Friday, May 13, 2016

May, 2016, Part 7, Political Class Insanity: Secret Service Down In The Dumps, Obama Dumpoing Terroriosts Into The Real World, Harry Reid Takes a Dump On Twitter, 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 politician comments, etc. In fact, last month we set a record, needing ten full posts to cover it all.

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.

It looks like our politicians have been especially insane over the past month or so let’s get started with the latest insanity from today’s American politicians:

1) Over my lifetime, the U.S. Secret Service as almost always been q highly respected, effective organization within the Federal government. But during the Obama administration, its reputation has taken a severe hit. A drive by shooter shot out windows in the White House, there have been any number of White House fence jumpers with one of them actually getting deep inside the White House before being apprehended, there was the partying with drug cartel hookers in Columbia, and other stories of ineptness.

And now, according to two Congressmen, the Secret Service is losing agents much quicker than they can replace them, an unheard of situation given the historically levels of esteem the organization had been held too. This may force the Secret Service to pull people from other parts of the Federal government to address this vital shortfall. In a letter written by two Congressmen on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the two Congressman described the once elite organization as being in crisis.

The organization has 47 fewer full time employees than it did just five months ago with an annual attrition rate of 7% for agents. The Inspector General for Homeland Security concurred with the Congressmen’s views stating that the agency is “hemorrhaging” employees because of the “severely understaffed” force, leading to “inadequate training, fatigue, low morale, and attrition,” the inspector wrote.

Why go over this crisis? Because if the U.S. Secret Service cannot do its job adequately, given its rich history of being a top notch, top performing entity within the Federal government, you can imagine how poorly other Federal government organizations screw up their jobs. If you cannot get good employees for the Secret Service, I am pretty sure you are not getting good employees for those organizations that have a long history of screw ups, e.g. the IRS, the Veterans Administration, etc.

2) But apparently it is not only the American political class that is held in such low esteem by ordinary Americans. According to a recent article on the website,, a recent opinion opinion poll by the Media Insight Project found that only 6% of Americans saying they have a “lot of confidence” in the press to tell them the truth.

But this does not mean that Americans do not recognize what good journalism looks like and what it can do. The poll found that almost 90% of Americans consider it extremely important or very important that journalists get their facts right. Unfortunately, rather than do journalism, most media outlets today do public relations work for their favorite politicians, which is almost always a Democrat. Remember how Woodward and Bernstein at the Washington Post and Seymour Hersh at the New York Times were real journalists who did real journalism, leading to the downfall of a corrupt Richard Nixon?

The Obama administration has had so many comparable scandals, e.g. Benghazi, Fast and Furious, Iran nuclear deal lies, IRS harassment and denial of First Amendment rights of conservative groups, trillion dollar annual deficits, a failed $800 billion economic stimulus program, Syria, illegal and un-Constitutional war in Libya, the deletion of 30,000 emails by his Secretary of State, etc. And yet, not a single journalist or media type took up the cause for their profession like Woodward, Bernstein and Hersh did in the 1970s.

And that is why Americans view of the journalism industry and profession today is so anemic, comparable to the anemic ratings of the American political class. Which should not be a surprise, I guess, since the two of them have quietly melded into a single false entity of truth and integrity.

3) One of Obama’s bigger lies was his pledge to shut down the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. The inference was that he would put the inmates there through a legal due process and free those found innocent and keep those found guilty in custody in order to protect not only our fighting forces but also ordinary Americans here at home.

But as with most Obama pledges, this was has proven also to be false. Rather than put the captives through a fair and legal due process, he has been busy emptying the place based just on his whims. And as a result, any number of the terrorists he has released have ended up back in the terrorism fight on the side that wants to destroy America.

The latest example of his screw ups in this area was reported by the US Chronicle website on February 29, 2016. A Gitmo released terrorist has ended up in an ISIS terror cell in Spain. Citing an Associated Press report, this individual was described as “a leader who was trained in handling weapons, explosives, and in military tactics.” And despite this knowledge and intelligence, Obama released him from prison. 

The unnamed terrorist was arrested while recruiting people to the ISIS cause in Spain and who was in the process of obtaining weapons and explosives to carry out a terrorist attack on Spanish soil. The article points out other examples where Obama has released prisoners who were trained in weapons, explosives, bomb making, leadership roles, and recruiting, all of whom have returned to various terrorist organizations around the world. And all of them were released without a thorough vetting and due process of law.

Obviously, Obama is trying to embellish his legacy by eventually claiming that he closed Gitmo. Imagine how horrible that legacy would have been if that ISIS Spanish cell had actually gone on and killed dozens or hundreds of Spanish citizens in the name of the Obama legacy, insanity and ego to the nth degree.

4) Frequent readers of this blog know that we have found very few functions that American politicians and the government that they operate, local, state and Federal, do well, efficiently, or effectively. The politicians over promise the benefits of a project which usually under achieves, usually severely going over estimated and promised costs, and put schedules together that are rarely met. As a result, taxpayer wealth is wasted on shoddily developed government projects that may or may not ever get finished. Think the Boston “Big Dig” effort that missed its budget by about 8 fold, missed its schedule by years, and its shoddy construction allowed a falling piece of concrete to kill a passing driver.

Now consider the latest insanity, also in the transportation arena, out of Minnesota, as reported by Leah Jessen on the Heritage Foundation website:

  • A Minnesota commuter rail line called the Northstar opened up for service in 2009.
  • It covers a 40 mile stretch of land that runs from downtown Minneapolis to Big Lake.
  • It cost American and local taxpayers $320 million to build since the Washington political class gladly gave the rail line over $161 million of American taxpayer money.
  • In fiscal year 2014, the rail line took in passenger fares worth $2.3 million….but had operating expenses and costs of $15.5 million, meaning that the rail line revenue pitifully covered only about 15% of its expenses and costs. 
  • This comparable to its first full of operation in 2009 when it collected $2.5 million in fares but had expenses and costs of $16 million, again covering only about 15% of its costs and expenses, establishing a baseline of under performance that continued through 2014.
  • This disaster is nicely summed up by Annette Meeks of the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota: “When you’re subsidizing about 80 percent of every trip on the line, it’s a really big fiscal disaster.”
  • Put another way that is just as insane, for EVERY passenger that rides the rail line, local taxpayers are putting up $22 for every rider.
  • The rail line was originally rejected because it could not promise that there would be adequate ridership to justify Federal government taxpayer subsidies so the rail line was shortened in order to meet that criteria. Remember what we said above about underachieving when it comes to government programs?
  • Advocates of the line originally promised that daily ridership would be 3,400 riders but actual ridership has come nowhere near that many, another under achievement.
  • Ridership increased just .2% in 2015 vs. 2014 so it does not look like ridership still has a way to ramp up, it is virtually stagnant at levels that cannot make the line profitable.
  • Thus, despite warnings long ago that this would be a financial disaster, the local politicians, with help from the Washington political class, went ahead anyway and now local taxpayers, most of whom will never ride the rail, are putting out $22 every time somebody does use the rail line.
  • But despite all of the financial downside results, there are some nut cases that want to make the rail line bigger and longer, extending it 30 miles to St. Cloud, Minnesota: “We feel we deserve the option to not own a car,” Richard Gordon, a St. Cloud State University student, told The St. Cloud Times. “I’ve never owned a car and I don’t plan to, so I need this train.”
  • Which is fine Mr. Gordon, as long as you pay the additional $22 every time you take the train, I think the rest of us taxpayers would have no problem with you never owning a car. But by the way, Mr. Gordon, you do not deserve the option to not own a car, get over it. 
Let the cost causer be the cost payer and everyone would be better off financially...except for Mr. Gordon who thinks he deserves something that someone else will have to pay for, the kind of voter that the American political class loves to pander to. Another insanely stupid political class adventure in wasting taxpayer money.

5) Let’s finish today’s insanity with a tweet from former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Remember, Senator Reid was one of the most powerful people in the country before the Republicans took over the Senate in the last election. But before that he had provided this blog with a tremendous amount of material, from inane quotes to crony capitalism to stupid programs and quotes about those programs.

See if you can figure out what point he was trying to get across with the following tweet he sent out from his Twitter account:

Maybe Republicans should ask the Zika-carrying mosquitoes not to breed this summer since it’s the last year of a two-term Presidency.

Huh? Maybe is is well past time for the Senator to move up his retirement date and step aside now rather than at the end of his term next January if this is the most cogent tweet he can put together. What the hell was his staff thinking allowing him to put this garbage out in the Twitter world? 

That will do it for today's insanity: A Senator who may have lost some coherence, another government project boondoggle that under performs but goes way over cost, Obama releasing dangerous terrorists back out into the real world in a vain attempt to enhance a very thin legacy, Americans’ view of journalism and the media nosedives, and the Secret Service is no longer the elite cadre of special agents that it once was, a sign that the entire Federal bureaucracy is in a shambles. More insanity tomorrow.

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