Tuesday, June 7, 2016

June, 2016, Part 4, Political Class Insanity: Zombie Voters In LA, Failing MIlitary Hardware, Failing Foreign Policy,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) We often debate in this blog about which Federal government entity is the most incompetent. Candidates always include the IRS, Homeland Security’s TSA entity, the Social Security Administration and the Veterans Administration. Today, the TSA steps forward for its ineptness in performing its most important job, security at the nation’s airports.

According to CBS News in New York City:

  • A cellphone camera video at JFK airport shows airport workers entering a restricted area of the airport without going through a security check.
  • This behavior was recorded over a number of days with airport workers strolling through a turnstile after scanning their security card and entering a PIN number. However, the workers’ identities were not verified and their bags were not checked for weapons or bombs.
  • Senator Bill Nelson stated the obvious: “I’m horrified, but I’m not surprised. I think one of the main threats is employees of the airport getting on carrying contraband, possibly weapons. There you have the potential for disaster.”
  • The article reminded its readers that in 2014, a Delta airline employee was able to smuggle more than 100 guns through Atlanta’s airport security and hand them off to a passenger who was heading to New York.
So as innocent American citizens are getting groped at security lines at our airports, potential terrorists are walking into restricted areas with no security, no groping. This ineptness comes out on top of the recent news that TSA operatives failed to detect 95% of fake bombs and guns that were put through TSA screening points and the reality that TSA’s incompetence has been causing thousands of travelers to miss their flights because they could not get through security lines fast enough. Looks like the TSA may have taken the lead as the most incompetent Federal organization.

2) One of the most critical components of our democracy is the one person, one vote notion. We operate our government and maintain our freedoms via voting for people that theoretically represent our views and positions. Under this process, every living citizen gets equal representation of their views.

I say “living citizen” because according to a recent investigative reporting effort by the CBS television affiliate in Los Angeles, there are a lot of dead citizens continuing to vote, undermining the very foundation of our democracy. Details of the investigation,that was done by CBS reporter David Goldstein found that:

  • L.A. resident John Cenkner died in 2003.
  • However, Mr. Cenkner continued to vote in elections that were held in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2010.
  • And he was not the only dead person voting after his death with at least 215 other dead people who managed to vote after they died in just L.A county alone.
  • This number was derived by comparing county voting records with death records from the Social Security Administration.
Now, 215 is what could be positively identified. There are likely many more that were not identified or could not be identified because of the commonness of a name, e.g. John Smith. Repeat this voter fraud across the thousands of counties across the country and you eventually have to conclude we have a voter fraud problem in this country, a fraud problem that undermines our democracy.

3) Although the Defense Department budget has varied over the years, let’s assume that the average annual budget for the Pentagon is around a whopping $600 billion. This comes out to well over $5,000 a year for every U.S. household. It is a lot of money, one would hope that we are getting good value for our taxpayer wealth and that our fighting forces are getting the best possible equipment and support.

And as always, hoping that the Washington political class and the Federal government was getting us good value for our tax dollars is just another disappointment. According to reporting by Lucas Tomlinson and Jennifer Griffin on April 17, 2016 for Fox News:

  • Despite a Defense Department budget of about $600 billion a year, the vast majority of Marine Corps aircraft cannot be considered airworthy.
  • Out of 276 F/A Hornet fighter jets, only 30% are able to be flown.
  • Only 42 out of 147 CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters are airworthy.
  • There are combination of factors at work including the overuse of the aircraft in Iraq and Afghanistan, budget cuts to the Defense Department budget which is still close to $600 billion a year, and the reality that a lot of highly trained Marine mechanics have left the service for the private sector.
  • To keep many of their aircraft operational, the Marines cannibalize parts off of non-working aircraft since they cannot get new parts and in one case, they took a landing gear door off of a jet that was in a museum.
  • Sometimes it takes 18 months to get parts of some of the early model F-18 jets that the Marines use.
  • One Marine air wing currently has only two operative jets out of.
  • This results in Marine pilots getting less training and flying time experience that makes them less effective in combat.
$600 billion or so a year for years and this is what the Washington political class has given us: inferior aircraft that endangers the pilots and soldiers that use them and their ability to fight for our defense and freedom. Pathetically insane.

4) The Obama Presidency will likely go down as a disaster from a foreign affairs perspective:

  • Meddling in internal Libyan and Syrian affairs that caused hundreds of thousands to either be killed or wounded by warfare and turned millions into refugees while destroying two whole countries in the process.
  • Allowing North Korea and Iran over almost 8 years to easily get closer to becoming nuclear weapons powers.
  • Allowing Russia to rise and become a dangerous military power on the world stage including the invasion of the Ukraine.
  • Allowing China to assert itself throughout the south Pacific and build up man made islands that will serve as military bases which threaten international shipping and commerce.
  • Allowing the creation of ISIS, the most violent, dangerous, and wealthy terror organization of all time.
  • Failing to support the countries, cities, and citizens of Paris and Brussels, France and Belgium after massive terror attacks.
  • Ticking off the heads of state of countries that should be our allies by spying on their personal communications.
To this list of failures and the dangers they have caused, consider the new reality, according to reporting by the Heritage Foundation that China is just about ready to deploy nuclear powered submarines, armed with nuclear long range missiles, within range of much of the United States. According to the the reporting:

  • This deployment of nuclear armed submarines is part of a larger trend in Chinese military upgrades.
  • China is “developing a suite of weapons platforms that were once thought to be reserved for only the U.S. or would take nations like China and Russia decades to develop.”
  • For example, China is building its first two aircraft carriers.
  • It is now into its fifth generation of stealth fighter jets and has advanced its air defense systems so much that it may now negate the U.S. advantage in stealth aircraft technology.
  • It may already have or will soon have anti-satellite weapons that could knock the satellites that help U.S. military efforts.
  • It has a missile that may now be able to attack enemy vessels from as far as 2,500 miles away, equivalent to launching a missile in Miami and having it take out a target somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.
  • China may also be working on a hypersonic missile that travels five times the speed of sound and which could render current air defense systems useless.
Thus, while we are spending $600 billion a year on defense but our Marines have to go to museums to get spare parts, China is building and deploying a modern military machine that could allow it to rule vast parts of the earth if it ever decided to use their new military capabilities. That is what is called a massive foreign affairs failure.

In summary, from a foreign affairs perspective - compared to when Obama took office: Russia is now a real military threat to both Europe and in the Middle East, China is now a real political threat to the South Pacific and around the world, ISIS is now terrorizing the world but did not exist eight years ago, the Middle East is in crisis mode from Yemen to Syria to Libya to the Israeli/Palestinian standoff to Iranians nuclear progress, North Korea is eight years closer to having advanced nuclear weapons. Bravo, Mr. President. Oh, and thanks a lot for working and focusing on getting men into women’s bathrooms and locker rooms across the country, a very important effort relative what is going on in the rest of the world.

Another day, another set of insanity. More tomorrow.

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