Friday, November 4, 2016

November, 2016, Part 3, Political Class Insanity: Washington Despises Americans, The Fed Shows How Screwed Up The Country Is And Bribery at the FBI

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 posts that were needed to cover one month's worth of insanity is ten. We equaled that record last month when we needed ten 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 insanity 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) Most Americans, according to unbiased polling, have a very low opinion of the government and politicians. Which should not be a surprise, given how much the American political class has screwed up the country, the economy, and the provisioning of even basic government services. But what do those in Washington think about us, the taxpayers that pay their high salaries and rich benefit packages? Well, according to the Convention of States website, there actually has been a survey done to find out what Washington thinks of us:
  • Professor Benjamin and Senior Lecturer Jennifer Bachner of Johns Hopkins University actually did a survey of government bureaucrats, Congressional staff members, and think tank leaders to find out what they thought of Americans.
  • 72% of those surveyed believe that the American public has no knowledge about policies to aid the poor.
  • 71% believe that Americans do not understand science and technology.
  • Of the 8 different policy areas addressed, no more than 6% of those surveyed believe that the public has “a great deal” of knowledge in those areas.
  • At least 78% of those surveyed thought that government actions in all eight policy areas should not always or even mostly heed popular sentiment.
  • Ginsberg concluded that those surveyed, "have no idea what Americans think and they don't care. They think Americans are stupid and should do what they are told."
  • But these results should not be a surprise to anyone, given that we saw a prime example of this condescension and elitism a few years ago when Obama Care architect Jonathan Gruber explained that "the stupidity of the American voter or whatever ... was really, really critical for [Obamacare] to pass." Most lawmakers and voters, he suggested, did not really understand the law and that "lack of transparency is a huge political advantage."
How pathetic are these people? They live the good life because of our tax dollars and this is their pathetic opinion of us. Which is really funny in a way, given how badly they have screwed up the country:
  • Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are hurtling towards fiscal insolvency.
  • A doubling of the national debt in eight short years, $10 TRILLION, that will eventually crash the economy and the country.
  • Involving the country in winless wars across the Middle East and Africa, costing us blood and money.
  • Operating an economy that has seen sub-historical growth rates for the past seven years, that has seen epic low labor participation rates, that has seen wages and household income stagnate, and that has seen the need for monthly Federal food assistance stay above an astounding 43 million Americans for the past several years with no indication it will drop down significantly any time soon.
  • An Obama Care program that is imploding as we speak, a program that has restricted economic growth, will add over a trillion dollars to the national debt and which has not reduced overall healthcare costs in this country.
  • Government operations that are inefficient, ineffective, and infested with criminal fraud.
Given their track record, I would day they are the more ignorant, the less capable vs. the very people they accuse and hold in contempt for being uninformed.

2) Following up on the previous point, consider nine charts which pretty much summarize how poorly the Washington political class has operated the country over the past eight years or so. The following nine charts have been presented in this blog before but I thought it would be a good idea to present them again, given the survey we just reviewed in the previous point. If it is the American public that is ignorant and the Washington bureaucrats, politicians, and Congressional staff that are so smart, why do the Federal Reserve charts below show that:
  • Student loan levels are skyrocketing.
  • Federal food assistance is still sky high.
  • The national debt is so high that the debt to GDP ratio is now over 1.00, putting us in a Greek-like fiscal basket case area.
  • The Federal Reserve money supply/”money printing” is sky high.
  • Health insurance costs are going up.
  • The labor participation rate is going down.
  • The workers share of the economy is down.
  • Median family income is cratering. 
  • Home ownership is down.
And those of us outside of the Beltway are the inept and incompetent ones? I do not think so.

3) We have not said much about the Clinton/Trump Presidential race in this blog for the simple reason that the insanity, idiocy, law breaking, and general incompetence would take up multiple blogs posting multiple posts every day. Never have the American people had such a miserable choice from the two major parties than what we have this year. Of the 300 million people in this country, the fact that we are stuck with these two speaks volumes about how screwed up our political processes are today.

With that said, let me hit on a tangential part of the Presidential campaign, a situation that speaks to the corruption and the broken political processes in this country today. According to the Wall Street Journal:
  • The current governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, a long time operative and close friend of the Clintons, helped to direct $675,288 to the Virginia state senate campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe.
  • Why is this so bad? Well, it turns ot that Dr. McCabe is married to Andrew McCabe who is a very senior FBI official and who was a primary member of the FBI team that investigated Hillary Clinton’s illegal use of a private email system and abuse of classified material.
  • The money started flowing from McAuliffe’s connections to the senate campaign in July, 2015, coincidentally about the same time that Dr. McCabe’s husband was promoted to the number three position at the FBI.
  • Soon after, he was promoted to the number two position, a prime position to lead activities related to the Clinton investigation.
  • The money that Mcauliffe got for the campaign represented a whopping one third of the entire amount of money that Dr. McCabe raised for her campaign, making the money critical to her success.
We have always said that the appearance of a conflict of interest is just as bad as an actual conflict of interest. I do not know where this probable bribery effort falls but it does not matter: this is the level of corruption that now infests our political processes in this country.

That will do it for today's insanity: bribing the FBI in Virginia, the mess that Washingotn has made of the country as measured by the Fed, and Washington types depise us, just as we hate them. More insanity tomorrow.

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