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State of the Union blues

February 16, 2013

[J.P.'s Moment of Common Sense on Broad View, KJFK 1230 AM Reno. Listen live Saturdays at 3:00 PM Pacific Time.]

I didn’t listen to this week’s State of the Union speech, as usual. Maybe I suffer from a character flaw but I can’t stand the stupid thing. As I’ve argued before, this anachronism should be abolished.

People think this speech is required by the Constitution, but it’s not. Here are the exact words of Article 2 Section 3 of the Constitution:
“He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient...”
That’s it. Nothing about a speech and nothing about the doggone thing being done annually. The president could send Congress a 140-character Tweet once in a while, or a monthly email, or post a weekly update on the White House website and let Congress read it whenever they want. True, many congresscritters have trouble reading, but they usually employ people who can read so the idea would still work.

Two hundred thirty years ago, members of Congress had to travel for days to get to Philadelphia or Washington, D.C., and news reporting was spotty at best. Whole wars could be fought and settled while congresscritters were out of town tending to their farms or traveling to the capital. So it was important that the president update them on the current state of the nation’s affairs when they finally arrived.

But this is the Internet Age, travel times are measured in hours, not days, and most of these numbnuts live in Washington fulltime anyway. Congress doesn’t need an annual update and neither do we. We have plenty of access to plenty of information. In fact, there’s so much info blasting into our brains we could probably use a day off from updates.

If the State of the Union speech is an anachronism, under the current president it’s an embarrassing anachronism. No matter what your political persuasion, even if you’re the biggest Obama supporter in the world, you have to wince when he says things that are obviously untrue. I copied the transcript of his speech into Microsoft Word and started highlighting the lies, but that was an exercise in futility. Almost everything was highlighted. He lies obsessively.
Big lies
Small lies
Silly lies
Tall lies.
(As Dr. Seuss would say.)

Then I tried limiting myself to outrageous, interesting lies, but that’s not really much of a limit with this guy.

For example, he started by talking about the economy and his very first sentence on the subject boasted about creating six million new jobs. Six million! Just a few months ago he was running for re-election claiming four million, which was up from three million, which itself was a figment of his overactive imagination. But forget about the three million and forget about the four million he was bragging about on Election Day – Tuesday, in front of a joint session of Congress, on national TV, he was suggesting that two million new jobs were created in the last three months.

Where are those jobs? In the real world – where we live, which means outside Washington, D.C. – the unemployment rate just ticked up and hundreds of thousands of people dropped out of the job market since Election Day.

Watching the president say something untrue, then watching the assembled congresscritters stand and applaud his saying it... well, it’s enough to make reg’lar folk queasy. That’s why I don’t listen. It’s tough enough wading through the transcript.

Before he was done bragging about the economy he’d boasted about a $2.5 trillion reduction in the deficit, claimed the Affordable Care Act is slowing the growth of health care costs, suggested we reduce Medicare expenses by not letting hospitals charge for the number of days a patient is hospitalized, and stated “we have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas.”

Nonsense. Embarrassing nonsense. Anybody listening can go online and see the federal government borrowing more money every month, we’ve seen the stories about skyrocketing health insurance premiums caused by Obamacare, and as for the doubling of gas mileage, well, that twisted little fib comes from the fact that Obama’s EPA ruled in 2011 that cars must average 54.5 miles per gallon by the year 2025. That’s twelve years from now and nobody knows whether automakers can pull it off. Even the leftwing Tamp Bay Times’ PolitiFact said the president’s statement was false.

When your best friends are calling you a liar, you’ve got a problem.

Why does he do it? Your guess is as good as mine. People say he’s intelligent, so he must be aware of what he’s doing. And surely he realizes millions of people listening know that he’s lying. Apparently, he doesn’t care.

Not only does the president lie, he loves to give speeches so he’s out there, behind a podium somewhere, almost every single day. We just have to grit our teeth and bear it. The one thing that might ease our embarrassment is ending these joint sessions of Congress where we broadcast the president’s crap to the whole world.

From now on, let him Tweet the State of the Union.

That's... today’s dose of common sense.

"Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it." – Mark Twain

"When a sinister person means to be your enemy, they always start by trying to become your friend." – William Blake

From Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA       

February 16, 2013 - Hey Dad, you're the top link at Doug Ross today! – C.L., Michigan
J.P. replies: Cool beans. Doug Ross gets a lot of visitors so this will generate visitors for me. Here's a screencap:

February 16, 2013 - I used to listen to SOTU speeches but I quit when Clinton was president. Remember, he was the other president with no shame when it comes to lying. Weird factoid: Clinton and Obama (by far) give the longest SOTU speeches. Not only do they both lie, they both enjoy hearing themselves do it! – SQ, Reno

February 16, 2013 - Agree, agree, agree. I have no idea why I continue to watch any speech he gives, at anytime, anywhere or on any subject. It literally makes me sick to my stomach. Maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part, that just maybe he will be hit by a bolt of lightening for telling such fibs. Or maybe, his nose will begin to grow right there in national TV for all to see. Even during the campaign I questioned the jobs number he was touting. If each month the jobs numbers come out and they are in the hundred thousand numbers. Nor is it offset by the number of new individuals that have lost their jobs. All of his ideas that he put out there, will actually hurt job growth. Upping the minimum wage, even I know that that money from the business owner has to come from someplace. The net result is to pass it onto consumers. He wants to stop subsidized to gas and oil. Again, where will that show up, higher gas prices and oil prices to run our cars and heat our homes. Green energy. Yea, that's a great idea! Especially since in the past four years all the green energy companies that stimulus money. I like how he catorgizes spending money as investing. I told my husband I was going to the grocery store to invest, I will now refer to all excursions to any store or retailer for any reason as investing from here on out. And the biggest lie yet, that all his new investing won't add one dime to the deficit. J.P. rather than trying to pick out the lies in his speech, you should have remembered if his lips were moving he was lying. – Pam T., Virginia

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