Thursday, December 14

Note To The Political Class – While You Were Out (Apparently Accomplishing Nothing)

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Although the Federal wing of the American class has been in session in D.C. the past few weeks, they, as usual, appear to have accomplished nothing of note except to bicker. Thus, as a public service to them, while they were stuck in a state of inertia, it might be worthwhile to let them know what is going on the world that is affecting Americans but which they have no clue or priority in addressing:

– Mexico continues to devolve into a lawless narco state, a condition that at some point in time very soon is will explode over the border in a violent convulsion that the political class has no contingency plan to deal with:

* The Associated Press (AP) reported on February 13, 2011 that armed men, thought to be members of a local drug cartel, opened gun fire on and threw a grenade into a crowded nightclub in Guadalajara, killing six people and wounding 37. The article pointed out that this section of Mexico had been relatively quiet until recently when drug cartel violence escalated. The U.S.
* State Department has warned U.S. citizens not to travel at night in the city due to road blocks set up by drug cartel members. The latest violence comes on the heels of another violent encounter last week when seven cartel gunmen were shot dead by soldiers.

* The AP reported on January 20, 2011 that Mexican soldiers captured the head of a Tijuana area drug cartel after a shootout in a coastal city. The drug kingpin has been linked to at least 50 killings. The article went on to document another shooting in another city where cartel gunmen in two SUVs with high powered weapons sprayed bullets at another car, killing five men inside that other car.

* And most recently, the AP reported that a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent was killed and another was wounded when assumed gunmen attacked the agents’ SUV in northern Mexico. Thus, now Americans are being gunned down by the drug cartels in addition to Mexican citizens

Thus, while the political class dawdles in D.C., the Mexican drug cartel powder keg gets larger and larger and it is just a matter of time before Americans are not only gunned down in Mexico, they will get gunned down in the U.S. Is that when this issue will get their interest? Will we eventually become Mexico, with U.S. troops involved with running gun battles with drug cartels in U.S. cities? All because the political class, after more than four decades, never got around to a coherent and sane drug policy.

– And the Mexican drug cartel problem is not the only component of our failed War On Drugs initiative. In an article in The Economist from January 22, 2011, we learn that El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have three of the highest murder rates in the world. Why? Because these countries serve as the geographic bridge from Columbia, the world’s largest cocaine producer, to Mexico, which is the distribution focal point for drugs into the United States. The United Nations’ Narcotics Control Board is quoted in the article as saying “Central America is entering an extraordinarily critical period in which its peace and security are threatened by the onslaught of the drug-trafficking organizations.” 

Thus, not only Mexico is being shook to its foundations, other countries could follow Mexico down the narco state whirlpool. All because there is such a grand demand and fortunes to be made by smuggling illegal drugs into the United States. Do we really think that the American political class can get a coherent and doable drug strategy in place before civil governments and civil life disappears in several drug infested nations?  I know how I would bet in this race.

– The USA Today reported, as summarized in the February 4, 2011 issue of The Week magazine, that for the first time in General Motors 102 year history, it sold more cars in China than it did in the U.S., 2.35 million vs. 2.21 million. You can be sure that this condition will get more pronounced as time goes by and the Chinese economy grows faster than the United States’ economy. I would also bet that most of those 2.35 million cars were not produced by American auto workers. If true, then the American taxpayer bailed out GM so that it could produce more and more cars overseas without using American labor. Nice job Washington.

– The Week in their February 4, 2011 issue also reported that private financial fund managers have earned a 27% percent return on toxic assets that the U.S. Treasury Department took off the hands from financial firms. Thus, tell me again why we had to tie up and risk hundreds of billions of taxpayer money to bail out financial firms when smart managers can earn a 27% return on these same assets? Wouldn’t it have  been more prudent to make these same firms mange these troubled assets for better or and not risk taxpayer wealth? Just thought you would like to know that this is just another example proving that TARP was totally unnecessary but very risky for taxpayers.

– The New York Post reported on February 16, 2011 that two Federal TSA agents had been arrested for stealing $160,000 from travelers’ bags that they had been screening at Kennedy Airport. The agents have admitted to the thefts including the day they stole $39,000 from a single bag in January. Apparently the agents used the screening machinery, the same machinery that is supposed to be used to protect us from terrorist attacks, and when they saw something of value on their security screens, they would take the bag to a private screening room where they would make the swipe.

The article also reported that TSA has confirmed there was a series of serious security lapses at Newark Airport within the past month. These lapses included a knife in carry on luggage that got through the screening process, two passengers that were allowed to board their flights despite issues with their body scans, and a dead dog carcass that was loaded onto a Continental Airlines flight without being properly screened.

Note to the political class: just thought you would like to know how poorly your TSA organization is protecting the nation’s travelers.

– The January 31, 2011 issue of Business Week highlighted how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are becoming larger and larger owners of foreclosed residential properties. Given that Fannie and Freddie suck up billions of dollars every month in needed subsidies, a growing pool of foreclosed properties may make them even more unprofitable and more of a taxpayer drain every month. According to the article, they now possess $24 billion in properties, they own 242,000 properties which is five times more than they owned just a few years ago, and those properties represent a third of all repossessed properties in the country. This growing volume may require Fannie and Freddie to drop prices on their properties in order to move them off of their books, a move that would further depress the housing market.

Note to the political class: any idea when you are going to get around to fixing this taxpayer drain and government embarrassment? When will you finally understand the the Federal government does not belong in the housing mortgage business?

– Saving the best for last, did you in the political class happen to notice that according to the Federal Election Commission, 76 Americans have already filed paperwork with the Federal Election commission to run for President in 2012? According to one filer, Dennis Knill: “We have a bunch of idiots in Washington. They are ruining the country and somebody has to stop it.”

Very well said, Mr. Knill. Given that the political class is apparently accomplishing nothing while in session in Washington, somebody has to confront some real issues such as the failed war on drugs and the fallout from drug cartel violence from Mexico to Columbia, the fact that taxpayer wealth was spent, wasted, and risked on helping GM make and sell cars in China, the fact that there was no need to bail out the shaky financial assets of bailed out companies since some smart Americans are making a great return on those same assets, the failure of the TSA in so many ways to protect American lives and assets, and the continuing joke and incompetency that is Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We did not even touch on our  failing public school issue, our non-existent integrated national energy policy, our leaky borders, our skyrocketing national debt, the failure that is Obama Care, and the loss of freedom and democracy in America. Just thought you would like to know what is going on in the real world outside of D.C.

And you should also know that Mr. Knill is not alone in his appraisel of your performance.
 

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