Newest Congressional Perk Comes with Sidearm

The lunatic that opened fire at Republicans practicing for the annual Congressional baseball game may have only succeeded in making Congress even more remote and detached from the lives of the people the members allegedly represent.

Now the Washington Post reports panicky representatives “are traveling the halls of the Capitol — and the streets of their home towns — with security details.” The question is how do they justify the expenditure and the resulting imposition on the public?

Easy, they have an inflated estimate of their own worth.

Members of our Imperial Congress, in their minds, have gone from being representatives of the people to becoming caretakers of the people. And without our caretakers how would we get along?

In reality, every member of the House and the Senate is a public servant, no more important individually to the functioning of the Republic than the cop on the beat. It is only en masse that the individual politician starts to become a special case.

While being short one representative out of a total 435 isn’t going to cripple the nation, losing them in bunches would be a symbolic loss with worldwide repercussions. That is why I reluctantly support the fortress–like atmosphere of the Capitol and House and Senate office buildings. We can’t always rely on the Flight 93 Militia to guard those buildings from attack.

Individual members in their district and outside the government complex should not have “security details.” And the Capitol Police should have no role outside the federally controlled part of DC. Larger gatherings of elected officials and politicians who feel particularly threatened should ask for protection from local authorities.

Otherwise one might get the impression the local police, that are good enough for the public that elects them, aren’t worthy to protect senators and representatives.

However, there are other questions involved in this issue, too. Like who created this political environment and how should citizens expect politicians to respond? I have some ideas, but you’ll have to click the link below to explore them as you read the remainder of my Newmax.com column.

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/congress-representatives-senators-security/2017/07/27/id/804136/

 

Now We Know Where Barack Got the Design for Obamacare

Where have you heard this before? There’s a federal insurance program designed to protect citizens from catastrophes that can devastate families. A program fashioned by experts who employed “best practices” as they formulated and priced this vital insurance protection.

Now it looks like the wretched naysayers were correct. The entitlement is plagued by users, with pre–existing conditions, who repeatedly cycle in and out of the program. These frequent flyers drive up costs and their premium dollars don’t begin to cover the government’s outlay.

Combined premium income from the entire coverage base falls short year after year forcing the program to run a deficit that won’t ever be reduced.

The combination of an unfavorable cost structure and unrealistic coverage requirements have forced private sector insurance companies to abandon the market, leaving the feds as the insurer of first and last resort.

Now you’re thinking you’ve seen this movie before. You know that under Obamacare limited government dies a lingering death.

But this isn’t Obamacare.

So now you’re wondering: What is it?!!! What obvious lesson have the professional politicians in DC overlooked that would have warned the nation, yet again?

I’ll tell you, but you’ll have to click the link below and finish reading at Newsmax.com:

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/nfip-flood-insurance-obamacare/2017/07/18/id/802399/

 

Donors View GOP Leadership as “Sunk Costs”

It’s begun to dawn on GOP donors that the millions they’ve poured into the Republicans are a bad investment. So far during the Trump administration what they have is a Bernie Madoff situation without Bernie’s return on investment.

Call it a “Promise Scheme” where Mitch and Paul promise great returns in the future if you will invest money so they can hold office today.

Lifezette reports moneymen who attended “a gathering of Koch network donors…are more than a little restive. Dallas donor Doug Deason declared his “piggy bank” is closed until the GOP leadership “produces results on health care and tax reform.”

I’m not rich myself, but Deason’s thinking mirrors mine: “[Republicans] control the Senate. “[Republicans] control the House. “[Republicans] have the presidency. There’s no reason you can’t get this done. Get it done and we’ll open it back up.”

Deason does not appear to be one of those donors in awe of GOP political “leadership.” Some of the more gullible and easily flattered will come around after a private tour of the capital dome and a meeting in one of the secret Senate hideaway offices.

Deason rejected his invitation. He refused to meet with Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell. Instead he urged Mitch to “grow a pair” and pass Obamacare repeal and tax reform first. Unfortunately, I’ve got bad news for Deason. A change of that magnitude on the part of McConnell will probably require an organ donor.

How can people so smart in business be so naive in politics? What should their criteria be for backing political leaders? All your questions will be answered by clicking on the link below and hypering to my Newsmax.com column for the stirring finish.

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/doug-deason-republican-party-healthcare-tax-reform/2017/07/11/id/801062/

 

 

Gullible Republican Voters Fooled Again

When Republican voters went to the polls last November, electing Trump meant seizing the last branch of government in Washington. Trump would join the existing Republican House and Senate. These optimistic voters looked forward to ushering in a new era of unchallenged conservative government. Trump’s election would be a stunning repudiation of Obama’s eight years of big government, soft socialism,

Instead, what Trump voters got was Vichy France.

Although in fairness to the French, when President Albert Lebrun surrendered to the Germans in 1940 Hitler was at the height of his power.

Republicans in Washington — led by Curator of the Senate, Mitch McConnell —surrendered to Chuck Schumer after Hillary lost the presidential election and Schumer failed to capture the Senate. But Democrats don’t have to actually win to defeat Republicans.

Democrats just have to exist.

I’m sure the explanation for this rout has something to do with the 2018 mid–term election.

In the run up to the 2016 vote, Republicans were warned not to expect too much in the way of conservative legislation from the GOP–controlled Senate and House. The GOP was defending more incumbent Senate seats than Democrats and McConnell had to protect the vulnerable.

In 2018 it looks like Republican voters can’t expect a return to conservative government this time because the Democrats are defending more incumbent Senate seats.

How does this budget bill betray the base who keeps electing Republicans and the new voters Trump added? You’ll see for yourself when you click the link below to the rest of the column on Newsmax.

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/congress-goals-legislation/2017/05/02/id/787714/

 

Climate Change Doesn’t Affect NWS Forecasts

How long would firemen remain the nation’s genial mascot if they forced you to move into a hotel for a few days because you smelled smoke in the garage? As you were wondering if ten years of chainsaw, lawn mower and leaf blower gas cans were about to be launched into a low earth orbit while you waited for firemen to arrive, once the truck arrived the first responders weren’t worried.

They knew in 30 seconds the smell originated in an overheating freezer, and unplugging it solved the problem. But the brass was concerned.

The chief worried that since your house didn’t go up in a giant fireball, you would be so relieved that you’d fail to view the problem as the narrow escape from a fiery death that it was.

Consequently, you might be tempted to plug the freezer back into the socket after they departed; potentially melting you and the lamb chops if the freezer shorted out while you slept.

That’s why, to impress the gravity of the situation on your family, the chief delivered a scary, arm–waving lecture and ordered you to earn two nights of Hilton points at Embassy Suites.

Unlikely you say? Tell that to the National Weather Service.

It was responsible for scaring airlines into canceling 9,000 flights, schools into closing, the federal government into delaying three hours, the DC Metro into cancelling transit services for the handicapped and a variety of other private businesses into shutting down on Tuesday for a storm that put a mere 2 inches on snow on the ground in Washington, DC.

Even worse, the NWS knew “Winter Storm Stella” was going to be more on the order of Snow Shower Sweetie but it refused to revise the forecast. The Associated Press reports, “After announcing that snow could reach record levels in the city, NWS meteorologists in New York and other Northeast cities held a conference call Monday afternoon about computer models that dramatically cut predicted totals.”

Taking a cue from “climate scientists” who never cut back on their hyperventilating over smoldering polar bears – in spite of their computer model’s failure to come close to predicting how the climate has changed – the weather service took a stern line on sleet.

Instead of calling off the evacuation of the Eastern Seaboard, they decided to stick with hysteria. This monumentally bad decision relied on that byword of the modern bureaucrat: “Extreme caution.”

These Chicken Littles felt people wouldn’t view a storm with a potential for just two to seven inches of snow as a harbinger of the apocalypse. Which is right, since it isn’t.

Greg Carbin, chief of forecast operations at the Weather Prediction Center observed, “I actually think in the overall scheme that the actions [by states and cities] taken in advance of the event were exceptional.”

If “exceptional” is another word for lunatic overreaction, then right on!

The NWS thought costing taxpayers millions of dollars in lost time, revenue and emergency daycare was a small price to pay if it prevented one granny from slipping on her way to the mailbox.

In their defense the weather wardens at the NWS are under a certain amount of pressure from the incoming Trump administration. Since it rained on him at the inauguration, the president has felt the NWS might be secretly participating in the “resistance.”

I’ve written the NWS is under a severe hiring freeze warning, which comes at a bad time for the organization because it’s been down 650 employees and no has appeared to notice. The solution for the weather mavens is to reinvent the NWS and make it part of the nation’s public safety apparatus, which the Washington Post says might allow NWS to exploit the hiring loophole Trump left for agencies involved in the military, public safety or public health.

If the NWS brass can finesse this textbook example of mission creep, the guy who eyeballs the rain gauge at the airport will join Seal Team 6 on the front lines of homeland defense.

Downgrading “Winter Storm Stella” into “Scattered Flurries Flo” and lifting the No Fly Zone on the East coast might have been accurate, but it wouldn’t enhance the sense of urgency management wants to convey to the White House.

Just mentioning these potential cuts in a previous column was enough to unleash hounds of humidity. My protestations that I’ve had my own Wi–Fi weather station on the roof for years fell on deaf ears connected to a dangerous high–anger zone.

I’ve suggesting the NWS concentrate on getting the data and let the private sector handle the forecasts, which in the case of the Weather Channel have proven to be more accurate. This latest exercise in paternalism and over–reaction hasn’t changed my mind.

Civil Servants Foment Civil Insurrection Against Trump

The United States is the only nation on earth where the saboteurs are both well paid and impossible to fire. Some nations call them spies, other nations — Iran comes to mind — claim they are Zionists, but here at home we call them “public servants.”

trump-why-doesnt-what-american-people-want-happenFederal employees have decided they’re the 4th branch of government and if you can believe the opposition media, they intend to do what they can to make the Trump presidency a failure. As Steven Hayward has written, “That bureaucratic government is the partisan instrument of the Democratic Party is the most obvious, yet least remarked upon, trait of our time.”

This is why it’s not surprising the New York Times writes, “Across the vast federal bureaucracy, Donald J. Trump’s arrival in the White House has spread anxiety, frustration, fear and resistance among many of the two million nonpolitical civil servants who say they work for the public, not a particular president.”

That concept is a convenient misunderstanding of the role of public employees by pretentious public employees. “Working for the public” means they are claiming to work for a concept. One that doesn’t issue annual performance reviews or provide direct supervision.

These “non–political” public employees — who just happened to send an astonishing 95 percent of their presidential campaign contributions to Pantsuit Nation in 2016 — will now claim to act as oracles who can divine the will of “public” and formulate appropriate policy.

If they get their way, it will be the Obama administration all over again without the annoying self–regard and afternoon tee times.

Now I’ve got you wondering: Who will save us? It depends. If someone sends the rest of my Newsmax.com column to President Trump and he takes my advice, there’s hope. See for yourself how I would put recalcitrant bureaucrats in their place by clicking here:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/employees-federal-public/2017/02/14/id/773615/

 

Future Is Cloudy With Occasional Trump Gusts at National Weather Service

How many weather people does it take to change a forecast? Evidently more than we currently possess.

The National Weather Service Employees Organization is issuing a severe hiring freeze warning. The union is afraid if Donald Trump’s freeze order is applied to the National Weather Service it will be a cold day in hell before it can add another employee.

global-warming-forecasts-mckeeThe union hopes it can slip through a loophole under cover of a rhetorical fog bank. Trump’s order doesn’t apply to agencies involved in the military, public safety or public health. The Washington Post says the NWS is hoping to reclassify itself as an integral part of the nation’s public safety apparatus: First responders when the precipitation hits the fan.

If NWS brass has its way, soldiers fighting for our freedom, anti–terror agents protecting the homeland and doctors battling dread disease will be joined by the guy who eyeballs the rain gauge at the airport. Each doing their small part in the vital effort to keep taxpayers alive and paying taxes.

Normally you would call this sort of bureaucratic aggrandizement “mission creep” but in the case of the weather service we’ll call it moisture creep.

The real problem facing weather wizards is it’s difficult to make the case for 650 new hires before Hurricane Donald arrives, when the desks have been empty for years and no one, outside the cleaning crew that dusts the monitors, has noticed.

A union functionary claims the vacant slots are “Emergency Essential” and it’s a big deal, “meaning those employees are critical to the life-saving mission of the NWS, so they must report to work (in hurricanes, floods, blizzards, furloughs, etc.).”

That’s a confusing explanation. I’d have thought an employee who shows up at the office after being furloughed is a potential source of workplace violence, not a reason to consider NWS workers the equivalent of Marines with barometers. As for the rest of the examples, when the morgue is empty it’s easy enough to claim your agency was responsible, but where’s the evidence these vacant slots represent a “life–saving mission?”

When a city is short of cops or has a surplus of demonstrators crime goes up. With a shortage of doctors patients pile up. But it will take some convincing to persuade me a shortage of weather oracles encourages tornadoes.

Making the case the NWS is a public safety necessity is difficult when the weather service has trouble coping with normal weather. Last week, while a blizzard was slamming into Maine and California was wondering if leftist sanctuaries would protect citizens and illegals from flood waters, the NWS system went offline.

A case could be made the cat was out of the bag and Maine and California were already familiar with the weather, but knowing if the rain was expected to stop would have been helpful to the sandbag crew.

Instead two “core routers” failed and the system was offline for three hours. The WaPost’s weather blog reminds us NWS systems failed as Hurricane Matthew was bearing down on Florida last October and in July it experienced another network issue.

It’s almost as if Hillary is the IT consultant.

Even if NWS bureaucrats can convince Trump a weather watcher wielding a weathervane is the public safety equal of a doctor brandishing a thermometer, there is the vetting problem.

In a government that yawns over classified phone call transcripts being leaked to the opposition media there’s a surprising amount of paranoia regarding the five–day forecast. Higher level NWS employees are for some unknown reason required to have a security clearance.

It’s not like you can hide the weather, just go outside and you know as much as President Trump. The only forecasts that have any usefulness are next day predictions. Three and five–day forecasts, which you can get from any weather poodle on TV, are about as reliable as a Republican Congressman’s promise to repeal Obamacare.

I suppose if your life is wrapped up in humidity the staffing shortfall is a big problem, but to me it looks like a good way to save money. It would be cheaper to let NWS focus on gathering weather data and let the private sector handle the forecasts. Using the same data the NWS employs, the Weather Channel is already more accurate and if you don’t like those global warming fanatics there’s always your local TV weather babe.

Why fight it? The missing 650 employees are approximately 14 percent of total employment. Since Trump wants to cut the federal workforce by 20 percent, the NWS’ head start puts it well on the way to meeting that goal.

It’s new motto could be: All the Weather at 80 Percent of the Cost!

Senate Still Can’t Understand Why Trump Won

Hammer–wielding petulants attacking Larry King’s rented limo in DC may boast of being “the Resistance,” but their effect on the Trump administration will be as fleeting as their fame.

Same goes for the estrogen–ettes who held their march the day after the inauguration, proving even angry women have trouble being on time.

rat-republicans-against-trumpThe real resistance to Trump’s agenda wasn’t marching on the streets. It was sitting behind him as he took the Oath. Senators Lisa Murkowski, Orrin Hatch and Lamar Alexander personify the Republican Resistance to Trump. They’re the “don’t start your budget cutting with me,” the “don’t disturb my complacency” and the “I’m strictly a big picture guy” wings of the Can’t Do Caucus.

The Can’t Do Caucus — led by “Mitch McClellan” — is composed of GOP politicians who campaign as conservatives and govern as spendocrats. They go along with the base just far enough to get re–elected.

Their charming combination of duplicitousness and inertia is the reason Trump won. Conservatives are tired of being told the issues they supported and voted for at election time are completely impractical at governing time.

Since establishment Republicans can’t comprehend why Trump won and still believe Jeb! may be viable in 2020, they not only resist draining the swamp, most will claim there is no drain.

Senate votes aren’t divided between Republicans and Democrats. The division is between self–interest and the national interest and so far the national interest is on the short side of the ledger.

That’s why I’ve been studying the photo of the large “Resist” banner that was hung from a crane near the White House. Is that Mitch McConnell dangling just out of the frame? Can’t be sure. But I am sure Trump will be fighting more than just Democrats in Congress.

You can find out who the ringleaders are of the internal opposition and why they are fighting Trump by clicking on the link below and reading the rest of my Newsmax column:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/federal-senate-spending/2017/01/25/id/770378/

 

Uncle Remus’ Solution to Obamacare Repeal

“Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please,” said Brer Rabbit. “Only please, Brer Fox, please don’t throw me into the briar patch.”

Uncle Remus Stories

Gullible Republican House and Senate members, convinced that repealing Obamacare also involves replacing Obamacare, are preparing to throw Democrats right into the middle of the federal briar patch that is their natural home.

repeal-obamacare-cartoon-heller-495x342

Sure Democrats are making a big deal out of the repeal of Obamacare — there are even rumors Obama himself cut back to golfing only six days per week — yet replacing Democrat meddling in the healthcare marketplace with Republican meddling is no improvement and worse still, gives Democrats an avenue to expand their interference in the future.

Think of Obamacare as one of those patients with a pre–existing cancer. The merciful response is to eradicate the cancer once and for all. There will be some pain and uncertainty, but in the long run the patient and the country will be much better.

Exchanging Obamacare for some jury–rigged replacement only means Republicans decided they want a tumor of their own. It makes federal intrusion into healthcare a permanent feature of modern life.

Our weak, vacillating GOP leadership faces a Treaty of Versailles situation. At the conclusion of World War I the allies wanted to end Germany’s war–making capability, but during negotiations the allies made a crucial mistake. They repealed the Imperial German Army and its General Staff, replacing it with a smaller Weimar Army. German bureaucrats just hid General Staff personnel in a tame sounding “troop office.”

When Hitler came to power the foundation of the Wehrmacht already existed, all he had to do was add manpower. That’s the danger for “Mitch McClellan” and Paul Ryan: Replacing Obamacare with the Wehrmacht–in–waiting. When the next Democrat Congress or president takes office they simply have to ramp up spending and “reform” the Republican replacement and we’re back where we started.

So what should Republicans do after repealing Obamacare? I have a four–point program that protects Constitutional government, taxpayers and patients. You can find all the details by clicking on the link below and going to my Newsmax.com Insider column.

Thanks.

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/obamacare-repeal-replace-legislation/2017/01/12/id/768208/

 

 

Social Life a Little Slow? Award an NEA Grant!

December was a great month for entertainment, unless you’re an atheist. There’s an almost unlimited menu of plays, concerts, exhibits and lectures. Even jihadis look forward to Christmas because of the targeting opportunities.

Yet the best part is all this activity takes place without being subsidized by a single dollar of taxpayer money.

Buffet from Hell.

Buffet from Hell.

(Note: I’m not talking about Christmas counter–programming. For example, Santa as a cross–dressing lesbian who kills “Rudolph The Oppressor” and liberates the reindeer, thereby preventing the enslavement of millions of vulnerable children by a rapacious consumer society. Those are government grant productions, notable for their grim intensity, thin skin and lack of audience.)

You might find this shocking, but prior to 1965 EVERY “art” production managed to get by without a single federal taxpayer handout.

Most of us don’t recall 1965 as being such a cultural wasteland that it required federal intervention for culture to continue.

Movie audiences enjoyed Doctor Zhivago and The Sound of Music. Theatre attendees witnessed Man of La Mancha and The Lion in Winter. And readers plowed through Dune, In Cold Blood, Autobiography of Malcolm X and Midnight Cowboy.

Local theatre groups continued to gratify relatives and stupefy audiences without any assistance from Uncle Sam. Museums opened, exhibits appeared in galleries and artists committed “art” without the assistance of Uncle Sam’s “arts” apparatchiks.

So what happened? LBJ and “intellectuals” for one and the result has been expensive and insulting for taxpayers. I have a personal anecdote and a solution, but you’ll have to click the link below to visit my Insider column at Newsmax to find it:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/national-endowment-for-the-arts-government-waste/2016/12/23/id/765398/