Friday, January 13, 2017

January, 2017, Part 8, Political Class Insanity: Obama Gives HImself A Trophy, Pelosi Still Out of This World,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. 

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 promised to operate the “most transparent” Presidency ever. He then proceeded to delay Freedom Of Information Act requests at every turn, hound and spy on journalists, lie about any topic under the sun and look to prosecute more whistleblowers than all previous Presidents combined.

Consider the case of Department of Homeland Security special agent Taylor Johnson:

  • Back in 2013, Johnson found that certain visa applicants from countries like China, Russian, and Pakistan were gaining entry into the country even though there had been no or minimal attempts by the Feds to verify the intent and background of these applicants.
  • Johnson appears to have been a model agent with many awards and no disciplinary problems on her record and thus, she tried to do her job and address this potentially dicey applicant issue.
  • But she got in trouble with this endeavor when she held up a visa for a foreign investor in a Las Vegas casino that was represented by the son of former Senate Majority leader, Harry Reid, his son, Cory Reid.
  • The agent then complained to her supervisors who, according to Johnson, began hassling her and downgrading her position and responsibilities.
  • She ended up going to Congress to voice her complaints when she did not get satisfaction from her supervisors.
  • For her honesty, she was eventually fired and offered a $100,000 severance package if she would keep her mouth shut, which she refused.

Another example of the “most transparent” Presidency ever. Insane.

2) We have often shown how the American political class has very little basic economic sense or basic business sense. Politicians are always interfering in the economy with stupid, useless, and burdensome regulations, that increase business operating costs or divert business owners attention so much as to take away from their ability to grow and sustain their businesses.

Such was the case with a recent article by Chris White, writing for the Daily Caller website on January 9, 2017:

  • A popular NYC restaurant, China Fun,” announced that it is closing its doors after 25 years because of what the owners called a “stifling regulatory environment” that treated the restaurant as a “cash machine.”
  • According to Albert Wu, a representative of the restaurant and son of the owners: “The climate for small businesses like ours in New York have become such that it’s difficult to justify taking risks and running — never mind starting — a legitimate mom-and-pop business,” reading from a letter posted by the owners in the Chinese restaurant’s front door.
  • The owners complained about the city’s endless amount of paperwork that had worn them down over the years: “When we started out in 1991, the lunch special was $4 a plate,” Wu said. “Now it’s $10, $12. The cost of doing business is just too onerous.”
  • One of the regulations that helped kill the restaurant was that the restaurant had to have a break room for employees even though their space was very limited.
So as a result of boneheaded regulations, China Fun employees not only no longer have a break room, they no longer have jobs.

3) What would a batch of political class examples be every month without an inane Nancy Pelosi quote? During a recent CNN interview, Pelosi claimed that the Obama Care legislation had been passed with bipartisan support: “But by and large the whole process was done with the 60 votes – hundreds of hearings, bipartisan, over and over again.”

Which means that she and I have a very different definition of “bipartisan:”

  • Every Democratic Senator in the Senate voted for the legislation. 
  • Not a single Republican Senator in the Senate voted for the legislation.
  • Just about every Democrat in the House of Representatives voted for the Legislation.
  • Not a single Republican in the House of Representatives voted for the legislation.
I do not think you can get any more non-partisan than that which again raises the question: what color is the sky in Nancy Pelosi’s world since she is not living in the world that I know.

4) President Obama did not serve in our armed forces. According to a recent Military Times survey or our armed forces, 51.5% view him very or somewhat unfavorably while only 36% view him very or somewhat favorably. But neither of these realities prevented him from recently being awarded the Department of Defense Medal For Distinguished Public Service.

He received the medal from his Defense Secretary Ash Carter on January 4, 2017 during the Armed Forces Full Honor Farewell Review for the President held at Conmy Hall, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia. At that time, Carter stated that the medal was a token of appreciation for Obama’s time as commander in chief.

Which raises a semantic question in my mind: is it “distinguished” or a “token?” Those are two different things in my mind. Or was it just a “participation trophy” award because he just happened to be in the commander in chief?

That will do it for today’s insanity: a President giving himself a trophy, Nancy Pelosi still living in another world, over regulations still killing restaurants and the economy alike, and the Obama administration still tracking down whistleblowers. More insanity tomorrow.

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