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Hays Free Press
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January 11, 2017     Hays Free Press
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January 11, 2017

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+ Hays Free Press January 11,2017 Page 3A QUOTE OF THE WEEK "It's one of the most horrific cases in the history of Hays County. It's very sad." - Gary Cutler, Hays County Sheriff Hays Free Press ....... January 11,2017 \ Page 3A "n my last article, I identified what .I consider to be Barack Obama's three greatest achievements as President of the United States. In this article, I will spell out what I view as his three worst failures. You can of course make your own list, and if I had space in this column, the list would be longer. His first and biggest failure is that he did not prosecute the rich thieves who created the subprime mortgage meltdown of 2008. As many of you will recall, investment bankers and brokers had bundled mortgages together and sold them as securities, touting them as being as safe as cash, even when they knew perfectly well they were not. These mortgage- back securities were such a hot commodity that an incentive was created to write more and more mortgages, which meant extending credit to riskier and riskier borrowers, on riskier and riskier terms, including interest rates which were below the prime rate. When borrowers started to default, the mortgage backed securities lost value, and the whole house of cards came tumbling down. All of this, and still more malfeasance - all of it well documented by now - created the "Great Recession" of 2009. It was criminal activity, pure and simple, and the evidence was abundant. The Obama administration chose to go after the banks themselves, but left the individual bankers free from prosecution. The evidence was so great that the banks settled out of court, paying the largest fines in U.S. history- but typically no more than one or two days' worth of revenue for the company - but admitting no wrongdoing. Meanwhile, the Justice Department, citing a vague fear of "unintended consequences," took no action against the individual thieves whose actions had cost millions of Americans their jobs, their homes, their retirement savings, their dreams, and it's fair to say in some cases, their lives. The result was a bad taste in everybody's mouth from coast to coast, that the system was and is truly rigged in favor of those with the most money. This created a pervasive mood of disenchantment and anti-government sentiment that lasted the entire 8 years of Obama's tenure. Then when the 2016 God and Country by Phil Jones election turned out to be a referendum on the system itself, the American people voted for change;even if it meant electing a reckless, amoral egotist like Donald Trump. Obama's second big failure was that he took his eye off the ball in Iraq, leading to the formation of ISIS. GeorgeW. Bush deserves most of the blame for ISIS, since the invasion of Iraq was his idea, but when Bush left office, he had successfully bribed the Sunni insurgents into participating in the newly-formed Iraqi government. Nouri al Maliki, Bush's hand-picked head of the fledgling Iraqi government, had no political experience whatsoever, and needed advice on a daily basis. Bush was providing that advice, for better or worse. When Obama took office, he washed his hands of Iraq and left Maliki to fend for himself. Left to his own devices, Maliki ruled Iraq the way Bush had ruled the Coalition Provisional Authority, to wit, he chose ideological purity over experience and qualifications. In Maliki's case, this meant forcing Sunnis out of all key posts in the government and the military, and replacing them with Shin. The former Sunni insurgents soon realized they had no stake in the Iraqi government, and bolted to form their own government - ISIS. Third on my list of Obama's failures as president was his use of a drone to kill an American citizen without due process. The process was simply that this man's name was whispered in Obama's ear by the CIA. No right to face his accusers or hear or dispute the evidence against him, even though he was an American citizen. This set a very dangerous precedent, conceivably opening the way for future presidents to assassinate their political opponents on grounds of" national security." Phil]ones is a local columnist who makes his living teaching math to kids with "learning disabilities", especially dyslexia and ADHD. He writes original songs through the nonprofit Sunrise Ministries. djones2032@austin. WHeN DO we GeT "TO "l"H e O A Tell, 2017 finally ~1 ~/arrived, and I'm still on this side of the dirt. I made it all through 2016 without any trips to the ER or in front of a judge. I still see my column in newsprint, and nasty letters to the editor are rare. I can't brag about achieving my NewYear's resolution for 2016 'cause, frankly, I don't remember what it was. So, I might've accomplished it, or I might've blown it by ]an- uary 2. Who knows? As for my resolution for this year, I might have a real shot at getting 'er done. In previous NewYear's columns, I might've rambled on about news- worthy stories of the past year, or sometimes, I made predictions of the months to come. Sometimes I hit the nail on its head while other predictions left you as confused as Bruce ]en- ner at a Sadie Hawkins dance. Well this year, with my resolution being an attempt at multi-task- ing, I am going to combine the two and see what happens. So, let's see what you might've already forgotten about 2016 and what's in store for us in 2017. The biggest story of 2016 has got to be Donald Trump getting elected president. Who'd a-thunk it? So, what's in store for all of us in the Shortly after his inauguration, Commander-in-Chief Trump sends the Delta Force into Rockefeller Center to seize control of the Saturday Night Live studio and capture Alec Baldwin. fires his entire cabinet From the and replaces them with Crow's Amazon's Alexa for all Nest decision making. In early March, 2017, by VP Mike Pence prevents Clint Younts global war by hiding Trump's phone and clos- next four years? To para- ing his Twitter account. phrase Charles Dickens, Okay, enough prog- it may be the best of nosticating about times, or the worst of politics, let me refresh times. Who knows?Well, my looking glass, and I allow me to gaze into my will look around some crystal mug and glance more. Hmm? In the NFL, into the future. I see Colin Kaepernick Shortly after his on his knees again, but inauguration, Com- this time he is begging mander-in-ChiefTrump for a job. In September, sends the Delta Force he starts as quarterback into Rockefeller Center for the Moscow Hackers to seize control of the in the newly formed Rus- Saturday Night Live sian Football League. studio and capture Alec We all recall the fuss Baldwin. about transgender bath- In late January, we wit- rooms last year, right? hess the Trumps moving I foresee other groups into the White House. protesting about their In February, Barbara rights to use the public Waiters interviews the facilities of their choice, Obamas in their new so in April, Congress home in Quebec. passes legislation allow- A month into his ing rednecks to pee on presidency, Trump be- trees of their choosing. comes annoyed with his Legalized marijuana advisers and aides. He spread through some states like aWest Texas grass fire in 2016. I pre- dict tragedy at a Colora- do ski resort this winter when so many doobies are lit around the resort's hot tub one night that it causes the snow caps to melt, flooding the town below. We lost some talented musicians this past year. David Bowie, Glenn Frye, Prince and others. As I gaze into my glass portal, I see more and more mu- sic lovers logging onto Spotify and Pandora to listen to music of the 70s and 80s because 2017's pop music still sucks. Y'all remember back in 2016 when there was that Pok6mon Go craze, and a little later in the year, all the clown sightings? According to my crystal mug, there will be a new fad this summer where yuppies go around town, armed with smart phones and cream pies, in search of creepy clowns. And my last pre- diction for 2017: Once again, this jaunty jour- nalist is passed over for a Pulitzer Prize. Who'd a-thunk it? Whether he shares his spirit or his elixir, you can always know that Clint Younts is sitting out on his back deck- this time watching frosty deer. LETTER TO THE EDITOR DO WE NEED A DO-OVER? is why the solipsistictions are harder to hack believe we had a fouled I am wondering if the Donald Trump refuses than governments. Their up election. We have no Free Press ever found to believe Russia did the secrets hold their bottom rectification in place to those Russian votes. If hacking, line. China seems to be handle that. So we deny one manipulates a ball If Donald Trump keeps able to get in and get out a foul up took place? game one doesn't win flirting with Taiwan and of corporation's files and Maybe we better get one. no matter the score. So Putin, China is going to then erase the tracks of Or maybe just do the wouldn't a manipulated wish they would have their visit. Russia can't do election over? election be unfair and voted for Hillary if they that yet or can they? Albert Busse not legal? Perhaps that haven't already. Corpora- No one wants to Uhland Barton Publications, Inc. News tips: Opinions: 113 W. Center St., Kyle, TX 512-268-7862 7864O Publisher Cyndy Slovak-Barton News and Sports Editor Moses Leos III Reporters Samantha Smith, Logan McCullough Columnists Bartee Haile, Chris Winslow, Pauline Tom, Phil Jones Proofreaders Jane Kirkham Marketing Director Tracy Mack Marketing Specialists James Dart}y, Pam Patino Production Manager David White Production Assistant Christine Thorpe Circulation/Classifieds David White Distribution Gabe Ornelas Tanya Ornelas + .... i