"The most significant threat to our national security is our debt," Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, August 27,2010


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WHAT ABOUT THE DEBT MR. PRESIDENT?

You frequently refer to the bad policies and practices of the last administration.  You act as if one man and his party are responsible for all the ills of the world and all the economic tribulations facing America.  Is this just your inexperience speaking or are you truly that ignorant a man?

Your predecessor did make some mistakes.  No doubt about that.  But he did not make these mistakes on his own.  He had both parties in congress as full accomplices.  He had the worst; well, considering the performance of Bernanke, perhaps, the second worst federal reserve chairman ever doing exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time.  And he did some of the same foolish things you have multiplied – giving away free things when the government was already giving away too much for which it had inadequate revenue sources.

Yet today, and for the first three years of your time in office, you have given away more than any American president ever and what is now your single greatest failing, you have created a level of debt in that brief period of time that is unparalleled in the history of the world.

Here are the facts Mr. president.  We remind you because you never mention these facts:

Debt on the day I, Barack H. Obama II, took office:  $10.6 trillion (1/20/2009)

Debt today after I, Barack H. Obama II, have been in office 1,133 days:  $15.4 trillion

Average daily debt increase while I, Barack H. Obama II have been in office:  $4.2 billion per day!!!!   (Mr. Obama, in order to increase the debt of the United States by $4.8 trillion in just 1,133 days you have had to borrow over FOUR BILLION DOLLARS EVERY DAY YOU HAVE BEEN IN OFFICE.  PLEASE MENTION THIS SIMPLE FACT EVERY TIME YOU CAMPAIGN.  IF NOT, THEFUNDAMENTALS WILL BE GLAD TO DO SO.)

Average debt placed on each private sector working American taxpayer during my, Barack H. Obama II, term:   ($4.8 trillion divided by number of private industry workers as of Jan 2012 – 110 million per http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t08.htm ) means you, Mr. President, have placed a debt on each private sector working American taxpayer of $43,636, and yet, you never mention that fact.  Why is that?  On top of all the taxes they must pay you have loaded them with over 43 thousand dollars of debt that will be with them and their working children for the rest of their lives.

If you are so weak a leader and so under schooled in matters of financial and personal responsibility that you do not grasp the significance of this issue then you are actually less responsible than your predecessor.  You are now a bedfellow of his sidekick, the irresponsible Richard Cheney.  You need to know yourself before blaming and criticizing others.  Your track record is much worse than that of either of your two most recent predecessors.  And, no, it is no congresses fault alone.  You could have vetoed every bill that created entitlements and spending for which there was no funding.  There is no such thing as free; there is no such thing as a bottomless well of entitlement and benefit for health care and education and governance – needed or unneeded.  All things in moderation Mr. President.  Have you ever even heard of, much less embraced, moderation?   It is a fundamental.

We will remind each American taxpayer of the debt placed on him/her during your time in office again this summer (around June 30) and again a few days before Election Day (around October 31.)  There is no good reason for any private sector working taxpayer to vote for you.

On November 6, 2012, the private sector employed taxpayers, who are people who work and are people who have their own growing, costly obligations to meet and who are without the ability to secure free food or free housing or free education or freedom from taxes levied on them in ways seen and unseen by hundreds of different taxing authorities across the land, will have a brief opportunity to speak.  They are now burdened by you and your congress and your Fed chairman and your ilk in the 50 states and countless city/county/state/education tax systems with a burden they cannot afford.  And you and congress and Bernanke have further placed unconscionable debt on them because of misguided policies motivated by fear and leadership weakness.

So, we repeat our title question as you run around the country and speak empty words of promise and illusory accomplishment, “WHAT ABOUT THE DEBT MR. PRESIDENT?”

Monday, February 27, 2012

Pennsylvania Avenue versus Main Street

The folks on Pennsylvania Avenue know how to craft their message.  They are quite good at it.  Here are some examples:

·         We are spending more than we are taking in because we are saving the economy.  We need to keep high pay government jobs or else unemployment will be even worse

·         We are going to ask those who pay taxes to pay even more because they are not paying their fair share

·         We saved the automobile industry so we do know what we are doing

·         Sure the economy is not producing enough jobs but the republicans made quite a mess of things and it will take us a while to fix them

·         We are moving toward a green economy – use less carbon based fuels and use a lot more green or non carbon based energy sources.  It will take a while.  Don’t worry about gas prices.  It’s all about the problems in the middle east

·         Health care is a universal right for all which means the federal government needs to manage it with a consistent service level across the country

·         Every female has the right to birth control, abortions, etc. and should not be required to pay for those products and services

·         Debt is an issue but not one we need to be presently concerned with

·         Society is changing and it is important that we help those who seek equal status with the established groups in our country

On Main Street, there is no one to craft a single message; just a bunch of citizens (legal and otherwise) who go to work every day; pay their bills; try to raise their kids with their eye on a combination of safety, development and acceptance into the larger community.  They cannot be too involved with green energy movements and making sure the new citizens are getting a slice of the pie that they have paid for or if the teenager next door is on the newest birth control pill, no charge thank you, or if they can fit their family in the Chevy Volt that few seem to be buying but that they are subsidizing.

On Main Street, you worry about keeping your job; hoping your gas powered car doesn’t break down; trying to save enough so you can help the kids go to college without becoming indentured servants to paying off student loans and managing to pay the bills before the credit card company charges you 18% (that’s .18) interest while the bank pays you .18% (that’s .0018) on your dwindling savings account.

So what to do?

The government wants more money to do everything they do.  They don’t dare raise your taxes directly because you can’t make ends meet now.  So they tell the well off to pay more and, in the meantime, they figure out ways to make you pay more indirectly – real estate taxes, state income taxes, fees for every license, fine, parking meter, fee and permit you are required to have or purchase and pretend that they are doing their best to keep costs under control. 

So what to do?

Well you figure it out.  But let us give you a small hint.  People are not stupid.  They know darn well what is going on and they know darn well that the government is doing just fine by its politicians, bureaucrats and millions of employees.  They have good wages; good health care benefits and really good pensions.  Main Street doesn’t and it knows it doesn’t.  It also can see through (well some on Main Street can) the misleading and mixed messages coming from Pennsylvania Avenue – the inconsistencies of do what I say, not what I do; the lack of cutbacks and frugalities from government; the excess of government workers over needed government workers.

What does Main Street do when it sees things like this?  What does history tell us people do when one group takes advantage of another group?  What does our own history teach us? 

Well here’s a hint in the form of a question.   Why are tax revenues so low as a percent of GDP even with a growing population; pretty good stock market; the rich paying a higher percent of collected taxes than ever before; overall economic growth; good exports and the government spending so much more than it has ever done in history?

Could we be seeing the beginning of a tax payer revolt?  Could some people actually be doing things that don’t produce traceable transaction records that tax authorities need to chase tax avoiders down?

Here’s one other question.  Could it be that the real estate market will not rebound until local property taxes are cut drastically to reflect the substantial reduction in home market valuations?  Who wants the burden of high real estate tax burdens to pay teachers and city/county employee’s high salaries, benefits and pensions when the taxpayer cannot afford it?  What happens when fairness is gone and one controlling group lords it over the larger population?

The battle between Pennsylvania Avenue (government) and Main Street (taxpayers) is underway.  It has only just begun.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Anatomy of a Bureaucratic Movement

The federal government controls most all aspects of the health care industry in the United States.  Any remaining independent portion is about to become bureaucratically controlled by decree as a consequence of the new law known widely as Obama Care. What follows is the anatomy of an aspect of how a bureaucracy accomplishes such a takeover.  

On August 3, 2011, the Dept of Treasury and its taxing arm, The IRS and the Dept of Labor and its Employee Benefits Security Administration and the Dept of Health and Human Services (HHS) issue “Interim final rules with request for comment” for “…group health plans and health insurance coverage in the group and individual markets under provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” which is known across the land as Obama Care.

Here is a sample, not particularly out of the ordinary or exceptionally confusing, chosen at random of the wording in this issuance: “Subtitles A and C of title I of the Affordable Care Act amend the requirements of title XXVII of the PHS Act (changes to which are incorporated into ERISA section 715). The preemption provisions of ERISA section 731 and PHS Act section 2724 2 (implemented in 29 CFR 2590.731(a) and 45 CFR 146.143(a)) apply so that the requirements of part 7 of ERISA and title XVII of the PHS Act, as amended by the Affordable Care Act, are not to be ‘‘construed to supersede any provision of State law which establishes, implements, or continues in effect any standard or requirement solely relating to health insurance issuers….”

Mind boggling isn’t it? Just think, this is the law that is being implemented and will control your health care decisions and reimbursements and those of your children and grandchildren and all who follow.

By the way, if you think that TheFundamentals is being pejoratively selective in highlighting the above wording, go to: http://housedocs.house.gov/energycommerce/ppacacon.pdf  and read the entire law for yourself; all 964 pages of it. We guarantee that no human being can read this law and explain it to any citizen affected by it.

This set of rules we are focusing on is the source of the entire hullabaloo from religious folk, particularly Catholics, who object to a government forcing them to provide insurance coverage for abortions, sterilizations and all sorts of contraceptives and devices that are being developed for either preventing a pregnancy or destroying it before it develops into a human being. They view it as government intrusion in their religious freedom guaranteed by the US constitution. We ask a larger question – “Just who in the he** do these fools think they are that they can enter this arena and issue indecipherable rules, laws and decrees that are not appropriate or comprehensible? It’s none of their business!”

Some ask why would the government stick their nose in the business of abortions and contraception and even enter the arena of religious freedom much less health care. Isn’t this supposed to be private health care decisions between a patient and doctor? Well here is why. We go right to the HHS bureaucracy website and give you their wording: “The Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) – the health insurance reform legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010 – helps make prevention affordable and accessible for all Americans by requiring health plans to cover preventive services and by eliminating cost sharing. Preventive services that have strong scientific evidence of their health benefits must be covered and plans can no longer charge a patient a copayment, coinsurance or deductible….”

So do you get it? It’s not just covered; it’s free; all because of “strong scientific evidence…” In the land of Obama all you need is someone who has a study supporting your position and enough votes to pass a law saying something is free and the bureaucracy gobbles its up because it means more bureaucrats; more jobs; more pay; more power. In real life people who do things with this justification and motivation are either ignored; viewed as non compos mentis, or elected to congress or the presidency. America has chosen the latter path and placed 536 of them in Washington DC.

What happens next? Well, the gang who dreams up the reasoning for this set of rules and making everything free points to something like this – “HHS commissioned an IOM study to review what preventive services are necessary for women’s health and well-being and should be considered in the development of comprehensive guidelines for preventive services for women.”

IOM? Who in the dickens is IOM? Well they are The Institute of Medicine and here is what HHS says about them – “HRSA (HHS sub group) is supporting the IOM’s recommendations on preventive services that address health needs specific to women and fill gaps in existing guidelines.”

So now you are getting the idea – HHS (the bureaucracy) wants a federal government health care system for more reasons than we can discuss in today’s essay and, together, they find an “authoritative source – IOM” which self describes itself as: ...an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public. “Source: http://www.iom.edu/  And IOM tells you in their “unbiased and authoritative” advice issued in a press release dated July 19, 2011, that “…eight preventive health services for women be added to the services that health plans will cover at no cost to patients…” including “contraceptive methods and counseling to prevent unintended pregnancies.” You can read the entire document at: http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=13181

By the way this IOM outfit is led by a guy named - Harvey V. Fineberg. We like to identify the bureaucrats and give you a way to contact them. You can contact Harvey at: fineberg@nas.edu

Eureka, we’ve got ourselves more than enough documentation and evidence to not only offer “free” things to all the women in the country but one big and growing bureaucracy to implement it and force their way into the life decisions of hundreds of millions of people forever. Folks, none of this is any of their business. Not just the contraceptive decrees but the entire intrusion into the free, independent health care decision business of free, independent Americans. If their focus is the poor, let them write the rules for the poor and leave the rest of us alone.

The Catholic Church is fighting this decree. Some other religious outfits have joined in. It also seems that this time the parishoners in the pews, the regular folk; don’t like what is going on. They can’t quite grasp the reasons why big government needs get involved in these issues with all their confusing laws and language and bureaucracies ruling on everyday matters for regular folk. But, some of those 536 you sent to Washington love it. Here are three female senators who have made this bureaucratic horror show their cause célèbre:

• Barbara Boxer      http://www.boxer.senate.gov/en/contact/

• Patty Murray      http://murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactMe

• Jeanne Shaheen      http://www.shaheen.senate.gov/contact/

This law (Obama Care) and its incomprehensible domination of the health care decisions of free and independent people must be discarded. This government takes every issue to the lowest common denominator and then writes the rules for everyone on that basis.  The result is a country beset with government mandated policies that bring us all down to the lowest possible standards.  Everyday you can see the consequences in our failing competitive performance in world markets.

This government must go.  Its bureaucracies must go.  And the millions of people feeding off it as parasites must be retrained to become free and independent citizens with real jobs.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

We'd better ask these questions...

...before it is too late.

1. Isn’t the existence of Italian men enough evidence to refute all aspects of Darwin’s theories about evolution?

2. Could we have been too hasty in judging Bush Jr. so negatively? After all he was a big supporter of exporting American democracy to places that didn’t want it; didn’t like us and were our enemies – Iraq and Afghanistan and others. Now, as American democracy self destructs, are we are seeing Bush’s longer term strategy more clearly?

3. Back to Darwin for the next question. If the branch of the evolution tree that produced man began in Africa, could someone explain the last 5000 years or so of development on that continent?

4. Many years ago, a fellow deemed to be knowledgeable said that “television was a vast wasteland.” If so then, how would television be described today?

5. Clint Eastwood. Can Clint tell the difference between real life and Hollywood movie sets? That is the question on our mind ever since his gritty halftime ad during the super bowl. So we ask Clint this question. Did you write a happy ending so you know it’s going to happen?

6. Can someone answer this question please? How can one embrace all aspects of the theory of evolution and also support any form of contraception? Wouldn’t that person either be ignorant, blatantly hypocritical or just suicidal?

7. Does television programming of today bear any resemblance to an electronic land fill? Or an electronic garbage dump?

8. Let’s see now – O-BA-MA. Lots of vowels huh? Could Obama be Italian?

9. Back to the television questions. If television today is a garbage dump, then how would you describe Comcast and all the other people/companies/businesses which develop and deliver their product to our living rooms?

10. One more Clint question. Clint have you see the halftime score? Do you realize that in real life the other team intends to win also? Clint, are you on the playing field or did you move upstairs to one of the sky suite boxes where the windows are closed and Hollywood ending don’t always prevail?

11. Would it be accurate to describe those who produce and deliver television programs to our living rooms as “electronic garbage delivery services?”

12. On a different topic, why would any government provide free contraception to all its female citizens, regardless of age, while also admitting record levels of immigrants to legal residency and citizenship? What’s the message in that policy?

13. Last question. Who pays for free things? Do government and Clint see things differently perhaps? Is someone writing a script for government and Clint that is lacking in only one thing? Reality?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Large Government Contradictions

Here are some sure ways of telling when you have too much government –

1. One government agency promotes gay marriage (sodomy – no conception possible) and another agency promotes free birth control/abortions/sterilizations for all (avoid or eliminate conception) while a third government agency admits record numbers of immigrants (increase the population.)

2. One government agency says you can’t build that factory or plant because of environmental emissions and another government agency travels overseas to convince foreign manufacturers to build their plants and factories in the US.

3. One government agency sends massive amounts of humanitarian and military aid to a foreign country while that same foreign country detains and prosecutes Americans and other foreigners for engaging in “democratic” enhancement activities.

4. One government agency distributes electronic cards good for free food acquisition of high caloric, high fat, low fiber food treats and processed, packaged items and another government agency transmits electronic messages advising against eating high caloric, high fat, low fiber food treats and beverages.

5. One government agency prosecutes those who import and distribute “illegal drugs” while another government agency funds those who grow, cultivate and process those “illegal drugs” for sale in the US.

6. One government agency joins with other governments to attack an established but troubled dictator of a foreign country while another government agency prepares aid and military support for an established but troubled dictator of another foreign country.

7. One government agency sends funds and equipment to local police departments for homeland security purposes while another government agency prosecutes and indicts the same police department for enforcing immigration laws and protecting the border against potential threats to the homeland security.

8. One government agency regulates through decree and dictates for energy savings and automobile gasoline mileage improvements and another government agency ignores all such rules as it values convenience and security for a select few over environmental concerns.

9. One government agency tells homeowners what to do, when to do it and how to get almost any construction/improvement activity done and another government agency disregards all such rules and regulations as it spends homeowners tax money on its own projects.

10. One government agency provides generous loans, grants and other forms of financial assistance to students studying esoteric curricula offering little or no employment potential while another government agency retrains those with little or no practical job skills in order to increase their employment potential.

11. One government agency offers litigation and counseling support to employees who claim various forms of violations of their “civil rights” and other “protected legislation” decrees against their employers while another government agency seeks employers to expand their job opportunities for the unemployed.

12. One government agency promotes housing ownership for all while another government agency files litigation against those lenders who make such loans promoting housing ownership expansion as they take action to collect the loans when they are not being repaid.

The list is endless. These examples barely scratch the contradictions of too many government agencies; too many government rules, laws and regulations and too many government employees engaged in all of the above.

Is there a solution? Of course there is. But there is no government agency to propose it, evaluate it, set up a bureaucracy to study it, much less implement it. Ah, but you say what about the Simpson – Bowles commission and their review and their proposals?

See: http://www.fiscalcommission.gov/  We rest our case.

Once you create a government agency, there is no committee or study group or task force on the face of the earth with the power to dismantle it. There most certainly is no political process with the force to dismantle it. The only thing that kills a government agency is turmoil in one of several forms. The sooner the turmoil arrives the sooner (hopefully) America will again be a free society with sensible rules and requirements. And then it is only a matter of time (took about 150 years to get here) until it degrades into something resembling the current mess.

There is no group; no family; no business organization that could possibly engage in or fund this level of contradictory behavior for more than fleeting moments.  Such contradictory behavior is solely the purview of government and its agencies.  Only those who take from others; who don't need to earn the funds and account to anyone can engage in such hypocritical antics.  This simple fact is why the US was formed based on the concept of greatly limiting government power and reach.  Unfortunately, our founders forgot, or were unable to foresee the need, to limit funding government agencies because it is only with unlimited taxes and borrowed money that this hypocrisy can sustain.

Of all the hypocrisies detailed above, the one we find most peculiar is the contradiction between a government which promotes sodomy and all forms of anti birth/anti population increase while also admitting record numbers of foreigners as legal residents.

It just makes no sense.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Big Picture

Here is a summary of where we are:

1. We spend money we don’t have. Not just a bit but a very large portion of federal government spending is now borrowed money.

2. The spending can be summarized in several large categories. Here they are:

     a. Military activities
     b. Social security – retirement and disability program funded by worker/employer mandatory tax
     c. Medicare – health care for 65+ citizens funded by worker/employer mandatory tax
     d. Medicaid – health care for indigent
     e. All other government activities among which are these that need review:
         i. EPA which needs to be shut down and all its anti business, anti competition activities eliminated
         ii. Department of Education which needs to be shut down entirely
         iii. Department of Agriculture food stamp program which needs to be eliminated
         iv. Federal unemployment compensation payments which need to eliminated

None of the above activities pay for themselves meaning the funds collected are inadequate to cover the costs. Social security comes closest and now it has been put on a high borrowing scheme because a portion on its tax funding has been eliminated by the current administration.

All other activities are funded with borrowed money to the tune of almost 40% of the monies spent are borrowed. An obviously unsustainable situation but one that typifies the current political leadership which expresses no concern for the future. This government is building debt at levels never even considered possible by the most outrageously radical components of our plural society.

US population is growing. Through immigration and through child creation at the lower economic portion of the population. At the same time, education and health care costs are already two to three times higher here than in any other developed country and results are declining rapidly. We are a large country with a growing population and we are the fattest large country by far. Many of our children and their parents are not just fat; they are obesely fat. Our education performance is deteriorating and the current administration wants the government to run all health care in the country. We also have more attorneys filing more lawsuits than anywhere in the known universe. And we incarcerate more of our citizens than any other country – even those with much larger populations, on the face of the earth.

We have 20+ million people either unemployed or underemployed and, at the same time, are admitting legal immigrants at a record pace. By government policy. Think of that. We can’t afford to take care of those here; we don’t have jobs for those who are already here and we are admitting large numbers of legal residents.

This picture, the big picture painted above, is nothing less than an indictment of a federal government that has proven itself to be incapable of managing anything. And yet, a large portion of the citizenry apparently is satisfied with the present leadership in Washington. Simply makes no sense.

The solutions lie within the facts as presented in item #’s 1 and 2 at the top of this essay. Each of those items must either be funded with citizen funds or eliminated. The country’s debt must first stop increasing and then a program of repayment instituted. There is no political party mention in any of the above. There can only be an American solution to this mess that is now our country. Bureaucracies must be eliminated; military expenditures curtailed and all entitlement programs must be self funded. Think of it as an out of control teenager who now needs a lengthy timeout. A curfew. Grounding. Discipline. For the teenagers own good, the time for discipline is now. Otherwise that teenager will have no future.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Define a Republican. Please.

What is this species; this genus, called republican?

What are their common characteristics? Their defining features? Do they stand for a few basics that define them? Besides opposing the Democrats and claiming fiscal responsibility? Do they believe in some common ideas? Values? Do they share fundamentals?

Are they fiscal conservatives? Or are they debt builders? Big spenders. Budget balancers? Entitlement expanders? Government limiters?

Do they favor freedom? Personal rights? Or state power?

Are they good neighbors or nosy neighbors? Do they leave other nations alone to solve their problems or do they favor involvement and interference under the guise of assistance, security and peace? Which is it? Military action or “live and let live?”

Can someone please describe this species? This genus unique to America known as a “republican?”


Today we see a “republican” who is chubby and self involved and very proud of his self described historian status. Are republicans good historians? This “republican” receives a generous federal pension (see below) payment, estimated to be $100,000.00 each year. Is this a typical republican we ask – one who must have worked for the government long enough and earned so much that he can qualify for that large a pension? This “republican” wants to colonize the moon and invade another Middle Eastern country? Is this what defines a republican? Space Odyssey and military adventures? Government work? He received more than one million dollars “consulting” with two quasi government agencies that are now bankrupt? Good advice or bad? Do “republicans” give bad advice? Should he not return those monies or is that what a republican does? Get paid for bad advice? He also receives a lot of money from one very wealthy contributor? Is that a typical “republican?” Closely connected to one very rich person? Do republicans then become obligated to the rich donor? Is that what a “republican” is?  

Maybe we should look at one more. This one has a bunch of kids and believes in the family and caring for them. Is this what a republican is? Big on family? But he says he wants to bomb a country thousands of miles away. What about the kids there? How can you want your kids to be safe and not be concerned about someone else’s kids? Perhaps a republican is someone who only cares about his kids; not someone else’s? He was a senator for a long time and he also likes working for government. Is this working for the government business a key component of being a republican?

But wait, someone just said – no. There is a republican who hardly ever worked for government. He was a governor for just four years and he worked in the private sector and made a lot of money. Is this what a republican is? Are republicans rich or just attracted to money? There’s or someone else’s? This one gives a lot of his annual income to his church. Is this what defines a republican? Someone who contributes his money to a cause? He also has a lot of kids and he also seems to like military action in other people’s countries. Could this be the real defining component of being a republican – like your own kids but are okay with bombing other people’s kids; like money and love sending armies to foreign lands? Could these be the common defining components of being a “republican?”

No you say. There is another one, an older man, who says he is a republican and he says no to war and no to bombing other peoples kids and no to government spending and no to building up debt and no to government employees sticking their nostrils in everyone else’s business. He also claims to not have a rich sugar daddy. And he does not go in for that bombing kids business either. Now we are very confused. This one is a doctor but he also went to work for the government – not just four years but twenty years. He says government should be cut back and debt should be repaid but he also keeps working for government. Republicans must like working for government. Is that the one common thread that makes a “republican”?

We are not getting anywhere close to being able to figure out what the heck a republican is. How can anyone decide to vote for a republican if the republicans cannot even come up with a common definition of who they are? What they want? What they believe in? What the voters can expect if they elect them?

Can you; can anyone; can someone please define a republican?

We sure can’t.

  
A list of a few “republican” federal pensioner annual payments:
  • Newt Gingrich - $100,200.00 
  • Bob Dole - $144,432.00 
  • Trent Lott - $110, 352.00 
  • Dick Cheney - $125,976.00



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mr. Bureaucrat

Here is his resume –

• Politics and government   1966 -- 1976
• US congressman   1977 – 1993
• Director office of management and budget   1993 -- 1994
• White house chief of staff   1994 – 1997
• Political and professorial activities   1998 – 2009
• Director CIA   2009 – 2011
• Secretary of Defense   2011 –

Who is this bureaucrat? He is not just any bureaucrat, mind you. He is a bureaucrat’s bureaucrat. He is Mr. Bureaucrat.

We give you America's top bureaucrat:   Leon Panetta.

Leon is on the right. 

Our focus today is on one of his recent bureaucratic bungled adventures; this one at the CIA. He screwed this one up so badly that Obama did what any good bureaucrat would expect - move him to run even a bigger bureaucracy – the pentagon. But back to his 28 ½ months at the CIA and their debacle in Afghanistan. Last September (see: TheFundamentals September 13, 2011) we suggested you read Jody Warrick’s account of the CIA debacle at Khost, Afghanistan titled,  "Triple Agent."

This story will not go away as it well should not. There is more to read and we recommend these two recent articles – one coming from the family of the CIA station leader as they attempt to make good out of the situation (see: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/for-cia-family-a-deadly-suicide-bombing-leads-to-painful-divisions/2012/01/20/gIQAyJGVYQ_story_4.html ) and the other coming from a former CIA official about the story behind the story (see:  http://www.gq.com/news-politics/politics/201004/dagger-to-the-cia?currentPage=1 .) And, here is the reconstruction of just what happened that day in Khost: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/reconstructing-the-cia-bombing-in-khost-afghanistan/2012/01/27/gIQAwUkOWQ_graphic.html so that you can get a feel for the bungle.

Combined, these two opposing viewpoints, and the reconstruction, tell a tale we all need to grasp about how an out of control bureaucracy costing billions maintains itself by maintaining its mythology. But today, we are focused on the top bureaucrat running the show when the disaster occurred and the bureaucratic nonsense he employed to bureaucratically deal with the mess he oversaw. This bureaucrat, Mr. Bureaucrat, did exactly as scripted in the bureaucratic manual – he set up a task force (most call these committees.) Let’s use Mr. Bureaucrat's own words to take it from there (TheFundamentals comments are in parentheses):

‘I have approved 23 specific actions recommended by the task force, some of which I ordered implemented months ago. They provide for organizational and resource changes, communications improvements, tightened security procedures, more focused training, and reinforced counterintelligence practices. These include:

• Establishing a War Zone Board made up of senior officers from several components and chaired by the Director of the National Clandestine Service. It will conduct a baseline review of our staffing, training, security, and resources in the most dangerous areas where we operate. (Board = committee = responsibility avoidance. This is Leon’s pattern.  This is the pattern of any good bureaucracy and a good bureaucratic survivor.  Leon is a good bureaucratic survivor!)

• Assembling a select surge cadre of veteran officers who will lend their expertise to our most critical counterterrorism operations. (Surge cadre = committee = responsibility avoidance. See above.)

• Creating an NCS Deputy within the Counterterrorism Center, who will report to the Director of the Counterterrorism Center and ensure a more integrated effort across Agency offices. (One more Leon layer to avoid responsibility.  What the heck good is a more integrated effort?  How about a reduction in about 12 layers and see how that works?)

• Conducting a thorough review of our security measures and applying even more rigorous standards at all our facilities. (Then what? Hire more bureaucrats or appoint more deputies’s or just form committees? Anyone terminated Leon? Bureaucracies do NOT, we repeat Leon, DO NOT, live by, understand, embrace or wish to be judged by "more rigorous standards.")

• Expanding our training effort for both managers and officers on hostile environments and counterintelligence challenges. (Hire more trainers; build more facilities; add more costs. This, folks, is SOP in the world of the bureaucrat.  This is how the cost goes from millions to hundreds of millions to billions.)

• Creating an integrated counterintelligence vetting cell within our Counterterrorism Center that focuses on high-risk/high-gain assets, evaluates potential threats, assesses “lessons learned,” and applies the latest technology and best practices to counterterrorism operations. (What the he** does this mean?  Leon is lost in bureaucratic babbling with this one.)

• Designating a senior officer to ensure that all the recommendations are indeed implemented. (What does the boss do if he/she has all these “senior officers” doing his/her job?  Just how many bosses/layers/committees/task forces, etc. will be enough to implement meaningless recommendations?)

We’ve now taken a hard look at what happened and what needed to be done after the tragedy at Khost.”  (And so, Leon, sums it up.  Never again.  We are on top of it.  Problem solved (never really defined but solved.)  Leon, TheFundamentals suggest you hurry up and retire.  Trust us, you have solved nothing.  Get out before your Keystone Cops do it again.)  Source:  https://www.cia.gov/


TheFundamentals closing comments:  "Lots of Luck Leon is on the job! Hard Look Leon has done what needed to be done. On to the Pentagon. America's largest bureaucracy.  Sleep Well America. Good job Leon. Well done!"