Thursday, January 7, 2016

January, 2016, Part 3, Poltical Class Insanity: Afghanistan Goes Down the Drain, Four Times Worth Than Solyndra, and We Do Not Trust Hillary or Donald

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 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.
Again, keep these real crises in mind as you read what our politicians are actually doing, saying and wasting.

1) Nowhere has Washington political class been more horrid or incompetent than when it comes to managing the war in Afghanistan. It has been America’s longest war, it has killed and wounded thousands of our soldiers, and has probably cost over a trillion dollars to execute. As we have pointed out many times, the fraud, corruption and wasting of American taxpayer dollars has been rampant and widespread. 

And what has all this cost gotten us, seven years into the Obama administration’s management of the war? According to a recent Washington Post article, not a lot:

  • Our enemy, the Taliban, have more “battle discipline and initiative far superior to the Afghan security forces trained and equipped by the United States.”
  • Privately, top Afghan and U.S. officials admit that the Taliban are resurgent across the country.
  • The Taliban control about 30% of the Afghan districts across the country, equating to more territory under their control now than any year since 2001.
  • The struggle now is to keep the key area around Helmand in southern Afghanistan from falling into Taliban hands again, fourteen years into the fight, despite the Afghan security forces significantly outnumbering the Taliban forces in the area.
  • 7,000 Afghan soldiers have been killed this year fighting the Taliban and 12,000 have been injured, a whopping 26% increase over last year.
  • Desertation rates are soaring as it has become apparent that the Taliban are somehow now better organized and better equipped than previously.
  • Outside of the battlefield, the economy stinks, there is high unemployment, and high levels of corruption exist throughout the government and political class.
Two administrations, 14 years, a trillion dollars, and likely all for nothing, given that the Afghan government and its armed forces are getting weaker and weaker as the Taliban get stronger. Insanity.

2) We have often discussed how the Obama administration wasted upwards of $40 billion of taxpayer wealth on failed alternative energy companies, most of which were operated by Democratic Party operatives and backers. The biggest loser was Solyndra which crashed and burned, taking down $500 million worth of taxpayer wealth with it.

But now it appears that Solyndra was not even close to being the biggest alternative energy investment failure during the Obama Presidency. It now appears that a company named Abengoa may be have destroyed up to four times as much taxpayer wealth than Solyndra. Details of this disaster include the following:

  • The Department of Energy recently released over 1,200 government pages regarding Abengoa as required by a Freedom of Information Act request by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
  • Unfortunately, much of the 1,200 pages had been blacked out, making the details of this scandal difficult to scope out from the heavily redacted text. 
  • On some pages, every word was blacked out. Which raises serious suspicions on what really happened behind the scenes to this Spanish based alternative energy company if the Obama administration would go to such lengths to deny access to the requested information.
  • Of particular interest was Abengoa’s $400 million biofuels plant in Kansas. a plant that received a $132 million Federal taxpayer funded loan and a $97 million grant.
  • However, after only a year of operation, plant problems led to Abengoa filing for bankruptcy and shutting down its Kansas plant.
  • In a Spanish court, Abengoa’s bankruptcy filing shows the largest single creditor to the bankrupt company is the U.S. taxpayer. Specifically, the Federal government’s U.S. Federal Financing Bank holds $2.3 billion worth of Abengoa’s debt, a debt incurred on behalf of the American taxpayer by the Obama administration.
Thus, Solyndra almost looks like a sick bargain with its half a billion worth of losses compared to the over $2 billion worth of losses that taxpayers will likely suffer from the Abengoa bankruptcy. How many homeless Americans could have gotten shelter for $2.3 billion, how many American drug addicts could have gotten treatment for $2.3 billion, how many teachers could have been put into our schools for $2.3 billion? 

Instead, we got nothing in return for our $2.3 billion. Not a single gallon of alternative biofuel fuel was ever sold from the plant’s operations, nothing, nada.

Oh, I take that back. We did get something from this investment: another failed Obama green energy initiative and another scandal and cover up of the ineptness of this administration.

3) A recent opinion poll by the Economist/YouGov organization asked 2,000 Americans their opinions on the honesty trustworthiness of seven presidential candidates: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump. As one would expect relative to other discussions we have had with the growing disgust that Americans have for today's politicians, the results were not good:

  • 53% of the respondents view Hillary Clinton as dishonest and untrustworthy.
  • Only 31% view as honest and trustworthy.
  • Only 59% of Democrats view her as honest and trustworthy, not a good sign when your own party supporters cannot even get to a 60% level on your honesty.
  • Donald Trump did not do much better with 51% of people saying he was untrustworthy and dishonest. 
  • He did just slightly better on the other side of the question with 33% viewing him as trustworthy and honest vs. only 31% for Clinton.
So if this poll is to be believed, the leading candidates to become the next President are viewed by a majority of Americans as dishonest and untrustworthy.

The other leading candidates were generally bunched together with an equal number of respondents judging them all to be dishonest and untrustworthy at about the same levels, around 33% or so.

How pathetic are the politicians that currently populate our elected offices today? Seems like all of them, regardless of what poll or survey we look at, think that our politicians are untrustworthy, dishonest, inept, por a danger to the country. Heaven help us.

What did learn today: we do not trust our politicians, we continue to lose billions of dollars to Obama’s ill fated and idiotic alternative energy investments, and Afghanistan is going down the drain. More insanity tomorrow.

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