Best Bureaucracy Ever: Verizon

Everybody has been stuck in the only check-out line at the store when there are another 9 cash registers that are closed. We’ve all had to wait too long to be served at a restaurant. We’ve all been put on hold by a customer service rep in the Philippines who barely understands you as you repeat your customer ID over and over. We’ve all paid for a car repair, to have the same problem pop up only days after leaving the shop.

When you’re faced with these frustrations, you start to wonder: what is the worst company in America?

Is it the companies politicians love to bash: say, Exxon?

How about a car company? Or  a coal company?

Maybe even Koch Industries, Halliburton, or Walmart…?

No. Without a doubt, it is—Verizon.

When you call for customer service, you get a robot who asks you the same questions over and over.

When you finally get a rep on the phone, they lie. And lie. And lie. If they’re not lying, they’re making stuff up to get you off the phone.

Here’s proof:

My phone service from Verizon is called “Freedom  Essentials” on the monthly  bill. It includes phone and internet. I don’t watch TV much, so I’ve never paid for it.

In early March, I received a call from Verizon informing me that my account was past due. If I paid $57 right now, my service would not be interrupted. In a panic, I pulled out my credit card, read its numbers to the rep, and paid the bill. That evening when I got home, I received an email receipt of my payment.

One March 18th, I received another call from Verizon telling me my service would be interrupted if I didn’t pay another $114 immediately. I explained that I had paid my bill a week earlier, but they insisted I was two months behind on my payment, and needed to get up to date or service would be terminated. Since I was at work and couldn’t check, I again pulled out my credit card and paid another two months. The rep thanked me and explained that I was now paid through March 18th, and the next bill would reflect that my account was up to date.

When I got home from work that evening, a new email from Verizon showed that I was now paid through May 18th. I shook my head, sighed and accepted the fact that once again, Verizon doesn’t know what is what. But I was relieved that I was paid up two months in advance, and wouldn’t have to pay that bill for a while.

Ten days later, my internet service stopped working. It was around 10 in the morning, so I figured I’d wait a couple hours, clear the Fios modem, and try again. At noon, it still wasn’t working. At 3pm it still wasn’t working, so I called Verizon’s customer service number.

After the usual 15 minutes of Verizon’s robot-automatic-answering-service asking for my account number, my phone number, my name, address, and whether I had a cell number I’d like to have listed as a back-up security question, I finally got through to a live person. After reciting my account number, my phone number, my name and address again, she paused while she looked up my account.

After a few minutes, she informed me that I didn’t have internet service on my account.

Stunned, I asked why I had been receiving it since 2009, and why I had paid for it every month since then. I reminded her that in January of this year, my internet service was interrupted, and that two Verizon Service Techs had visited my home over a three day period to replace my Fios modem because the first one had gone bad; the second one was defective; and the third one finally worked.

She told me there was no record of that service in my account log. She told me to hold, and after ten minutes, transferred me to someone in Tech Support. After another lengthy period on hold, the tech came on and checked through my account log. He explained that the previous Verizon person didn’t know what she was talking about, and that he would have service back on the next morning—he simply had to order a service call to my home.

The next morning no rep showed up. I called Verizon and they said they had cancelled the Service Tech’s request. I asked why and they said that the Tech who spoke to me the previous evening had noted in my account log that the problem was fixed.

From that point I started getting mad.

On that Tuesday, I spent three hours on the phone, being transferred from Customer Service, to Financial Services, to Tech Support, and back to Customer Service in some sort of round-robin. I talked to Verizon people in Delaware, Arizona, New Jersey, Tijuana Mexico… And in all that time, every person I spoke to seemed completely clueless as to how such a problem could exist.

And so it went for 15 days, including a Saturday morning and Sunday evening on the phone with Verizon.

My son works in IT, and kept telling me I was doing something wrong. He came over to my house and called Verizon, confident that with his background he could speak the same language as Verizon’s tech guys, would have the confusion cleared and the problem solved within 15 minutes. I lauded him for his confidence, and handed him all my notes from the past week, my previous Verizon invoices and emails, and gave him the phone.

He started his call with Tech Support at 4pm that Sunday afternoon. He stayed on the phone with me by his side, and we listened on the speaker-phone to the ricochet of tech people and customer service people from across America, Mexico and the Philippines go back and forth, changing stories and explanations for how to fix the problem. As the sun faded out the window behind him, my son sat there diligently waiting, and calmly retelling the story of our problem to each succeeding Verizon person who came on the line.

3-1/2 hours later it was dark outside, and they promised that phone service would be restored at 8 o’clock the next morning.

Well, believe it or not, 8 o’clock came and went, and we had no internet service. My son’s marathon call from the evening before had no more impact on Verizon’s bureaucracy than did mine.

I got back on the phone and spent another two hours on the phone with Verizon that day. I got the same run-around, and each new Customer Service Rep had to be told my entire story from the previous week. Even though they had my account log on a computer screen in front of them, they had no idea what I was saying.

This went on through Day 8, Day 9, and Day 10. My fury with Verizon was broiling. With every person I spoke to, I explained that my bill was paid through May. Every Rep would acknowledge that it was. But at that point, they would shut down and act like they had no idea how to flip a switch to turn my internet service back on. I also noticed that when I asked the Rep’s name, they would say simply their first name. I would follow that up with, “And where are YOU?”

“In Richmond, Virginia,” would be the timid response.

“Can I get your ID number?” I got used to asking.

“No sir, we’re not allowed to give that out,” would be the firm response.

“Of course not,” I always answered cynically.

And then, on Day 10, it happened.

Somehow, a Verizon rep actually acted like she knew what was going on. Almost on auto-pilot, I explained what had happened, that my bill was paid up for the next two months, and about the dozens of people I had spoken to. She looked at my account log on screen and said “Oh My God!”

“What now?” I asked, afrad to hear the next twist in my ordeal.

I heard her tapping away at her computer, so took the opportunity to ask her name.

“Mallory” she said vacantly.

“And where are YOU?” I asked.

“I’m in Massachusetts,” she answered, still vacantly.

“Can I get your ID Number?” I asked automatically.

“Sure,” she said, “It’s ———” and she gave it to me.

I was shocked—I got a real ID number from a Verizon Rep! I was so stunned, I was almost speechless.

She interrupted my stupor and said, “I know what has been happening with your account.”

“You do?!”

“Every time you called in, a new Work Order was assigned to your account to correct this issue. The problem is that you have 1, 2, 3, oh my God, at least 9 overlapping work orders here, so the system didn’t know what to do.”
“How could that happen?” I asked.

“Well, every time you called in, a new work order was assigned to your account, and—“

“So wait a minute,” I interrupted. “If that’s the case, why didn’t ANY of the people I’ve spoken to over the last week and a half figure this out?”

“I’m not saying they didn’t, but some people here are trained a lot better than others,” she explained, sounding guilty about my problem.

She told me that she needed to call a Tech and have all the other work orders cleared in order to start a new work order to solve the problem.

I scoffed in disbelief. She heard me too, because she said, “I’m sure you don’t believe me after all this time, but I will call you back to let you know about my progress. I have a few friends in different departments who will help me fix this.”

Surprised by this new candor, I agreed, gave her my number, and hung up.

The next morning she actually called me! I was so surprised, I know I didn’t properly thank her. She told me she had her friend Lynne from Tech Support on the line in a conference call, and that she was going to help us. Lynne reiterated Mallory’s observation about the multiple work orders  and about all the confusion it caused. While she was explaining this, she gasped and said, “Look at all these work orders—how many times have you called in?”

I explained that with all the disconnections, second calls on most days, I must have called at least 15 times.

“Well that explains that!” she said. “There are 13 different work orders in here for service on your account since last Monday.”

“Now you can understand his anger,” Mallory piped in.

“This will take a few hours, and some calls to our field office, but we’ll clear it up,” Lynne said.

Mallory told me, “You see, it’s all in knowing the right people. I will call you back at 1 o’clock and give you an update to see if we can get your service up today or not.”

I thanked her, hung up, and for the first time in 12 days, started to feel hopeful. Perhaps I would finally have my internet service back by the weekend.

At 1pm she promptly called me back to explain that it was so messed up that it would be Monday before all the orders could be cleared properly. She apologized, but promised to call me at 8am Monday morning to confirm that service would be restored that morning.

I thanked her for being the only person out of three dozen who had been honest and consistent with me. We wished each other a happy weekend, and hung up.

At 8:05 on Monday morning, my phone rang. It was Lynne, not Mallory. She explained that Mallory had to rush her husband to the hospital, but called her on the way to make sure that I was updated on  the progress of my internet service. I was speechless from her commitment to solving my problem, and told Lynne to thank her for me.

Lynne explained that the backlog of orders had been cleared, gave me the new Work Order Number, and assured me that internet service would be restored by 2pm. I was so thankful, and told her so. She told me to be home between 2 and 4pm to accept a call and to reactivate the service through an email I would be sent.

I was home around 3:30, clicked open my email, and was happy to receive an email from Verizon asking me to click a specific button to restart my Fios internet service. I did so, and sat back in my chair with a long sigh. 2 weeks, I thought. Two whole weeks wasted. Two weeks of service I paid for, and didn’t get. At least 24 hours of work time squandered over these two weeks. I sighed again.

I waited a few minutes for my Fios modem to go through its start-up cycle, and then clicked on the internet icon on my computer screen.

Nothing happened.

That feeling of Verizon Doom flooded over me once again.

I called 1-800-Verizon once again. After the first 7 minutes of telling the Verizon-robot all my account information once more, I waited for a customer service rep. When one finally came on the line, I asked to speak to Mallory in Massachusetts, and recited her ID Number.

“We have no way of calling another representative in a different office,” she explained in a disinterested tone.

“Wait a minute: you’re a phone company, and you can’t talk to another employee in your company?” I asked incredulously.

“Only email,” she said with an over-the-phone-shrug.

I swallowed hard, and started to explain my entire 2 week ordeal yet once more.

She said “hmmm ,” out loud and looked at my account on screen. “It appears that there is a power outage near your home. If service doesn’t come up within the next 3 hours, then we can’t guarantee that you’ll have internet for the next 24 hours.”

“So are you telling me that we won’t have internet until Wednesday now?!” I exploded.” We are able to receive emails from Verizon, because I received an email a half hour ago telling me that my service was restored, and now—“

“We have no record of that here,” she said.

I recited the Confirmation Number right off the email from 4pm back to her.

“Well, why don’t you do it again, so we can be sure,” she said.

So I went back to the email, and clicked the button once more to accept my fios service. Almost immediately, I got another “Congratulations!” message, with a different series of numbers to confirm our service. I recited them to her.

“Let’s see,” she said again cheerfully. “Yep, looks like you’ll have to wait another three hours until that power outage clears up. If not, it’ll be another 24 hours for ya.”

I was so mad, I’m sure there was smoke spewing from my ears, but I tried to remain calm. “Let me speak to a supervisor. Please.”

“There aren’t any on the work floor at this time. Can I take a message and have one call you?” she said in a tone as if there was not a problem.

“No, I want to talk to a supervisor right now. This is Day 15 of dealing with you all, and I was promised that service would be restored today.”

“I can put you on hold and see if one will be available soon,” she offered.

“I don’t want to be put on hold, because you’ll hang up on me. Get me a supervisor. Now.”

“Please h—“ she clicked me on hold so fast, she didn’t even get the rest of “hold” out.

I listened to verizon’s insipid “On Hold Music” for the umpteenth time. I waited for another 20 minutes. Finally a male came on the line. Once again I had to explain my two week trek through Verizon’s bureaucracy to this guy too.

He hummed and hawed, and then told me there was a power outage. I told him I already knew that. He said, “I can have an Outage Repair Ticket set up, and we can take a look at it tomorrow…?”

“Now why didn’t she suggest that when we discussed this earlier?” I asked frustrated.

“Oh well,” he chuckled, “I told her not to write one until you and I discussed the issue and decided on what the best course of action was to take.”

That did it. I exploded: “I have not had internet service I paid for in advance for 15 days. What do YOU think the best course of action would be?!”

“Sir,” he said, trying to use his customer-calming-skills he learned in Call-Center-Training-Class, “if you’re going to be rude, then I cannot help you. Do you want me to write an Outage Repair Ticket or not…?”
Still furious, I asked to be transferred to Mallory, and gave her ID number to him.

“How did you get that information?” he asked suspiciously.

“Transfer me to Mallory right now so I can leave a message on her voicemail,” I reiterated, still broiling.

“Tell you what, let me contact the Tech Department, and see what we can do for you..” and pushed the Hold Button as fast as he got that last word out.

On hold for another 12 minutes, I listened to the same Verizon On Hold Music. I’m a music lover, but even Helen Keller would cringe if she was stuck listening to this tripe.

A Tech Rep finally came on the line, “Hello, I understand you’re having a little glitch with your internet service?”

“A little glitch?!” I said sarcastically.

Before I could open up my floodgates of rage, he interrupted me: “Have you cleared the cache on your computer?”

“Cleared the what?” I asked, “How do I do that?”

He had me go onto my computer screen, showed me how to click to buttons in the preference menu, and then told me to wait 30 seconds.

And what do you know?

I suddenly had internet service.

I sighed out loud and asked the guy, “Why didn’t anybody tell me to do this 45 minutes ago?”

He chuckled and said, “Customer Service People. What do they know? Heh heh heh!”

I thanked him, and hung up.

So after 15 full days of paid but unavailable service, shifting explanations and excuses, I finally got my internet service back on.

This problem began on March 28th at 10am, and trudged along until 6:30pm on April 11th.

The following morning, on Day 16, I received the most polite email from Mallory I have every received from a Customer Service Person. She was thoughtful, apologetic, considerate, and reiterated how frustrated many of her colleagues are with Verizon’s Bureaucracy.

It was refreshing to know that out of the 37 people we spoke to over our 15 day ordeal, there was one honest person who cared enough to bend over backwards to help me.

_______________________________

Ten days later, I was surprised to see an email from Verizon asking me to “Take a Quick Survey!” about their service. I did so with relish. After giving them Zeros for their responsiveness and if I would recommend them to a friend, they asked these two questions.

Please tell us why you chose these ratings or what we can do to improve our service:
Although we were paid up through May 18th, 2016, for 2 months in advance, Verizon disconnected our service on March 28th.

It took 15 days, 26 hours on the phone, and speaking to 37 different customer service, tech, and financial services people in Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Maryland, the Philippines and Mexico to straighten it out. Amusingly, 6 of your customer service reps proudly announced they were “taking ownership of this problem, and will not hang up until your problem is solved.” Yet to top it off, all 6 transferred me elsewhere. We were transferred dozens of times, and also hung up on 4 times over that 15 day period.

Over that period, we were often on the phone for 3-hour periods: We spoke to you all at 8 in the morning, at noontime, at 3 in the afternoon, on a Sunday evening, and even at 11:15 one night. And yet at every turn we were treated like the IRS treats American citizens: with excuses and indifference.

Except for the last person, Mallory in Massachusetts, EVERY SINGLE Verizon employee gave us a different explanation and promise to solve the problem.

People complain about how horrid it is to deal with the Post Office, the local MVA, or with Comcast.
But I have NEVER been treated so dishonestly and with so many over-the-phone-shrugs for such a lengthy period of time.

And just in case you believe my experience is frivolous, I do Customer Service for a living. If a single person on my staff treated a customer in such a way, I would have him fired that day.

Since we were put on hold for about 22 of the 26 hours we were on the phone with Verizon, both my wife and I were forced to memorize your “On Hold” music, which, by the way, is horrid. We are convinced it was composed by the son of some Verizon Top Executive and recorded in his garage. You all REALLY need to invest in some music.

And how many times, during that hold music did Verizon’s robotic-female-voice pipe in and remind us that “if you are having trouble with your service, you can log onto verizon.com for assistance.” Even though we had no internet service!

I never truly understood why Americans hate a monopoly; but now it is crystal clear.

Over those 15 days of NO SERVICE from Verizon, we decided there is only one word to describe Verizon: “Excruciating”.

What can we do to make it easier for you to do business with us?
Have your Overpaid Lobbyists go to Congress to have a law passed to allow other companies to compete in the Washington DC region.

____________________________________________________

I have yet to hear back from them, but am still exhausted from the experience and feel like I have the domestic form of PTSD.

If there was an alternative to Verizon, I would sign up for it without blinking.

–The  Beltway Bandit

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Trump! Trump! Trump!

A breath of fresh air!

A man who speaks his mind!

A man of conviction—whoa—wait a minute…

 

These three comments typify those which have flooded internet message boards since early last Summer. While I nodded to myself over most of those I’ve read everywhere, the last one stopped me cold.

You can say a lot of things about why Trump is wildly popular; but “a man of conviction” is absolutely not one of them.

The big reasons Trump is popular are clear:

First, he believes in America, and obviously loves his fellow Americans.

Second, he believes in winning.

 

Ever since President Reagan left the White House 27 years ago, there has not been a single Republican who has proudly (and boastfully) projected these two qualities. Except for Jesse Helms, every congressman, senator, governor and presidential candidate has always tip-toed through the minefield of interviews with the two national overlords of public opinion: the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Because of these two publishers’ clout in manipulating what is broadcast on the Nightly News, every Republican has spent these past three decades hunched over in fear of being targeted as an enemy of what those two papers find distasteful, wrong, or bad about America. Once challenged, they never fight back. Americans have noticed this persistently cowardly presentation of what they believe, and have spent election after election fighting when their candidates won’t.

Trump does the direct opposite. He bashes the News Media. He talks back to a reporter who tries to talk down to him, and he plays the TV Media like an expert violinist. Americans have noticed, and enthusiastically support him because of it.

My favorite Trump success is his daily stabs at political correctness. Watching reporters and pundits clutch their chests in fabricated outrage is becoming my favorite entertainment!

But Trump should be running as a Democrat. He believes in big government, has funded and voted for liberal causes his entire career, and is VERY shaky on his belief in private property and more important, his constitutional perception of eminent domain.

Watch the Pixar movie “Up!” The first 15 minutes are taken directly from a case where Trump sued an old lady in 1993 to force her out of her home in Atlantic City, New Jersey so he could build a giant new building. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vera_Coking).

He beat her too. Does anybody think that case won’t come up in the General Election?

Worse than that, he continues to demonstrate his comfort with Huge Government.

Just this morning he told ABC News that while ObamaCare “is a disaster!” he would fix it: with a different government program that works. We’ve been watching them tinker with Big Government Healthcare in Europe for 60 years now. It doesn’t ever get any better, just more expensive. But because he “cares about people”, Trump’s health-care-bureaucracy will be more efficient than Obama’s. Does anyone who has ever filled out all those government-required-forms at the hospital really believe that?

If Trump ran as a Democrat, he would have quickly eliminated Clinton as a viable candidate last September. He would have kept Sanders in the race just to make him look stupid. He would be drawing 85% of Democrat voters, with gushing praise from the Democrat Party’s pundits. Instead, he has sparked their sheep-like wrath, because with Democrats it’s always tribe above everything else.  He would also have at least 40% of Republican voters, because of his unabashed candor. Unlike any candidate in either party, he has drawn support from blue collar workers, the chronically underemployed, and even blacks.

Who was the last politician who achieved such broad support?

But as a Republican, no one knows who he really is, because he has never supported any constitutional cause, either with his money or his mouth.

As one Republican supporter explained: “We like him because talks American!”

Except for Herman Cain, Sarah Palin and Ben Carson, who else has done that?

The other reason Trump is popular is because Congress has ceded most of its power to huge federal agencies to do its job.  Read the soon-to-be-published book Bureaucratic Bombs to see how bureaucrats spend their time writing rules to micromanage the lives of everyday Americans; something forbidden in the Constitution. Will Trump accelerate this trend like Obama, or will he halt the arbitrary bureaucracy, call it what it is and eliminate this “rulemaking”, as bureaucrats like to call it.

I’ll bet he will do just as Obama taught him: continue to bypass Congress, write Executive Orders to get what he wants done, and then go on The View and blame “those stupid congressmen” for not understanding what Americans really want.

We’ve spent the last 7 years watching this game. When Trump continues to do the same thing, we will be firmly down a road which permanently makes Congress a secondary force to the power of the President.

And let’s not forget the end game here: getting Ted Cruz and Rand Paul appointed to the Supreme Court.

These two men are powerful advocates for The United States Constitution, and will be passionate defenders of it against the anti-Constitutionalists now serving on the bench.  Does anyone in America really think Trump will appoint a pro-Constitution justice to the Supreme Court?

I like Trump—a lot. I absolutely love his chutzpa!

But we’ve seen this movie before—three times, in fact.

There have been popular uprisings around the United States over the past two decades. The first time was in Minnesota. People were so frustrated at their unresponsive state government that they elected an outsider and complete political novice, Jesse Ventura.

The second uprising was in California, when they elected Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The third was in New York City. Not so much a popular uprising so much as a manipulation of the “conservative” label. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg got himself elected by being the only candidate on the Republican side of the ballot, and then flooding the city with campaign cash.

But in all three cases, the well-known-celebrity talked a great can-do speech swimming in common sense. Once elected, all three forgot what they promised, and were complete disasters.

Like Trump, Ventura trash-talked his opponents, and ended up a loud-mouthed embarrassment.

Like Trump, Schwarzenegger was a well-known celebrity who, once elected, caved to the unending stampede of liberal rants and union demands. He was a lame-duck eunuch halfway through his first year in office.

And Bloomberg—my goodness. He spent his entire term micromanaging New York: you couldn’t own a gun, couldn’t smoke, shouldn’t drink soda, shouldn’t use salt, shouldn’t drive a car…

Meanwhile, he pretty much ignored constitutional voting violations all over his jurisdiction, yet jumped to the TV every time there was a terrorist attack so he could blame Americans.

People got sick of Ventura’s public tantrums real fast; of Schwarzenegger’s tough guy image even faster; and of Bloomberg’s micromanaging in a New York Minute.

How it starts is how it goes, and I see Trump as the billionaire blend of all three of these men. Each one is famous, rich and loud.

And not one has a conviction in his body.

–The Beltway Bandit

 

America’s Presidential DreamTeam

After watching this political game for over a year now, it is finally time for people to cast votes. The Iowa Caucus assembles to vote this weekend. And from there, the State Primaries begin at a breath-taking speed.

The one blessing of watching the numerous candidates over the last year is that we get many opportunities to see how each one behaves in interviews, on the stump, and in person when they think no camera is watching.

We get to see how easily one gets mad, how calm another stays when shouted at, and how another can come up with a pithy response to the most insulting question.

The most amusing is watching Mrs. Clinton, a candidate who has been running for this specific job since 2006. She still has no ability or interest in talking to regular folks!

The year gave us a healthy opportunity to see how each one of these candidates would act when the door to the Oval Office is closed, when they must sit there and make decisions or make a calm call to a belligerent foreign leader.

_________________

The past seven months have been a delightful surprise as Trump popped up from nowhere; then Carson became a shooting star; and then Fiorina appeared to earn a fresh breath of opportunity after a hearty debate performance.

But best of all, we learned one thing: the Republicans have a very deep bench, and the Democrats have nobody.

The Republicans have several governors, senators and business leaders, many of whom are under 50 years old. They have a black, two Hispanics and (until recently) an Indian running.

We all know Trump is a billionaire, but nobody knows that Clinton is worth over a $100 million dollars. Everybody knows that the Democrat Party is the party of minorities, but the Republican Party has all the minorities running for president.

The Democrats have a white woman in her late 60s, a white man in his mid-70s, and another white man in his mid-50s. None of the three has ever thought creatively on any issue of national importance.

__________________

So, drawn directly from the Republican Party’s deep bench, here is the Presidential Dream Team:

President: Ben Carson

Secretary of State: Carly Fiorina

Attorney General: Ted Cruz

Secretary of Defense: Chris Christie

Secretary of Treasury:  Rand Paul

Presidential Press Spokesman: Mike Huckabee

First Supreme Court Pick: Ted Cruz

Second Supreme Court Pick: Rick Santorum

Since all other Cabinet-level departments aren’t constitutional, we’ll skip all of them for now. It seems that except for the aggressive and belligerently anti-constitutional EPA, not one of these agencies does anything more than just keep doing the same thing over and over and over. They spend trillions of dollars every year, but no more Americans are working than there were 15 years ago, the nation is far less safe than it was 25 years ago, and kids don’t learn more than they did 50 years ago.

If Carson is smart, he should take all the other candidates (including former candidates Governors Walker and Jindall) and create a brain trust to eliminate as many of those cabinet agencies as possible. They should be tasked to reduce the size of the federal workforce by a third by the end of 2019. Read the soon-to-be-published book Bureaucratic Bombs. You’ll be shocked at the way much of our government workforce wastes their time.

If Carson is really smart, he’ll pick Allen West as his running mate. Just think: The Washington Media would go haywire. How would they write all their political stories trashing Republicans when BOTH slots on the ticket are successful black Americans? After spending the last 7 years openly calling everyone who doesn’t agree with Obama a racist, they would spend all of next Fall in a panic trying to come up with their typically insidious angle of attack.

Better still, how would the Democrat Nominee attack this ticket? As of this writing, they will either face Sanders, a proud European Socialist; or Clinton, a protégé of Sanders beliefs, but still money-grubbing enough to keep her mouth shut about it until elected. Both potential nominees are old, void of both enthusiasm and intellectual vigor, and worst of all, lack any affection for the American people.

Carson’s bold move will offer our nation two strong men who believe in America, who fluidly talk about their love of and pride in America, and who are strong role models of the American Dream for young men and women across the country.

Best of all, it would shatter the minority coalition that The Media has created for the Democrat Party over the last 40 years. Even when the Carson/West ticket steals only 3% of the black and other minority vote, it will draw in all the Tea Party and Evangelical voting blocks which stayed home in 2012. The two men will also jolt all the bitterly disenfranchised people who are crying out for a president who believes in America, and who believes in Americans.

_______________

So let’s put details onto our Presidential Dream Team:

President: Ben Carson.

He is an adult who speaks with wisdom, and is a powerful antidote to the last 7 years of the social and racial poison which has been injected into our culture. Our nation has been wounded by our current leader, who has spent his entire term trashing everything positive about our heritage and our people. Ben Carson has the reputation, the calm presence, and the wisdom to heal the bleeding racial and social sores which Obama has spent his entire term tearing open. Americans looks up to Carson with respect, because we crave a real man who can positively talk about something beyond himself.

 

Secretary of State: Carly Fiorina.

She is thoughtful and considerate–and believes in America. She will be a proud and unapologetic proponent and spokesman for the United States. She would be an advocate for the interests of the United States, not of the United Nations. She studies the issues, thinks before she speaks, and understands how military power affects diplomacy and vise-versa. She also comprehends all the moving parts to a situation.

 

Attorney General: Ted Cruz.

One of our two current advocates for the Constitution. On January 20, 2017, he will go down to the basement of the Justice Department and find the copy of the Constitution, dust it off, and repost it on the wall of the building’s main lobby.  He would recommend judges who believe in America, and also begin enforcing all the laws which Obama, Holder and Lynch have ignored or “re-considered”.

 

Secretary of Defense: Chris Christie.

He believes in victory. He understands the importance of a fierce American military presence around the world.

 

Secretary of Treasury:  Rand Paul.

The other current advocate for the Constitution. This man believes in the constitutional authority of the Treasury to protect and stabilize our currency, not to manipulate the economy and society. He is a fervent defender of Sound Money, and knows we must stop these ridiculous annual deficits and need to pay off our National Debt. He will rebuild international faith in The Dollar. He will renew the concept we used to call “Sound as a Dollar”.

 

Presidential Press Spokesman: Mike Huckabee.

He is superb on his feet, understands policy, an excellent speaker off-the-cuff, is intensely loyal to the party, remains calm, and best of all, always speaks with a smile. He would be a powerful weapon against the venomous Washington Press Corps.

 

First Supreme Court Pick: Ted Cruz.

Once appointed, he would be the energetic and articulate heir to Justice Scalia. He will explain why the Constitution matters. He will be in the perfect seat to give a 20-year-long national class on the grandeur of the Constitution.

 

Second Supreme Court Pick: Rick Santorum.

Once appointed, he would be an advocate for the American Family and an excellent teammate to Justice Cruz.

 

Walker/Jindall/Kasich/Perry Brain Trust.

These men have done impressive and creative work as governors in their states. They have managed budgets that were out of control when they assumed office, and in some cases have controlled the cash-gobbling impulses of their bureaucracies. Carson should request their talents to begin to severely shrink the federal bureaucracy, and to dismantle the Arbitrary Administrative State which smothers our liberties.

 

Vice President West.

This office has been squandered time and again. Vice President West can be an advisor to Secretary of Defense Christie as an advocate for the enlisted man, and for the importance of crushing an enemy once engaged. But his greater mission should be to visit—every week— poor areas and especially the Inner Cities in America to advocate for what a great country these children live in. With a 50% unemployment rate for black males under 30, West is the direct opposite example to their current national icon. Allen West is a natural advocate for all the good that America stands for. Young Americans deserve his and President Carson’s message.

–The Beltway Bandit

_____________

 

P.S:        “WHAT—no Trump?!”

I’ll explain that in the next post…

 

Don’t Worry: It’s No Problem!

This is a sad example of how the Washington Bureaucracy really works:

72 DHS Employees on Terrorist Watch List

December 6, 2015 4:12 pm

At least 72 employees at the Department of Homeland Security are listed on the U.S. terrorist watch list, according to a Democratic lawmaker.

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D., Mass.) disclosed that a congressional investigation recently found that at least 72 people working at DHS also “were on the terrorist watch list.”

This story, published by The Washington Free Beacon, was broadcast on most of the major TV and radio news networks on that same day and evening during their regular 6 o’clock news and  11 o’clock news wrap-up shows. 

And then, guess what–NOTHING HAPPENED.

No Congressmen ran to the microphones and demanded these employees be fired. The President didn’t run to a microphone and announce that these government employees would be suspended until an investigation was completed. And nobody in the Washington Press Corps–not an investigative journalist, not any reporter whose beat is the Department of Homeland Security–nobody announced they would begin an undercover investigation to find out how potential terrorists got jobs in what is supposed to be “The Defense Department” for threats inside the United States.

Everybody in power, including the News Media, ignored the story.

Now imagine if a newspaper had published a story reporting that 72 employees of Exxon were on the Terror Watch List? Or if 72 employees of Koch Industries were on the Terror Watch List? The news would explode on the front page of the Washington Post and New York Times. It would make the cover of Time magazine, and 60 Minutes would postpone their regularly scheduled show for the next Sunday and rush an hour-long-special into production to voice its alarm that Americans would dare employ 72 people on the Terror Watch  List.

But….

Since the 72 work for the Federal Government, the story is shrugged off–even by the Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson.

The sad part is that no one asked what these employees do all day. Do they work as TSA agents, groping children or old men in wheel chairs, while simultaneously ignoring others who might be smuggling an explosive past their $150,000 scanners?

Do they work in Port Security in Baltimore, or Los Angeles, or New York City, assuring that no dirty nuclear materials are being off-loaded onto one of our nation’s largest docks ?

Are they the ones who man the phones at the “If You See Something Say Something!” Hotline? What if someone calls in with a terror-plot tip, and one of those employees “accidentally” hangs up on  the caller, then blames the disconnect on Verizon?

Do these employees work in the DHS Cyber Center, where they can tip off other people on the Terror Watch List that they might be under surveillance?

Or do they work as Diversity &  Inclusion Specialists in the “Special Emphasis Programs” office in DHS’s Diversity Training Office inside the DHS Office for Civil Rights, assuring that other Terror-Watch-List-Members also have an equal opportunity to work at the Department of Homeland Security?

Of course, we’ll never know, because as with almost all things that happen in the Federal Bureaucracy which spark alarm, the news was shrugged off with a yawn, and the News Media shifted right back into important stories about the Kardashians,  and where the Obamas planned to dine during their upcoming Christmas vacation.

Amusingly, only one publication responded to this bombshell news story: Government Executive magazine, at GovExec.com. In a classic CYA article to protect the federal workforce, journalist Eric Katz explained it as an error reported by Congressman Lynch based on confusion during a congressional hearing. The 72 were not federal employees, but federal contractors who worked at Homeland Security.

So there.

Problem solved. Since the 72 people on the Terror Watch List weren’t actually working for the government, what’s the problem?

Of course,there was no follow up on whether those contractors were investigated, reassigned, suspended, or God forbid–fired.

This is another example of how no matter what the event, a federal agency is never accountable to anyone–not even to the President or to Congress.

The soon to be published book Bureaucratic Bombs explains these events and this mindset in entertaining detail.

But in the meantime, let us all pray that none of these 72 people who spend their work days with official government ID badges somewhere inside the labyrinth known as the Department of Homeland Security don’t end up on the evening news for a more deadly reason.

–The Beltway Bandit