The State of the Union
I prepared to watch President Obama deliver the State of the Union speech thinking about something my mother used to say. Mom joked that “he who expects nothing is never disappointed”.
I expected nothing new, surprising or encouraging from Obama and I was not really totally disappointed.
Overall I found the speech to be dull and tiresome. It was like the kind of lame pep rally effort a school with a really horrible sports team would offer up before a game they knew would not end in victory.
I had a flash back to addresses by other presidents during economic hard times that asked us to buy stuff or wear a “Win” button. Not much different between that kind of mental midget nonsense and basically being told we as Americans can do it if we try.
I was rather surprised at his idea to remove the tax breaks for the oil companies because they seem to be doing okay. However, I can not imagine this idea will go anywhere, given the amount of money the rich oil people hand out to members of congress.
Obama also promises not to back down on a few items:
He also said we can’t afford tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent. However, the last time that came up he caved. He also caved on signing bills with ear marks, but now promises never to do that again.
Obama stressed the idea of re-inventing ourselves. How nice. I am sure that was truly encouraging to all those poor folks without jobs who have no hope of getting any training for another job.
The Prez wants teachers to get more respect and stressed the importance of our students receiving a better education in science and math. He did not mention music, art or writing, grammar, spelling, history or social studies.
A five year freeze on domestic spending is part of the future for Obama. But he gave no details about where the money for “investments” in infrastructure would come from.
In the area of tax reform, an interesting and vague idea – close tax loopholes, lower the corporate tax rate and simplify the personal income tax rules. I can only imagine what a congress bought and paid for by American billionaires and corporations is going to do with that one!
I have become really tired of being told the worst of recession is over.
Obama says he wants to make cuts in community action programs, those aimed at the most needy among us. The congress will go along with that, of course, but I don’t see much chance of any meaningful cuts being made in the defense budget.
We still have seventy thousand troops in Germany six decades after the end of World War II, but we are pulling out of Afghanistan according to Obama and the war in Iraq is over although we still have fifty thousand troops plus several thousand mercenaries there.
Our chief executive says children of immigrants should not fear deportation, however, immigration reform is stalled.
Obama stated that American Muslims are part of our American family and expressed support for the people of Tunisia. He did not mention Haiti.
Obama is pleased gays can serve in military and called for all college campuses to open doors to military and ROTC recruiters. Although the gay issue was one reason the military recruiters were kept out of college campuses, it is not the only reason. Some schools actually oppose the presence of the war machine. And did he really say that DADT was over? Hardly.
So now we can feel comfortable that the American dream is alive and well. Our president tells us anyone can fulfill their dream. How nice, how very very nice. If you think something is wrong with you because you are not feeling all comfy cozy about the future – don’t. We all know what’s really going on – Everybody Knows.
Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Opening lyrics of Everybody Knows, by Leonard Cohen
I believe there is a solution. It’s working block by block and neighborhood to neighborhood to get as many people registered to vote as possible. Then we must educate each other to understand the importance of voting and communicating with our elected officials about social justice, economic justice and peace. The pigs of the power structure must not be allowed to buy our votes. It starts with you and me and the people on our street. If we continue to sit, we know how it goes. Everybody knows.