Sunday, September 11, 2016

September, 2016, Part 6, Political Class Insanity: Funding A Billionaire's Dream, Joe Biden Misspeaks Again, and More

It is the beginning of another month which means it is again time to review the latest political class insanity from Washington and around the world. Political class insanity takes many forms including the wasting of taxpayer wealth, criminal fraud within government programs, inane and stupid political quotes and actions, the inability to create and implement effective and efficient government programs, stupid and ill performing economic policies and strategies, and other forms of insanity that continue to evolve and surprise and shock us.

The current monthly record for the number of days needed to cover one month's worth of insanity is ten. We almost equaled that record last month when we needed nine days to cover one month’s worth of political class insanity. There is a very good chance that the ten day record could fall this month since as we get closer and closer to the election, the volume of ineptness grows almost exponentially. 

But today and for all of the posts this month, let’s start off with a welcome piece of honest political dialog. It comes from a State Department spokesperson.Mark Toner, who is about to start the daily State Department press briefing. In a joking matter, he makes the following quote: "Welcome to the State Department. I think we have some interns in the back. Welcome. Good to see you in this exercise in transparency and democracy." 

He then burst out laughing at his own quote, indicating he also knew what a joke the Obama administration has been, especially Mr. Toner’s State Department, when it comes to cover ups, lack of transparency, denial of Freedom of Information Act requests, the prosecution of whistleblowers, etc. But at least it was a little refreshing to finally hear some actual honesty out of Washington as we see from the actual clip of the news conference:

With that context of honesty, let’s see what other insanity has been going down:

1) The Freedom Daily website recently discussed a story on a CBS TV Baltimore affiliate story that found 14 people had been arrested for defrauding the Federal government of $16 million in a welfare scam, specifically food stamp/food assistance fraud. 

More than a dozen retail locations were involved in the fraud in the greater Baltimore area. The retailers allegedly received more than $16 million in Federal government payments for ghost transactions in which they did not provide any food. 

Since the American taxpayer pays out more than $74 billion a year on this food assistance program for 45 million Americans who still receive food assistance every month despite Obama’s economic “recovery,” even a small percentage of fraud quickly adds up to billions and billions of dollars across the country. This criminal fraud robs the taxpayers and prevents much support to go to Americans who are truly in need vs. criminal elements who are ripping off the system.

But this crime operation had an additional twist that is unexpected. Scan the names of those arrested and see if you can spot a trend:
  • Walayat Khan, 36, of Reisterstown
  • Shaheen Tasewar Hussain, 60, of Ellicott City
  • Mulazam Hussain, 54, of Windsor Mill
  • Mahmood Hussain Shah, 57, of Catonsville
  • Muhammad Rafiq, 58, of Reisterstown
  • Mohammad Shafiq, 50, of Gwynn Oak, Maryland; and his daughter,
  • Alia Shaheen, 24, of Baltimore
  • Mohammad Irfan, 59, of Nottingham
  • Muhammad Sarmad, 40, of Nottingham
  • Kassem Mohammad Hafeed, a/k/a Kassam Mohammad Hafeed, 51, of Baltimore
Is it just me or do the vast majority of these alleged criminals have Muslim names? Are they purely criminals, in it for their own greed, or is some of this money being sent to more nefarious/terrorist elements around the world? In either case, this is not a good situation for taxpayers wallets or possibly their safety.

And by the way, before anyone starts, that Muslim comment above is not racist, it is purely an observation. A criminal and terrorist is a criminal or terrorist, regardless what their name appears to be.

2) Hillary Clinton claimed that she turned over all of her emails to the government but it turns out she did not. 

Hillary Clinton claimed that the 30,000 emails that were erased were private communications between her and her family friends but we now know that they were not. 

Hillary Clinton claimed that she used only one device for emails while Secretary of State but we now know she may have used up to thirteen different devices. 

Hillary Clinton claimed that the Benghazi attack was the result of a YouTube video but we now know she lied about that cause. 

HIllary Clinton claims she had nothing to hide relative to her email history but she used a very sophisticated software program to destroy them and make them untraceable. 

Hillary Clinton had a private email server installed in her home but never told anyone she was using it.

Surely a track record of cover ups and suspicions. And yet, there are still people inside and outside of the political class that claim she is pure as the driven snow when it comes to transparency and honesty. 

The latest person to try this nonsense, according to a Washington Free Beacon article, is Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel who recently called hillary Clinton on of the “most transparent” Presidential candidates in history. Emanuel was considered one of the main architects of the Obama Care legislation: “It’s always crazy in this campaign where Donald Trump asks Hillary Clinton to release more information and she’s been one of the most transparent candidates in history, including on the medical history, and you do have to wonder a little bit about what Donald Trump, why he won’t get the same kind of letter and if there’s anything we need to be concerned about.” 

Seriously? Most transparent in history? Has he not been reading the news? But again, maybe he should be excused since in cahoots with MIT economist, Jonathan Gruber, who said that Obama Care was written in the most confusing way possible to ensure that it passed without proper vetting, I would say that Mr. Emanuel has a warped definition of what transparency is. Remember, Nancy Pelosi’s famous Obama Care quote where she said we have to pass the legislation to see what is in it. That is a lack of transparency that did not bother Mr. Emanuel back a few years ago. Insanity.

3) One of famous idiotic quote machines in the political class has always been Vice President Joe Biden. Biden has given us a bunch of head slaps over the years:
  • “President Obama's top priority right now is a 3 letter word...JOBS.” 
  • "His mom lived in Long Island for ten years or so. God rest her soul. And- although, she's- wait- your mom's still- your mom's still alive. Your dad passed. God bless her soul.'' 
  • "When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, Look, here's what happened.'' Note: the stock market crashed before FDR became President and there was no TV back then.
  • "In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian-Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking.” Now, tell me that wasn’t a racist comment.
Biden was up to his old tricks again recently during a speech he was given at a Hillary Clinton rally. While speaking at the rally, he turned around and pointed to a Secret Service agent standing behind him and stated that the agent held the nuclear weapon launch codes for the country: “There’s a guy that follows me — right back here — has the nuclear codes [as he’s pointing to the man], so God forbid anything happened to the president and I had to make a decision, the codes are with me…he [Trump] is not qualified to know the codes!”

So many things insane here:
  • Why would you publicly tell the world and our enemies which guy in his security detail had the nuclear launch codes?
  • How is this not a national security screw up or even a treasonous act to tell the world exactly where our nuclear launch codes are?
  • Wouldn’t that stupid assertion in public put that agent’s life and his family’s lives in mortal danger from a murder and blackmail perspective?
  • Is Biden actually saying that a single agent is walking around in public with the launch codes on him?
  • If this agent has the launch codes on his physical body, how is he being protected, he is much more vital and important to the country at that moment than a lame duck Vice President?

Very scary to me to think that we are one heartbeat away from Biden being President of the United States. Very scary.

4) The October, 2016 issue of Reason magazine reminded us that wasteful spending and bad politicians’ priorities are not restricted to Washington. Back 2008, residents of Cobb County, Georgia overwhelming approved the funding of a $40 million bond issue that was to be used to build public parks. Nice idea, properly voted on and approved by the taxpayers who would have to eventually pay off the bond. No problem so far.

But Cobb County is in the greater Atlanta area, home of Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves team. The team plays at Turner field, a stadium that is only twenty years old and against most measures is a perfectly fine and modern facility. 

However, billionaire owner, John Malone, wanted a new, cooler stadium. Rather than paying it for himself or raise the funds himself for the stadium, county politicians decided that they would fund the stadium’s construction with taxpayer funds. They made this decision without allowing citizens to vote on it.

The cost of the this decision is a whopping $400 million in public taxpayer funding. Adding insult to injury, one county politician claimed that spending $300,000 to allow democracy to work and see if the county's citizens wanted to fund a billionaire’s new stadium via an election was too expensive. But when the county’s citizens wanted to fund some parks, the county politicians went ahead with a “too expensive” election. 

And now county residents will have to pay more in taxes since the money that would have been used to fund those parks has been depleted by being spent general tax funds on a private enterprise, the Atlanta Braves and their billionaire owner’s new stadium.

Thus, as often happens when politicians act, the middle class and poor in this country ended up getting screwed while the politicians take care of their rich, crony friends. The Atlanta Braves’ new stadium will serve as an ugly symbol of that reality.

Another day, another creative set of political class insanity. Paying the bills and dreams of billionaires, Joe Biden saying more nonsense that endangers national security, a gross misunderstanding of the word “transparency,” and more welfare fraud that continues to cost taxpayers untold billions of dollars every year. More insanity tomorrow.

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