reality, they were still alive. Unfortunately, by declaring these living veterans to be dead veterans these vets had their government benefits terminated for no reason.
The VA admitted their mistake in a letter to Congress and promised to do better in the future. But given that the VA has made many promises over the years to improve all aspects of how veterans are treated and has failed on just about every one of them, Lord knows how good this new promise will be, especially since the VA stated that it could not determine the root cause for the false termination alive or dead status. If you do not know what caused a problem in the first place, resolving that problem without the right root causes can be a little challenging.
To show how comical and out of control this problem is, Philip Klein writing for the Washington Examiner, reported that Carl Colamonico was not only prematurely declared dead by the VA but they also had recorded that he been buried in Riverside National Cemetery and that he was incorrectly listed as a World War II vet when he actually was a Vietnam vet. Thus, the VA screwed up everything: he was alive not dead, he was upright, not buried and he was a Vietnam vet, not a World War II vet. Cannot be more wrong than what they did to poor Carl. Insane.
5) Alright, today we have embarrassing failures from the TSA and VA so let’s add another Federal agency into today's disaster mix, the Medicare operation. According to a recent article from the Senior America Association, written by Greg Allen on December 17, 2015:
- Twenty four year old Daniel Suarez ran what appeared to be a successful pharmacy operation, especially since he already owned a Rolls Royce and Bentley at the tender young age of 24.
- However, what he was really doing was running a criminal operation that had up until recently scammed the Medicare program out of an amazing $21 million of dollars.
- Fortunately, he was finally caught running his Medicare scam, was sentenced to nine years in prison and his mother and three other family members were also sentenced to jail.
- But this was not before he had purchased a Rolls Royce Ghost, a Bentley, a Range Rover, a Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG and two unidentified luxury cars with some of the stolen Medicare funds.
- The Mercedes sells about $160,000 while the Rolls sells for about $300,000, according to Car and Driver.
- This 24 year old also owned two homes, more than a dozen trucks, $100,000 in jewelry, and over $2 million in credit card charges.
- This Cuban immigrant and his relatives were all licensed pharmacy techs and operated eight small pharmacies in the Miami area from which they paid patients and recruiters to gain access to Medicare ID numbers.
- They then billed Medicare for drugs that were never actually dispensed.
- Why did this obvious fraud go on so long, long enough for this 24 year old to buy cars, trucks, homes, and run up millions of dollars in credit card charges?
- Doesn’t the Medicare system have some kind of sanity check points in their data systems to help identify these types of outrageous scams from small pharmacies long before they lose millions of taxpayer dollars to these criminals?
- Given how simple this fraud was to set up, how many other times is this type of fraud going on across the country, how many billions of dollars is it costing the American taxpayer every day of every year, and what steps, if any, is Medicare taking to shut this insanity down?
First political class insanity report of the month, much more to go. But in early returns, the TSA, the VA and Medicare continue to prove every month that they are some of the most inept and poorly run government organizations to ever exist.
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