Best Summation of Obama So Far

Tuned to the Chris Plante Show today, I listened as he pondered Obama’s legacy, and then asked listeners to call with their opinions.

One man called in and said, ” Kennedy put a man on the Moon, and Obama put a man in the girls’ bathroom.”

— The Beltway Bandit

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The Perfect Veep

Trump is making me cringe.

He has spent two weeks doing public events with potential vice presidential candidates. We’ve seen him with Washington politicians, both men and women, as they smile and chat together in front of the cameras.

It’s his way of giving each one a test-drive before asking them to join him on his presidential bumper sticker.

He even spends his time with a guy like Senator Bob Corker, who famously changed Senate rules to allow a treaty to not be called a treaty, just so President Obama would not have to submit the Iran Nuclear Treaty–er, uh, “Deal”–to the Senate and have it rejected.

Then Trump shows up with Newt Gingrich. Yikes!
Ol’ Newt–and yes, he is old: 74 years old at last count–hasn’t done anything in politics since he was voted out of the seat of Speaker of the House during the Lewinsky Scandal in the late 1990s. Sure, he writes a lot of books, and must mint money on the lecture circuit. But he hasn’t done or said anything innovative since he won the Speaker’s Seat in the landslide election of 1994.

If Trump wants to pick an old white has-been as his running mate, why not choose Romney?

But if Trump is smart, there is only one choice: Sheriff Dave Clark of Wisconsin.

Here’s why:

  1. He’s calm, concise and articulate
  2. He’s pro Law-and-Order without being in your face
  3. He’s a vigorous proponent of the 2nd Amendment
  4. He’s really good on TV, and has lots of experience doing interviews
  5. He is a serious man
  6. He’s really tall
  7. He’s melanin efficient
  8. the base loves him: he will REALLY fire them up

In these bleak times when the President of the United States insults police forces all over the country, Americans crave a man who is the direct opposite.

There is a powerful vacuum of leadership when it comes to our civil society. By very calm example of American Manliness, Sheriff Clark fills that void.

–The Beltway Bandit

 

 

 

 

Let’s Try Something New

Washington-Portrait-021516

Let’s celebrate Washington’s birthday on his own birthday

Long ago, our Nation celebrated one of the great men of Western Civilization, George Washington. The United States honored him with an official holiday each year on his birthday, February  22nd.

But thanks to a fine example of the dwindling logic in Washington, DC, Congress changed his birthday to any Monday close enough to his birthday. In the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1971, they did this to provide federal employees a three-day-weekend.

But even though it is known all over the country as “President’s Day”, according to the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM)  https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/snow-dismissal-procedures/federal-holidays/#url=2016   it is officially listed as “Washington’s Birthday”.

So how did everyone start calling it Presidents Day?

When in college, I was pummeled by several history and political science teachers who relentlessly trashed George Washington. Was it a conspiracy of history teachers who thought too much emphasis was placed on the man who created every precedent for political humility?

You see, some states honored President Abraham Lincoln, while other states honored President Thomas Jefferson on his birthday.  As you can probably figure out, Northern states celebrated Honest Abe, and Southern states did not.

Lincoln’s birthday falls on February 12th. Congress thought that plopping a holiday between the his and Washington’s would pretty much split the difference.

So in its perpetual efforts to solve problems which do not exist, did Congress change Washington’s Birthday to “Presidents Day”…?  The common explanation was that the newly-named-holiday would offer Americans a day to ponder the many presidents and their grand contributions to our heritage.

The problem is, nobody has ever heard of Rutherford Hayes, Martin Van Buren, or Franklin Pierce. This effort to make Washington just another one of 44 men simply corroded the national reverence for Washington, and eliminated the celebration of Lincoln and Jefferson in those many states that had up until then done so. Pretty soon schoolchildren may not know Washington’s name either.

Every year during the week after Valentine’s Day you can flip through the local newspaper and see advertisements for “Presidents Day Weekend”.  There is always a cartoon-sketch of Washington with a speech balloon telling his Heirs of Liberty to buy cars, refrigerators or carpet. The worst are TV commercials with an actor dressed in a colonial uniform sprawled on a bed calling Americans to join him at the mattress store.

Meanwhile, no American  high school graduate has ever learned why Jefferson invaded Morocco, why Wilson belittled the Constitution, why Ford vetoed more bills in record time than any other president, or how Coolidge balanced the budget during a recession.

In fact, despite the effort to make Presidents Day a teachable moment, Americans don’t know anything about any president, except that some owned slaves, a few were assassinated for some obscure reason, and that all Republican presidents were stupid.

The funniest thing about assigning Washington’s Birthday to the 3rd Monday in February is that this year, Washington’s birthday is actually on a Monday, but the Federal government celebrates it on Monday February 15th—a week early.

Ahhh, the irony which once again reflects the nimble OPM and the federal bureaucracy. They can’t even change their own rules just a tiny bit to celebrate Washington’s birthday on his own birthday.

It is an amusing example of how inflexible the federal government is in almost all its endeavors. You can find dozens of such examples in the soon to be published book, Bureaucratic Bombs.

For almost a half century, our culture has belittled George Washington. Despite the  Federal Government’s growing habit of ignoring precedents and laws, he continues to stand out as a grand example of leadership and manhood.

As David Boaz of the Cato Institute explains, King George III, the man who wanted Washington hanged as a traitor during the American Revolution, summed up Washington’s stature best:

The king asked his American painter, Benjamin West, what Washington would do after winning independence. West replied, “They say he will return to his farm.”

“If he does that,” the incredulous monarch said, “he will be the greatest man in the world.”

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/man-who-would-not-be-king

 

Too bad Americans don’t know how great George Washington truly was, and why he was so loved by his countrymen. And thanks to the insistence upon making him as bland as 40 of our 44 presidents, they never will.

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