Friday, January 6, 2017

January, 2017, Part 3, Political CLass Insanity: The Narcissim Of The First Family, The Death of The American Dream, and Obama Trying To Rewrite Terrorism History

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. 

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) Obama recently bragged that "We should take great pride in the progress we’ve made over the last eight years. No foreign terrorist organization has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland." Now hold that thought for a minute while we review examples of terrorism within the United States in the past eight years, as compiled by the Daily Wire website:

- Little Rock, Arkansas, June 1, 2009. Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad shot and murdered one soldier, Army Pvt. William Andrew Long, and injured another, Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, at a military recruiting station in Little Rock. In a note to an Arkansas judge, Muhammad claimed to be a member of al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula, the terror group's Yemen chapter.

- Fort Hood, Texas, November 5, 2009. Major Nidal Malik Hasan shot up a military base in Fort Hood and murdered 14 people. Hasan was in contact with al-Qaeda terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki prior to the attack and shouted "Allahu Akbar!" as he fired upon the soldiers on the Fort Hood base. It took six years for Obama to acknowledge the shooting as a terror attack instead of "workplace violence." al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen, was assassinated by Obama via a drone attack without due process of law, as promised by the Constitution, which means he must have been a bad dude and one who planned at least the Ft. Hood attack from overseas.

- Boston, Massachusetts, April 15, 2013. Tamerlan and Dhozkar Tsarnaev set off two bombs at the 2013 Boston marathon, killing three and injuring over 260 people. The Tsarnaev brothers were self-radicalized through online jihadist propaganda and through a mosque with ties to al-Qaeda.

- Moore, Oklahoma, September 24, 2014. Alton Nolen beheaded a woman at a Vaughan Foods plant and stabbed and injured another person. He appears to have been another radicalized Muslim who was obsessed with beheadings. 

- Queens, New York, October 23, 2014. Zale Thompson, another self-radicalized Muslim, injured two police officers with a hatchet before being shot dead by other cops. Thompson reportedly indoctrinated himself with ISIS, al-Qaeda and al-Shabab–a Somali jihadist terror group–websites and was a lone wolf attacker.

- Brooklyn, New York, December 20, 2014. Ismaayil Brinsley shot and murdered two police officers execution-style and his Facebook page featured jihadist postings and had ties to a terror-linked mosque.

- Garland, Texas, May 3, 2015. Two gunmen shot up the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, where a Mohammed cartoon contest was taking place, and were killed by a police officer. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.

- Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 16, 2015. Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez shot and killed four Marines and a sailor at a military base in Chattanooga and was believed to have been inspired by ISIS.

- San Bernardino, California, December 14, 2015. Two radical Islamists, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, shot and murdered 14 people and injured 22 others at an office holiday party.

- Orlando, Florida, June 12, 2016. Omar Mateen, 29, opened fire at a gay nightclub, killing 49 and injuring 53. Officials believe Mateen was self-radicalized but he pledged fealty to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before his death. "The real muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the west," Mateen posted on his Facebook page after committing his heinous act at Pulse nightclub. "I pledge my alliance to (ISIS leader) abu bakr al Baghdadi..may Allah accept me," he wrote.

- St. Cloud, Minnesota, September 17, 2016. Dahir Ahmed Adan, a 20-year-old Somali refugee, began hacking at people with a steak knife at a Minnesota mall, injuring nine people before he was shot dead by off-duty police officer Jason Falconer. The FBI said numerous witnesses heard Adan yelling "Allahu akbar!" and "Islam! Islam!" during the rampage. He also asked potential victims if they were Muslims before inflicting wounds in their heads, necks, and chests. The FBI believe he had recently become self-radicalized. 

- New York City/New Jersey, September 17, 2016. Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year-old naturalized citizen from Afghanistan, set off multiple bombs in New York and New Jersey. In New York, his bomb resulted in the injury of over 30 people. Rahami wrote in his journal that he was connected to "terrorist leaders," and appears to have been heavily influenced by Sheikh Anwar, Anwar al-Awlaki, Nidal Hassan, and Osama bin Laden

- Columbus, Ohio, November 28, 2016. Abdul Razak Ali Artan, an ISIS-inspired 20-year-old Somali refugee who had been granted permanent legal residence in 2014 after living in Pakistan for 7 years, attempted to run over his fellow Ohio State students on campus. After his car was stopped by a barrier, he got out of the vehicle and began hacking at people with a butcher knife before being shot dead by a campus police officer. He injured 11 people, one critically. ISIS took credit for the attack, describing Artan as their "soldier." "give[s] peace to the Muslims." He also praised deceased al-Qaeda cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki as a "hero."

As a trained statistician, let me share an old statistician saying: “If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything." Which is just what is Obama is trying to do. True, there have been no foregin based “Bin Laden” like attacks since he took office. Hell, there had not been any in the last seven years of the Bush administration either so to claim to be special like Obama is trying to do is a vain attempt to show some success, any success, regardless of how the data and facts are tortured.

But the reality is that:

  • Some of these attacks were indeed likely planned overseas, especially the Ft Hood massacre. 
  • Does it really matter where these attacks originated from? I am pretty sure that the hundreds of Americans that have been wounded and maimed and the dozens who have been killed by the listed terror attacks above do not feel any better when Obama thankfully says that their injuries and deaths were not caused by foreign planners. Their injuries do not hurt any less, the families left behind by those that have died do not feel any less remorse or sadness. 
But Obama feels better because he somehow justified his failure by torturing the data.

2) Let me warn you that over the next few weeks I will likely be pretty brutal when it comes to political class insanity as it applies to President Obama. For a whole list of reasons I will not go into now, I find him as the worst U.S. President in my lifetime and I have been an American voter since the 1970s. Diplomatically, foreign affairs wise, economically, race relations wise, legally, Constitutionally, militarily, government operations wise, narcissistically, etc., by far the worst.

But here are the little things that make me think so little of him. When I was first hired into corporate America, my first boss pulled me aside and told me something that I never forgot and continually tried to succeed in doing. 

He told me even though I was a member of management that I should never take advantage of, look down on, or take for granted the non-management people that helped me do my job: the typing pool ladies, the mail room workers, the janitors, the cafeteria servers, etc. They were just as important as the the highest managers in a company and they they were human beings that deserved to be treated with respect and honor.

Which brings us back to Obama. Joseph Curl, a White House journalist, recently writing for the Conservative Post website, talked about one of the small things that I find so unlikeable about Obama. According to Mr. Curl, President George W. Bush and his wife Laura never left Washington DC for their Christmas vacation until the day after Christmas. Why? When Curl asked Laura Bush why the delay, “I still remember what she [Laura Bush] said. So all of us can be with our families on Christmas.”

By all of us she was referring to the hundreds of people whose lives are affected by Presidential vacations: Secret Service agents, White House staff, local police forces, the armed forces, the press, etc. What a class act, much like the advice my old boss gave me: treat everyone with respect and as an equal. 

Unfortunately, the Obama era put an end to such a courtesy. The Obama First Family jets off to far away Hawaii every year way before Christmas, needlessly causing hundreds of Americans to not be home with their families for the holidays over the past eight years. Insane and pathetic treatment of others.

3) One last piece of insanity for today and it is really another indictment of the Obama economic policy and strategy failures. Now, I recognize that the trends we are about to talk about have been going on prior to Obama taking office. However, his policies did nothing to stop or slow down the trends, given that more millennials are living at home or with relatives since 1940, the timeframe of the Great Depression, and hard economic times. But we are six years into the “Obama economic recovery” and we have done no better than the country was for our young people than in the Great Depression.

This trend was discussed by Alana Semeuls, writing for the The Atlantic, and summarized in the December 30, 2016 issue of The Week magazine:

  • The title of her article was “The Death Of The Dream,” which is in this case, the death of the American dream. 
  • She cites a new economic study by economist Raj Cherry which showed how difficult it has become for young Americans to attain the American dream. 
  • His specific measurement was his attempt to determine if today’s millennials have a decent chance of earning more money than their parents. 
  • He concluded that it was becoming more and more difficult for young Americans “to climb the economic ladder and achieve more than their parents.” 
  • He found that for people born in the 1940s, they had 92% chance of earning more than their parents by the age of 30. 
  • By the 1980s, that number had dropped to only 50%. 
  • And I would bet that when the last eight years are examined, that 50% number will drop either further, given how many millennials are still living at home with relatives. 
  • Cherry points out that since national economic growth has been only 2-3% over the more recent years, and never getting close to 3% during the Obama years, compared to 4-5% in decades past, the economic pie is smaller, leaving young people starting their careers less to get their hands on. 
A sad commentary on the economic policies and management of Washington in general and Obama in particular.

That will do it for today’s sad review of political class insanity: the death of the American dream, the Christmas narcissism of the Obama family, and a delusional President who examines only part of reality to make himself look better than his record is. More insanity tomorrow.

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