Washington Is Sick And The American People Know It

24 09 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Peggy Noonan, a former presidential speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, pens regular columns for the Wall Street Journal.  In her latest, she states:

This [November’s] election is more and more shaping up into a contest between the Exhausted and the Enraged.[2]

Amen . . . and Barack Obama and his Democrats know it.  Their supporters are exhausted, disillusioned and demoralized; and many are angry at his policies such as the Afghan War.[3] His detractors and opponents are angry, livid, galvanized and motivated; and they consist of Republicans, Independents[4] and disenchanted Democrats, some of whom are part of the Tea Party movement.

The handwriting is on the wall—and the blood is in the water—that he is likely to be a one-term president.  White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is rumored to be leaving; and Obama brain truster David Axelrod will be too, probably sometime next year.  Top economic adviser Larry Summers is departing; and the list goes on and on.  While there is generally attrition in any White House staff because of the long hours and staggering workloads and pressures on families, these departures can be viewed as “rats leaving a sinking ship.”

Noonan cites Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee as saying prophetically:

The more [voters] know, the less they like Washington.

At long last, the light is shining through.  The innate wisdom of the American people is in the process of being heard and felt.

When I left Capitol Hill after working there for three and a half years, there was one four-letter word that stood out in my mind, and it still does today: “S-I-C-K.”  I vowed that neither of my kids would ever work there.  I had seen raving narcissists and demagogues who were not nice people—and equaled or surpassed those in Hollywood where I had grown up.

I saw senators and congressmen chasing and bedding female staffers between the ages of about 22-26, and wrecking their lives in the process.  When the women reached about 28, they were considered “over the hill,” and a new batch of fresh young faces would replace them.  I saw attractive young female staffers flock to the politicians like groupies are attracted to rock stars and other celebrities.  I saw lobbyists providing women for sex to important committee chairmen.

I saw power trips that were way out of proportion to the actual power wielded.  I saw senators and members of Congress pontificate on empty chamber floors, and pass legislation that often did not help anyone, but merely “congested” and “polluted” government for both the regulators and public alike.  Laws were put on the books almost ceremoniously to display motion and activity, even if they were truly bad laws that made little or no good sense—and none were ever taken off the books.  Programs were still being funded even though they had outlived their usefulness years if not decades before.

I saw lobbyists literally run Washington, because they had the skills and knowledge that the politicians did not have.  House staffs were small unless the member had seniority.  Hence, the input of lobbyists was essential to the passage of legislation.  They wrote it; and they got it passed and their clients benefited; and somehow—by hook or by crook—the politicians benefited financially or in other ways.  It was dirty, but those participating simply looked the other way.

In short, the American people, God love them, are waking up bigtime to the mess that is Washington, D.C.—a corrupt, politically-polarized toxic city.  Throw in the present economic problems that this country has not experienced since the Great Depression, which will be with us through at least the end of this decade[5], as well as Obama’s no-win Afghan War and other national security worries[6], and he and his Democrats are potentially in for a very rough ride.  Like Lyndon Johnson in 1968, it is doubtful whether Obama will be able to run in 2012, much less be reelected.[7]

Noonan cites the role of women in the coming election, and the fact they are worried about how the economy has been taking an enormous toll on their families, which will only get much much worse.  She quotes Rep. Blackburn as saying: “I look at this year as the Rage of the Bill-Paying Moms.”  Amen to that too . . . or as Sarah Palin calls them: the “Mama Grizzlies.”  And most of us know that those who are wise never mess with a mother Grizzly.

The chickens are coming home to roost in America, at least economically and politically.  Hold on tight.  It is apt to get very ugly.[8]

© 2010, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, which specializes in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., http://www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2] See http://www.naegele.com/documents/TheEnragedvs.theExhausted.pdf

[3] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/are-afghanistan-iraq-and-pakistan-hopeless-and-is-the-spread-of-radical-islam-inevitable-and-is-barack-obama-finished-as-americas-president and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/

[4] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/

[5] See, e.g., http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/173_212/-365185-1.html and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/the-great-depression-ii and http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html and http://www.philstockworld.com/2009/10/11/greenspan%E2%80%99s-legacy-more-suffering-to-come/

[6] See, e.g.https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/

[7] See, e.g.https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/are-afghanistan-iraq-and-pakistan-hopeless-and-is-the-spread-of-radical-islam-inevitable-and-is-barack-obama-finished-as-americas-president/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/the-speech—is-barack-obama-smoking-pot-again/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/barack-obama-america’s-second-emperor/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

[8] The Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer has fine article about the Tea Party movement and the likely tsunami that will engulf Obama and the Democrats, which is worth reading too.  Among other things, he points out that in the bellwether state of Ohio, former President George W. Bush is preferred over Barack Obama by 50 percent to 42 percent.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/23/AR2010092304746.html and http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/PPP_Release_OH_901.pdf





Problems With Foreign Adoptions

15 04 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

International media organizations have reported recently about an American woman from Tennessee who adopted a young boy from Russia, and then sent him back after trying to deal with his mental health issues.[2] This episode is sad and tragic—for the child, for the mother, and for lots of innocent people—everyone knows that.  However, the deeper issues surrounding this adoption involve the inability of so many Americans to adopt children who are born in this country, and the willingness of Russia, China and other countries to foist “sick” children on U.S. adoptive parents.

Adoptions are critical to so many people.  They save lives that might otherwise be aborted; and they offer precious loving options to those people who cannot conceive children of their own.  For the adoptees, ideally they provide new parents and bright futures where there were none, and a chance to escape from the poverty and hopelessness of their countries.

A relative of mine and his wife are perfect examples of Americans who wanted to adopt, because cancer treatments had prevented one from ever conceiving again.  They desperately wanted to adopt more than one child, and they tried to adopt in the U.S. but found it was near to impossible[3], so they turned their attention abroad.  First, they adopted a baby from an orphanage in China, and all went well.  Then, they sought to adopt a second baby from another Chinese orphanage, and it was an unmitigated disaster.

The child had serious physical problems, which were not disclosed to the couple.  For a child to have “psychological problems” or to be “mentally unstable,” “violent and angry” or have “severe psychopathic issues”—in the case of the Russian boy—is tragic but not surprising.  China wants to get rid of such children, and presumably Russia and other countries do too; and it is arguable that the United States has become a “dumping ground” for these children.

It is easy to be holier-than-thou, and to tar or condemn the adoptive mother or parents as unfit and criminals, yet first those who do so should walk a mile in the person’s (or persons’) mocassins.  How would we feel, and how would we react?  I have searched my own soul with respect to that question, trying to put myself in the shoes of my relative and his wife, who are wonderful and loving people.

For the U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Beyrle, to say that he was “deeply shocked by the news” and “very angry that any family would act so callously toward a child that they had legally adopted,” constitutes pure theatrics, grandstanding and callousness by a political hack.  With the advent of ObamaCare’s healthcare “rationing,” the cost and human toll of dealing with sick children from other countries might overwhelm adoptive families and our medical system.

There should be an international agreement on the conditions for adoptions, the obligations of host families, and the obligations of those countries that seek to have Americans adopt their children.  It is a two-way street, and there is plenty of blame to share.  I do not have much patience with the Russians; and I have enormous contempt for the thoroughly evil Putin regime.[4] Hence, it is not surprising that they would seek to exploit sensitive adoption issues, at a time when they are allowing sick children to be adopted by American families.

Perhaps, the easiest way to deal with any Russian concerns is to cut off all adoptions from that country immediately.  This will stem the tide of sick children being foisted on Americans; and the same thing might be done with China and other countries, which are enormously brazen and uncaring.

A Chicago Tribune article states:

Rather than condemn the Tennessee woman, [other parents of adopted children who exhibit severely challenging behavior] are blasting adoption agencies that are not always reliable reporters about a child’s troubled past, leaving families adrift to manage extreme problems without training or options.

It includes the comment of a mother:

“I want to ask these people passing judgment: What would you do if your child threatened to kill you every day?”

. . .

Since 1991, more than 50,000 Russian children have been adopted by U.S. citizens, according to the State Department.  Add the former Soviet bloc countries, and the region is second only to China as a source of international adoptions for Americans, who are often drawn overseas by the difficulty of adopting domestically.

But prospective parents can be unprepared for the behavioral and emotional challenges that await them, explained Judy Stigger, an adoption therapist at The Cradle in Evanston, Ill.

. . .

Because children can be superficially charming and their disabilities are invisible, their problems often get blamed on “bad parenting.”  Also, adding to the uphill battle: The right kind of interventions—often not covered by insurance—can be scarce and prohibitively expensive.[5]

When Russia, China and other countries foist sick children on U.S. adoptive parents, they are engaging in brutal and callous human trafficking, which must be stopped.[6] On the bright side, my relative and his wife ended up adopting one child from China and another from Vietnam.  Both children are enormous blessings, and there is love abounding.

© 2010, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass), the first black senator since Reconstruction after the U.S. Civil War.  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates (www.naegele.com).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years.  See, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles

[2] See, e.g.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304222504575173741062876452.html?KEYWORDS=Russian+adoptions#articleTabs%3Darticle

[3] In at least one instance, a birth mother “interviewed” them, and then she backed out.  I remember their frustrations with the American adoption process, so they went abroad.

[4] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/

[5] See http://dailyme.com/story/2010041500002200/overseas-adoptions-blessing.html

[6] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/human-trafficking/








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