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Thursday, February 14, 2013

The State of the Union

“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.— Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution.

The State of the Union is the address presented by the President of the United States to a joint session of the United States Congress, typically delivered annually. The address not only reports on the condition of the nation but also allows presidents to outline their legislative agenda (for which they need the cooperation of Congress) and their national priorities

While not required to deliver a speech, every president since Woodrow Wilson has made at least one State of the Union report as a speech delivered before a joint session of Congress. Before that time, most presidents delivered the State of the Union as a written report.

George Washington delivered the first regular annual message before a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1790, in New York City, then the provisional U.S. capital. In 1801, Thomas Jefferson discontinued the practice of delivering the address in person, regarding it as too monarchical (similar to the Speech from the Throne). Instead, the address was written and then sent to Congress to be read by a clerk until 1913 when Woodrow Wilson re-established the practice despite some initial controversy. However, there have been exceptions to this rule. Presidents during the latter half of the 20th century have sent written State of the Union addresses. The last President to do this was Jimmy Carter in 1981.

For many years, the speech was referred to as "the President's Annual Message to Congress".[6] The actual term "State of the Union" first emerged in 1934 when Franklin D. Roosevelt used the phrase, becoming its generally accepted name since 1947.

Prior to 1934, the annual message was delivered at the end of the calendar year, in December. The ratification of the 20th Amendment on January 23, 1933 changed the opening of Congress from early March to early January, affecting the delivery of the annual message. Since 1934, the message or address has been delivered to Congress in January or February.

The Twentieth Amendment also established January 20 as the beginning of the presidential term. In years when a new president is inaugurated, the outgoing president may deliver a final State of the Union message, but none has done so since Jimmy Carter sent a written message in 1981. In 1953 and 1961, Congress received both a written State of the Union message from the outgoing president and a separate State of the Union speech by the incoming president. Since 1989, in recognition that the responsibility of reporting the State of the Union formally belongs to the president who held office during the past year, newly inaugurated Presidents have not officially called their first speech before Congress a "State of the Union" message.

During his State of the Union address on January 8, 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson introduced legislation that would come to be known as the "War on Poverty". This legislation was proposed by Johnson in response to a national poverty rate of around nineteen percent. The speech led the United States Congress to pass the Economic Opportunity Act, which established the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) to administer the local application of federal funds targeted against poverty.

During his State of the Union Address on January 11, 1944, FDR proposed the Second Bill of Rights. Roosevelt's argument was that the "political rights" guaranteed by the constitution and the Bill of Rights had "proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness. Roosevelt's remedy was to declare an "economic bill of rights" which would guarantee:

  • The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
  • The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
  • The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
  • The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
  • The right of every family to a decent home;
  • The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
  • The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
  • The right to a good education.

While this Second Bill of Rights was never passed by Congress and ratified by the states the “rights” proposed by Roosevelt came to fruition over time as succeeding progressive congresses managed to institute them through various legislations — legislative acts that expanded the size, scope and power of government beyond the limits of the Constitution. Not one of these so called “rights” can be found in the enumerated powers as expressed in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.

Today the State of the Union address is nothing more than a nationally televised campaign event for the current president and his party. It consists of the following:

  1. The president walking into the hall past throngs of politicians attempting to touch his garment and have their face shown on TV.
  2. The president enumerating a laundry list of programs he would like to see advanced, mostly programs that are red meat for his base.
  3. Congressmen and senators standing to applaud at the proclamation of each agenda item like a gathering of trained seals.
  4. TV shots of celebrities and the president’s family members seated in the gallery. These hand-picked celebrities are people he is using like so many puppets to advance his agenda.

Speaking of Michelle's props, the occupant of that seat in 2010 was police sergeant Kimberly Munley, who was shot three times while subduing Islamist Jihadi Nidal "Allahu Akbar" Hasan, who killed 13 service men and women, and one unborn child, at Fort Hood, as well as wounded 32 others. Munley now says she and others wounded or killed have been "betrayed" by Obama, who has denied victims so much as a Purple Heart because he classified Hasan's assault as "workplace violence" rather than terrorism.

Most State of the Union addresses are not memorable occasions and little watched by theReagan_delivers_State_of_the_Union_address_1983-620x409 majority of the people. It so happens that this year’s SOTU had to compete with the take down of Christopher Dorner, the ex-LA cop and cop killer.

In this year’s SOTU address Obama followed the above formula and proclaimed his liberal progressive agenda — an agenda that had no basis whatsoever in the Constitution. His address to the nation was full of, audacious prevarications in direct opposition to Rule of Law as enshrined in our Constitution, and direct violation of his oath to uphold same. But I must give Obama credit where credit is due — he certainly made progress on that fundamental transformation, and he outlined an ambitious second term agenda to complete it.

Here are a few more notable SOTU excerpts for your reading displeasure.


Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion." This reduction is all smoke and mirrors, and it includes cuts that have not been made, interest expense savings that have not been saved, and reductions in budgetary spending increases that are called "cuts."

While Obama failed to focus on the fact that he's increased the national debt by 60 percent during his first term, he did assert, "Nothing I'm proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime."

First, notice the weasel word "should." Second, if that dime store rhetoric sounds2013-02-14-alexander-1 familiar, it's because this is an oft-repeated whopper. Here are just a few examples from 2009: "I will not sign a bill that adds a dime to our deficits -- either now or in the future." "Health care reform will not add one dime to our deficit." "I will not sign health insurance reform ... if that reform adds even one dime to our deficit over the next decade — and I mean what I say." And from 2010: "That's also why we're restoring pay-as-you-go: a simple rule that says Congress can't spend a dime without cutting a dime elsewhere." "This [jobs] legislation is fully paid for and will not add one single dime to our deficit." "We will not add one dime to our deficit." And from 2011: "I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficit." "I want to lower the corporate rate and eliminate these loopholes to pay for it, so that it doesn't add a dime to our deficit." Ad infinitum.

Fact is, since he took office in 2009, Obama has added almost 60 TRILLION dimes to the deficit. He claims his initiatives are "for the sake of our children and our future," and yet he's saddled them with $6,000,000,000,000 in debt. And he wants to add another $5,000,000,000,000 — that’s 60 TRILLION dimes! To put this number in perspective if you counted one dime every second it would take you 1,902 years and 214 days to count all of Obama’s dimes.


"Already, the Affordable Care Act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs." ObamaCare cost estimates are soaring with a healthy single 20-something to pay almost $2,000 instead of $600. A family of four will pay a minimum of $20,000 for the most basic health care plan. Maybe Obama-Doesn't-Care better describes this behemoth legislative atrocity.


"A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs, that must be the North Star that guides our efforts." Obama failed to mention that more than eight million Americans have dropped out of the workforce since he took office.


"We must find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity." In other words, register them as Democrats. It must be noted that this is the only legitimate issue enumerated to Congress in Obama’s agenda.

Voting Experience:

“Tonight, I'm announcing a non-partisan commission to improve the voting experience in America. It definitely needs improvement. ... They can't wait for five or six or seven hours just to cast their ballot." That must be why Obama won re-election by such a slim margin! Undoubtedly, the "improved experience" will include the free distribution of Obama phones with a "press one for Democrats" ("pulse uno de los Demócratas") feature!

Energy Independence:

"That's why my administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits." You can't "keep" doing something you have yet to do.

Climate Change:

"Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods — all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science — and act before it's too late." Obama's "global warming" agenda and its shameless demagoguery is about much more than the weather.


"Tonight, let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour." Obama, of course, didn't mention that more than 11,000 Americans a day, for every day of his first term, were added to the food stamp rolls. Ultimately, this will ensure that fewer young people will find jobs, particularly blacks and Hispanics, and Obama's union constituents will have less competition.

Gun Control:

"Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because they are tired of being outgunned." The "weapons of war" are already outlawed, and the so-called "assault weapons" ban is nothing more than a gun confiscation initiative.

Obama began his remarks by asserting, "John F. Kennedy declared to this chamber that 'the Constitution makes us not rivals for power, but partners for progress.'" But in the end, the keystone of Obama's political platform is deception and disunity. He appeals to the worst in his low-information constituents. He appeals to their fears, doubts, dependence on the state, greed, envy, brokenness, pessimism and sense of helplessness. He has twisted JFK's famous inaugural appeal to read: "Ask what your country can do for you, not what you can do for your country."

All of Obama's "solutions" are predicated on government engineering via intervention, regulation or redistribution — consistent with his dogmatic Democratic Socialist ideology. Predictably, he peppered his prose with populist appeals and classist rhetoric focused on "fairness" and “investment”.

In fact he mentioned “investment” 14 times and “fair” 4. Here are a few examples of his use of the word “investment”:

“Yes, the biggest driver of our long-term debt is the rising cost of health care for an aging population. And those of us who care deeply about programs like Medicare must embrace the need for modest reforms. Otherwise, our retirement programs will crowd out the investments we need for our children and jeopardize the promise of a secure retirement for future generations. But we can't ask senior citizens and working families to shoulder the entire burden of deficit reduction while asking nothing more from the wealthiest and the most powerful.”

“Let me repeat: Nothing I'm proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It is not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.”

“Yes, the biggest driver of our long-term debt is the rising cost of health care for an aging population. And those of us who care deeply about programs like Medicare must embrace the need for modest reforms. Otherwise, our retirement programs will crowd out the investments we need for our children and jeopardize the promise of a secure retirement for future generations. But we can't ask senior citizens and working families to shoulder the entire burden of deficit reduction while asking nothing more from the wealthiest and the most powerful.”

“I realize that tax reform and entitlement reform will not be easy. The politics will be hard for both sides. None of us will get 100 percent of what we want. But the alternative will cost us jobs, hurt our economy, visit hardship on millions of hardworking Americans. So let's set party interests aside and work to pass a budget that replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments in our future. And let's do it without the brinksmanship that stresses consumers and scares off investors.”

“Now, if we want to make the best products, we also have -- have to invest in the best ideas. Every dollar we invested to map the human genome returned $140 to our economy. Every dollar.

Today, our scientists are mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to Alzheimer's. We're developing drugs to regenerate damaged organs, devising new materials to make batteries 10 times more powerful. Now is not the time to gut these job-creating investments in science and innovation. Now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the space race. We need to make those investments.”

“Today, no area holds more promise than our investments in American energy. After years of talking about it, we're finally poised to control our own energy future. We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years.”

“Every dollar we invest in high-quality early childhood education can save more than seven dollars later on, by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime. In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children -- like Georgia or Oklahoma -- studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, form more stable families of their own.

We know this works. So let's do what works and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. Let's give our kids that chance.”

As I have state before there is no warrant in the Constitution for spending as much as one dime for education. This includes Head Start, Race to the Top, school lunches and breakfasts, teacher salaries, school construction, grants to school districts, after school programs, and loans for college tuitions. In fact the entire Department of Education is probably unconstitutional.

And this year, my administration will begin to partner with 20 of the hardest-hit towns in America to get these communities back on their feet. And we'll work with local leaders to target resources at public safety and education and housing. We'll give new tax credits to businesses that hire and invest. And we'll work to strengthen families by removing the financial deterrents to marriage for low- income couples and do more to encourage fatherhood, because what makes you a man isn't the ability to conceive a child, it's having the courage to raise one. And we want to encourage that. We want to help that.”

The president, a man who once lamented the rise of job-killing ATMs, mentioned “manufacturing” eight times in his speech. But these jobs never “left” (they were phased out), and one hopes they never come back. America is producing about 80 percent more than it did 30 years ago with nearly 8 million fewer workers needed. Technological advances and a boom in productivity have not only made life more tolerable for the average American worker, opening up far better opportunities for them, but also been a godsend to consumers.

Yet there he was, praising companies for “bringing back” jobs from Mexico. Aren’t we lucky? And now he’s on a Ross Perot-style “Made in America” tour, framing green energy companies — which struggle to constitute a sliver of the economy without help — as the future. Obama should heed Paul Krugman, who once explained in his book “Pop Internationalism” that “international trade is much more a matter of (usually) mutually beneficial exchange than it is of competition and rivalry.” Protectionism might be politically beneficial, but economists — as Obama likes to say — see very little real-world advantage.

Even if we concede for argument’s sake that luring back outmoded jobs to the United States is smart economic policy, how does the president propose to make the United States more attractive to these companies? Obama proposes that by making labor more expensive through ObamaCare and piling on an unprecedented number of regulations (8,187 projected for the next 90 days), raising taxes, making energy more expensive and, just in case anyone was still interested, instituting a $9 minimum wage to ensure that any teen interested in working his way through college will never find a job, that’s how.

But the problem isn’t a lack of manufacturing jobs. It’s that, by almost every measure, the entrepreneurial class is shrinking in America. Democrats may romanticize massive collective national efforts of the past, but individual risk and unexpected innovation are what change the world. The last thing we need is another crony “manufacturing hub.”

It should be noted the when the government uses the word “invest” what they really mean is spend more taxpayer money. The current projection for federal government spending for 2013 is $3.46 trillion dollars. That’s $27,809 dollars for every minute 24/7/365.

You can read the complete transcript of Obama’s State of the Union address by clicking here.

Click here for the AP Fact Check on Obama’s remarks.

Two weeks ago, Obama, one hand on the Bible and one raised for affirmation, pledged before the nation that he would, first and foremost, abide by his oath to "Support and Defend" our Constitution. In reality, his past record and future plans are a grievous affront to that oath.

Justice Joseph Story, in his revered "Commentaries on the Constitution" (1833), wrote, in Book 3, § 1557:

"The duty imposed upon him [the president] to take care, that the laws be faithfully executed, follows out the strong injunctions of his oath of office, that he will 'preserve, protect, and defend the constitution.' The great object of the executive department is to accomplish this purpose; and without it, be the form of government whatever it may, it will be utterly worthless for offence, or defense; for the redress of grievances, or the protection of rights; for the happiness, or good order, or safety of the people."

I think John Stossel make a very cogent point when he writes in Human Events:

“But I have this dream — one where my president walks to the podium, and he instead says this:

I’m so happy I won again. Now that I don’t have to suck up to my base, I will be the grown-up in the room.

Yes, I know John Boehner claims I said, “We don’t have a spending problem.” Maybe I said that — I don’t remember. But we do have a spending problem.

Now that I’m concerned about my legacy, I looked at the numbers, and they are scary. I made so many promises that there’s no way we can pay for them.

Take climate change. I think it’s real and that man contributes, but even if America spent trillions to try to lower our carbon output, that would only make a microscopic change in world temperatures. The earth wouldn’t notice.

Some of my anti-poverty plans are worse. Now that I’ve been re-elected, it dawns on me that those programs I said need more investment — always more — well, they didn’t work. They perpetuate poverty by making Americans dependent.

The key to helping the poor — and being rich enough to adjust to things like climate change — is growth.

America grew fastest when government was tiny. Government at all levels was only about 8 percent of gross domestic product in 1912. In the hundred years prior to that, we made the Louisiana Purchase and settled the West. Americans went from subsistence-level farms to the highest standard of living on the planet.

Spending shot up during the world wars, but in peacetime it grew very little. Even the big boom in domestic spending during the New Deal resulted in government spending per person that was only about half what it is today — half — even as government went on to build dams, the interstate highway system and spacecraft. Spending was still only about $3,000 per person in today’s dollars.

Then came Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society. We would cure poverty! Government grew so much that now, at all levels, it spends $20,000 per person per year.

But we didn’t cure poverty. Americans had been lifting themselves out of poverty — on their own — but when government stepped in, we stopped that progress. We encouraged people to be dependent. The poor stayed poor.

My friend Bill Clinton put us on a better track. He didn’t want to end welfare as we know it — Republicans forced him to make good on his promise — but I now must admit that welfare reform was a good thing. And during the Clinton administration, the economy grew, and we actually balanced the budget.

But then President Bush happened. He added social programs, hired 90,000 new regulators, created a whole new Cabinet-level department (for homeland security), and bailed out banks and automakers. Whew! Then I got elected, and we spent even more.

But now I look at the numbers and get dizzy. We’re eating our future!

So I then asked myself: What was so bad about spending in the Clinton years? He spent $2 trillion per year. That’s a lot. Why do we need to spend more? America doesn’t face greater challenges now than we did then. In many ways, we’re richer now, and life is easier. A government that spends $2 trillion is plenty big. So I announce today my intention to cut the size of the federal government nearly in half — back to Bill Clinton levels. That’s enough.

Oh, and about those drones? I just reread the Constitution, and it says I can’t just kill whomever I want. I’m going to start following the Constitution. I was a law school professor ”

We end up with a President who decrees that he will act unilaterally and extra constitutionally if the Congress doesn't do as he wishes. Obama says he doesn't want a bigger government but prefers a "smarter" government. In some kind of alternate reality, all of the spending Obama proposes in his SOTU speech — the plans, programs, projects, initiatives, executive acts, proposed legislation and "investments" in education, energy and infrastructure — will just magically happen, bringing smiles to everyone's faces while the rich gleefully pick up the tab. And this will somehow be smarter but not bigger government.

A Socialist from another era coined the "Big Lie" propaganda tactic:

"In the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying." (Mein Kampf, 1925).

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