Posts Tagged ‘bureaucrats’

How Long Will You Vote for these Same Rascals?

April 6, 2017

President Trump will not be taking a vacation in April because there is too much work to do.  However, the under-worked and underachieving House of Representatives begins a more than two week Easter vacation on April 6th. Some Members have only been on the job 41 work days.  

This is the House Work Schedule.  Does this look like your work schedule?  Politicians will lie, cheat and steal to keep their cushy jobs.  The kingly work schedule is just one of the reasons Congressmen cling to their well protected offices and parking spaces.  Yes, parking spaces in the Swamp are coveted like gold.  The parking meters take credit cards and a permit is required to park in front of your own home.  You can even pay for parking using your mobile phone for an extra slight charge of 32 cents. Most parking meters only charge $2.30 per hour. None of that should make much difference to you because the spaces are usually full.  If you’re not a bureaucrat of politician, you better take the subway.

For a mere nine bucks an hour you might want to opt for a Parking Garage.

There are reserved parking spaces for Congressmen from the Potomac River to the Maryland Correctional Institution.  That includes spaces at the door of Reagan International Airport.

I’m not a big fan of the Swamp where you can see men and women urinating on the sidewalks outside of the tourist areas.  I have never been on the Beltway when traffic was not completely stopped.

Maybe that’s why politicians spend so little time in the Swamp. They can vote or not vote and collect their largesse from the legions of Lobbyists and quickly get out of Dodge.

The perquisites are too numerous to be listed in an Encyclopedia. They can hire huge staffs and pay them whatever they desire.  Their big job is to vote on legislation but they can skip that task at will.  If they excel at skipping votes, they might become President like Barack Hussein Obama who comes in forth among Senators running for President.


The House will only work four more days in April and only 12 days in May. That makes 22 non work days in April.  Poor babies, no wonder they’re so out of touch with the average American!

Taxing and spending while surrendering our sovereignty can easily be accomplished on a leisurely schedule while eating three meals a day at Lobbyist funded breakfasts, luncheons and dinners.

This leaves time for junkets. One such junket involved 10 Congressmen and their families and staffs to Azerbaijan to attend a conference in Baku. The conference was titled “U.S.-Azerbaijan Convention: Vision for the Future,”

The Office of Congressional Ethics investigated the event, and in its report described how the state owned oil company, SOCAR, allegedly channeled $750,000 into two Houston-based nonprofits to cover the lawmakers’ expenses. Money provided by SOCAR also covered flights and accommodations for their staff and family members, as well as valuable gifts of rugs, scarves, and tea sets.

Much of what was written about these revelations focused on the members of Congress, their failure in nearly every case to report the gifts, and their blind acceptance of the nonprofits’ false claims to be the sponsors of the trip. The lawmakers denied any knowledge that Azerbaijani state funds were behind the event, saying they had attended only after receiving clearance from the House Ethics Committee. The Office of Congressional Ethics concluded in its report that “a person’s ignorance of the true source of travel expenses is not an absolute shield from liability for receipt of travel expenses from an improper source.”

However, this narrow focus on the rules surrounding congressional junkets ignores the larger story of whether U.S. officials should be uncritically visiting and strengthening American ties with an authoritarian state. In other words, the problem is not simply that the trip was paid for by a foreign government, but that the conference itself was meant to celebrate U.S. relations with a regime involved in mass political repression, human rights abuses, and systemic corruption.

Congressmen also love to fly in military aircraft.  During my 34 years in the Air Force, I was a global qualified aircraft commander on the C-141 Starlifter before I flew four different types of supersonic jet fighters as an Instructor Pilot.  I flew all four of the types of supersonic jets flown by the USAF Thunderbirds.  I can’t tell you how many times I strapped politicians in the back seat of jet fighters for orientation flights.  There is so much fun to go around, even Congressional Staffers take part in orientation flights.  Why work for the American People when you can be lavishly entertained with their hard earned tax dollars?

What would Delegates to the First Continental Congress think about the current Travel Club Congress?  I don’t think George Washington, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Robert Paine, or John Jay would like it one little bit!

Am I the only person disgusted with Congress and the Speaker acting like kids in a Candy Store?

Don’t think junkets are restricted to United States politicians.  Do you have any idea where your State Legislators and Governors have visited on your dime?

As long as the American People blindly ignore what the Swamp dwellers are doing, we deserve what we get!

I will not be voting for my Congressman next year.

Do Bureaucrats Work for You?

May 23, 2014

VagasConf

Have you noticed that federal employees have become termites eating away at the very fiber of America? You watched as the Obama Administration fenced off National War Memorials while government workers held lavish conferences replete with expensive wine and suites. Federal employees receive pay and perks that far exceed those of the private sector, especially retirement benefits that are almost unheard of in the real world. But maybe the biggest advantage of all is job security, immunity from getting fired no matter how serious the delinquency. There is a pattern of acceptance of wrongdoing that is bound to produce more misbehavior in the absence of fear of losing one’s job. You better set down before you read the rest of the story. While veterans are dying while waiting for treatment that never comes because of phony appointment lists, bureaucrats get merit bonuses on top of huge salaries. IRS employees received these bonuses while targeting conservative groups even though the bureaucrats owe back taxes. You can’t make this stuff up!

Jim McElhatton reports in the Washington Times:

A program analyst at the Department of Housing and Urban Development spent up to three hours a day for five years working on private business deals — including once arranging to supply lap dancers for a private party — while he was supposed to be doing government work.

Another HUD employee — an auditor — was investigated for running a trucking business from her government office, according to investigative records obtained by The Washington Times.

In both cases, the investigators referred their findings to prosecutors, who declined to press criminal charges, sending the cases back to HUD officials, who let both employees remain on the job.

Why should they be allowed to steal from taxpayers and keep their jobs? They have been paid for the time they were using for their own private benefit. They stole that pay. Case closed.

Out of millions of federal bureaucrats, Rep. John L. Mica of Florida said at a hearing into the EPA misconduct, “I can probably count all the people on two hands I’ve seen fired, but something needs to be changed when people are breaking the law, when you have this GS-14 sitting there abusing his position, his salary, ripping off the taxpayers.”

For the most part Rep. Mica was right. I have a good memory, in fact, I never forget. Thirty-three years ago Air Traffic Controllers demanded an across the board pay raise of $10,000 and a 32 hour work week. That was when starting pay was about $20,000. To get their way, 13,000 controllers walked out causing chaos and airline flight cancellations. While Jimmy Carter made sure bureaucrats could unionize, it is not legal for bureaucrats to strike. The 11,000 controllers who refused to return to work were fired by President Ronald Reagan. They were fired and they stayed fired. Yes Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more. Do you think these bureaucrats at the Veterans Administration Hospitals, IRS, EPA, DOJ, BLM and NSA would still be on the job if Ronald Reagan was president? President Obama is mad as hell but too busy fund raising and golfing to actually do anything. Eric Shinseki is mad as hell but has reigned over the VA for a long time while veterans die waiting for help. What has Shinseki done besides fiddle and make promises? Do you remember that Obama fired hundreds of Generals, Admirals, Captains and Colonels. One Four Star General because of comments made by his staff that were reported in the Rolling Stone Magazine.

The day the Post Office allowed workers to become unionized was the day the Post Office began to die a slow agonizing death. Talk about bad ideas, the worst of all is to allow government employees to belong to unions. One bureaucrat negotiates with another bureaucrat for benefits. Labor wants three hours a week to exercise while being paid. Heck, what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander. Management would like some of that free exercise time too.

There is no black lung, child labor problems, sweat shops or poor working conditions in the government. There is no excuse for unions. If government employees are going to bargain for benefits it should be between federal workers and taxpayers, not between federal workers and federal workers. The only reason federal employees are permitted to unionize is because almost 100% of their donations go to Democrats.

Union activity in the private sector has been dropping for years but there are more than a million union members working for the federal government. Maybe that’s why the Obama Administration has no qualms about cutting pay and benefits for veterans and Armed Forces Personnel, they are not represented by unions. When a pension cut is mentioned for federal employees, the unions start screaming. The President of the American Federation of Government Employees had this to say, “Despite the extraordinarily hard work of several Congressional leaders, AFGE cannot support any budget deal that asks for more from federal employees. AFGE represents more than just the 670,000 federal and D.C government employees on the rolls today, but every other federal worker who will one day take the oath and be forced to live with this needless pension cut.” I wonder, can we ask federal employees to do more? Maybe give us taxpayers a day’s work for a day’s pay?

Employees at a Missouri facility awarded $1.2 billion to process Obamacare applications told a local news station that they were “just doing nothing — absolutely nothing” over the past several months.

“You sit there and you wait and you wait and you wait,” one employee told KMOV, a Saint Louis TV Station.

Over her six months at the facility, she said she processed only six total applications; another employee was told by her supervisor that processing just one or two applications per month was sufficient.

To pass the time, employees would play Pictionary, 20 Questions, and create other games.

“Just doing nothing — absolutely nothing,” the first employee described her day. “Looking at each other, comparing each others’ scarves — ‘Oh, that’s cute’ — that’s it, no work.”

KMOV reports that the Wentzville, Missouri operation is run by British-owned company Serco, which received $1.2 billion to hire employees to process applications.

If government employees can enjoy a stay in a luxury hotel made famous on The Bachelor, then surely Congress could find somewhere to make spending cuts. In November, a group of federal government employees connected with the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force enjoyed a trip to St. Croix, courtesy of taxpayers. Though no reports of long bar tabs and souvenir receipts have surfaced like the General Services Administration run up at their Las Vegas conference, a few details have raised eyebrows.

Government employees stayed in the Buccaneer Hotel, a beachfront resort made famous by the television show The Bachelor. At a time of supposedly tight budgets, the task force could have at least proposed a more modest way to hear from regional governors and others about the status of the coral reefs.

Further, the trip itself did nothing directly to improve the environment. Taxpayers can only hope the week of lecturers and public events along with the annual business meeting will eventually produce something in the way of improved environmental quality.

Perhaps no obscenely wasteful spending took place over the week, that much is unclear. But also unclear is why this program exists in the first place. With the task force spread across 11 different federal agencies, it is difficult to understand how much it costs taxpayers and whether it is successful or not. There are many nonprofit organizations, research institutes, universities, clubs, community groups, networking coalitions, and businesses in the Caribbean alone working to improve coral reefs and educate the public. The Coral Reef Alliance lists 10 pages worth of organizations working on coral reef issues in the U.S. With such a clear and committed effort, why are taxpayers footing the bill (the size and effectiveness of which is unclear) for the federal government to join the party?

Even with a national debt of $17 trillion and counting, some in Congress are maneuvering to replace spending cuts from sequestration with even more spending. But stories of wasteful spending cropping up now and then make clear that if the federal government can “afford” such questionable purchases, clearly there is room to cut. The longer Congress waits to budget, the more important cutting wasteful spending and tackling the nation’s debt becomes.

Have you heard any politician run on a platform of holding federal employees and contractors accountable for their behavior? Are any politicians advocating doing away with the great federal union experiment? Who’s watching YOUR money? Do federal bureaucrats work for you or the union bosses?

Gene McVay Crying in the Wilderness

October 9, 2013

I have been the voice crying in the wilderness about the biggest swindle in government, the mushrooming National Security Agency that gorges on so much tax money the exact amount is classified. They operate out of a complex larger than the Pentagon and spread their tentacles around the globe. It recently came to light that much of their capability is directed not at foreign intelligence as dictated by their mission, but toward law abiding United States Citizens.

America has been under terror attacks for decades while NSA wiles away the time doing who knows what. Seventeen years ago Khobar Towers was bombed with 498 injured and 19 Americans killed, to this day NSA has no clue who did it! The USS Cole was attacked and al Qaeda claimed responsibility but NSA don’t know if that’s true and wasn’t able to warn about the attack in advance, 30 sailors were killed. Then there is 9/11 and a long tragic list of terror attacks that goes on and on and on.

Finally, NSA Director, Four Star Obama handpicked General Keith Alexander, admits the Obama Administration misled us, the public, about the utility of NSA Surveillance. That misleading information about terror plots and their foiling had been issued to bolster support for the government’s vast surveillance kingdom. General Alexander still has his job while General Stanley McChrystal lost his job when Rolling Stone reported that the General and his aides made disrespectful remarks about Joe Biden while they were off duty.

During Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings, Chairman Patrick Leahy pushed Alexander to admit that plot numbers had been fudged in a revealing interchange:

“There is no evidence that [bulk] phone records collection helped to thwart dozens or even several terrorist plots,” said Leahy. The Vermont Democrat then asked the NSA chief to admit that only 13 out of a previously cited 54 cases of foiled plots were genuinely the fruits of the government’s enormous dragnet surveillance systems:

“These weren’t all plots, and they weren’t all foiled,” Leahy said, asking Alexander, “Would you agree with that, yes or no?”

“Yes,” replied Alexander.

Alexander is not alone, the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has a history of lying to Congress as well. Once upon a time before Eric Holder became Attorney General that was a crime! Apparently laws only apply to us peasants, not to government leaders? If you trust the chain of command, Obama, Hagel, Clapper and Alexander maybe you can trust the 100,000 bureaucrats?

The Patriot Act’s Sec. 215 (50 U.S.C. § 1861) authorizes the government to collect “tangible things” that are “relevant” to an authorized national security investigation. I am not Chief Justice of the Supreme Court but I can read the Constitution and am quite sure the Patriot Act itself is unconstitutional, always have believed it and always will. Anyway, We now know that NSA used Sec. 215 to collect metadata on EVERY phone call that EVERY AMERICAN has made, reportedly over the last seven years. That metadata includes numbers dialed, numbers of incoming calls, times of the calls, and routing information. Many Members who voted for the Patriot Act, including the past chairman of the law’s authorizing committee, have stated that NSA’s blanket surveillance program is FAR BEYOND what was intended in the law. Keep in mind, this is what has been admitted, most likely not the whole truth.

Pursuant to Sec. 215 and at the request of the government, the FISA court routinely enters 90-day orders to telecommunications providers like Verizon to turn over to the government ALL CALL DETAIL INFORMATION or “telephony metadata” for calls within the U.S., including PURELY LOCAL CALLS. The FISA court approves the procedures that the administration says it will impose on itself to limit its own access to the data. I call that a rubber stamp or “trust me” to do the right thing approach. After the IRS, EPA, DHS, etc., who in their right mind would give the government a blank check? In the United States I have no idea what any Judge would have to do to end up in the slammer? Every American who finished he fifth grade and understands the meaning of “is” knows that forcing Americans to buy something is unconstitutional, everybody except the Supreme Court, of course.

The Obama Administration has not provided a public explanation as to how the telephone records of all Americans are “relevant” to a national security investigation. Similarly, Sec. 215 is silent as to how the government may use these records once it has obtained them.

The Amash-Conyers amendment would have ended NSA’s blanket collection of Americans’ telephone records by requiring the FISA court under Sec. 215 to order the production of records that pertain only to A PERSON under investigation. It would have ended the mass surveillance of Americans; Permitted the government to continue to acquire business records and other “tangible things” that are actually related to an authorized counterterrorism investigation; And impose more robust judicial oversight of NSA’s surveillance. The FISA court would be involved every time NSA searches Americans’ records, and the court would have a substantive, statutory standard to apply to make sure the NSA does not violate Americans’ civil liberties.

In short, the government would have to provide facts to the FISA court to show that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the records sought are relevant to an appropriately authorized national security investigation and pertain to the person, group or corporation under investigation. There is no proof that the Judge would be awake or playing cell phone poker while NSA presented its case but it had a chance of working. The Amash-Conyers amendment would not have affected foreign surveillance.

Unfortunately, the amendment failed 205-217, with 94 Republicans and 111 Democrats voting to uphold the 4th Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure. This was a sad day for me when only one Arkansas Congressman, Tim Griffin, voted for the Amendment. Yes, most Republicans voted for lawlessness over our Constitution. They voted for lazy, ineffective lying bureaucrats over law abiding citizens. With $100 trillion in unfunded requirements and a $17 trillion national debt, they voted to keep an incalculably costly unconstitutional extravagant useless program. They were fearful they might be blamed if NSA continued to fail to uncover and thwart terrorist attacks. They failed America.

And so I continue as a tiny voice in the wilderness warning that, as in the days of Noah, so are the days of our lives when NOBODY is looking out for OUR interests and few people have time to look around to see what happened to our once great esteemed nation.

NSABlog

Your Government in Slow Motion

March 10, 2012

If the Navy Seals were unionized, the bin Laden mission would have taken a 747 load including plumbers, electricians, grief counselors along with a light bulb changer just in case.

Unions are masters of the WORK SLOWDOWN. The highest form of the Art is practiced by Federal, State and Local governments like the Department of Motor Vehicles, Social Security, VA Claims Workers, Post Office Clerks and Federal Bureaucrats.

Hire another government employee and get a lot more work done, right? Actually, wrong. Work slows down even more to fill the workday. If changing a light bulb is the workload for the day, it will take all day to change the bulb. Hire five new employees it still takes all day but now they have enough workers to have a planning division, safety division, environmental division and a grief counselor. After several meetings they will eventually be prepared to tackle that pesky light bulb, but wait, it’s almost quitting time. The light bulb will have to wait until tomorrow. Oops, tomorrow is a Federal Holiday.