To be honest, I was approximately as jazzed to spend an hour listening to the President yammer on about his policy agenda as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and given her noted history of pre-gaming the event, probably just as drunk. But regardless, in selfless stewardship to the public interest, I watched the whole thing, paid attention through most of it, and only flipped the channel once to check out whether the Travel Channel had a show on that would send my OCD into overdrive. I flipped back because it was something about RVs and camping isn't exactly my forte. Even in an RV.
The State of the Union is an annual celebration of what the government can do for you, regardless (mostly) of party, designed to capture the imagination of a public that is primarily agitated that they can't find their regularly scheduled reality television on the major cable networks, if anyone still watches any of that. It's usually a laundry list of government programs or government ideals that end up costing more than they're worth or never pass in the first place.
Barack Obama has been slightly more effective at making his SOTU wishes come true, and according to the National Taxpayers Union, we've paid handsomely for it. Well, except for 2012 when he was in the midst of a campaign. Then, we got a $28B reprieve while he geared up to sock us again in 2013.
President Obama has proposed an average $41.7 billion in new government spending in each of his State of the Union addresses, according to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation.
As per tradition, at 9pm EST/8pm CST, we'll be breaking into the liquor cabinet in order to enjoy the State of the Union as it was meant to be enjoyed: by getting increasingly drunk as the speech progresses, theoretically according to the official rules set forth by Cloture Club, but more likely on an ad hoc basis relating specifically to our individual policy interests and tolerance for Obama's key phrases.
By "we," I mean myself and my #Chatterbox co-host (and American Spectator's resident domestic goddess) Amelia Hamilton. And also you, too! Thanks to the advent of social media, you can follow our #SOTU updates in real time on Twitter, by following us individually (I'm @emzanotti, she's @ameliahammy), or by following along with the hashtag, #Chatterbox. We guarantee a good time. And possibly an informative time.
We already know that the State of the Union will feature a $320 billion "Robin Hood" tax hike, which is ridiculous, not just because it's both a blatant attempt at income redistribution and because it's designed, primarily to troll Republicans, but because the "real" Robin Hood actually stole the wealth from the corrupt beneficiaries of a tyrannical government and gave it back to a citzenry taxed into poverty.
Anyway, the bigger concern is who will be there to witness either the last Obama State of the Union that really matters, as he has approximately six months until he officially becomes a lame duck and can take up golfing with such regularity, he can be on the pro tour before Hillary's inaugrual pantsuit returns from the dry cleaners. Alongside various high-profile media figures from the year, the official White House guest list usually includes a cadre of characters carefully selected from the White House correspondence pile. This year is no exception.
Apparently, in an act of apology for missing the anti-terrorism protests in France last Sunday, which featured over a million people including, but not limited to, leaders from most of the world's major countries, we hauled 70s folk singer James Taylor all the way over to Paris to sing "You've Got a Friend' at a press conferene. I don't even know why we have a State Department anymore.
Just...Just watch the video. And maybe weep for the future of humanity. I don't know.
I think John Kerry was then expecting everyone to cuddle.
America, I want you to understand that this is a real thing that happened. This is a thing and it happened and it was real and we did it. In response to terrorism. This might be the most embarrassing moment of my life and I once missed the announcement that a middle school spirit day was cancelled and showed up to 7th grade in a poodle skirt.
John Kerry is en route to France for a long weekend as I type, which I'm sure France is utterly thrilled about, and the White House has moved on to pursuing other, more important projects than the immediate threat posed by global terrorism, like whether the Commander in Chief will have sufficient appetizers on hand to watch every NFL playoff game airing this weekend.
And, of course, if anyone deserves some time off, it's the White House. After all, they think they've done a banner job handling all of this Paris nonsense, at least according to Senior White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett, who appeared on CNN this morning to sing the praises of the Administration's approach to foreign affairs.
CNN HOST: Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Paris, he says he wants to share a big hug with the French people, do you and President Obama regret not sending someone to Paris sooner?
The 65-page letter is addressed “Dear NBC Affiliate Owner.” The sender: the Conservative War Chest, with spokesman Michael Flynn signing the letter. The group has most recently been advertising in GOP Senate races around the country in the 2014 election cycle, as seen here.
The subject: Comcast/NBC Universal, now in the middle of a merger bid with Time Warner, and the larger issue of “the corruption of American journalism.” There is also a two-minute video, found here. Comcast/NBC is accused of acting as a “leftist Super Pac sponsoring millions of dollars worth of attack ads disguised as ‘news’ that seek the political oblivion of conservatives and the Republican Party.” It also calls on Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to mobilize the GOP against the Comcast/Time-Warner merger.
With a burgeoning primary comes Freedom of Information Act requests, and three reporters at Buzzfeed (three reporters), were apparently tasked with using FOIA to reveal the horrors of Ted Cruz's adolescent years. Pursuant to that mission, they came into possession of Cruz's 2003 application to be Solicitor General of Texas.
In a shocking revelation from the documents that surprises absolutely no one who spent any fraction of their late teens in the company of other people in their late teens, it turns out Ted Cruz was once ticketed for possessing alcohol as a minor, after a 1987 police stop that revealed an unopened case of cheap beer in his trunk. The Presidential contender then pled guilty to the misdemeanor. And then, decades later, an Internet news organization is utterly scandalized.
If there's anything we learned from the foible-ridden Star Wars prequels, it's that you can never have just one Sith Lord. There is always another purveyor of the dark arts lurking in the depths of a shadowy world, training to one day resurface, more powerful than ever, and ready to join with his or her partner to enact swift vengance upon an unsuspecting population.
Among the 2016 Republican Presidential candidates, that unholy alliance has finally emerged.
Mitt Romney placed a phone call to 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain Tuesday, a sign he is attempting to recapture his support before launching another bid.
"He told me he is seriously considering it, and we discussed issues and friendships and things like that," McCain told a scrum of reporters on Capitol Hill. "We had a long conversation. We are very good friends."
McCain wouldn't divulge details of the conversation, but he did say he told Romney he understood wanting to run again for the White House.
This is probably so pointless that it's not even worth reporting on, but I suppose there's always that outside chance that apparently surviving an assassination attempt by his former country club bartender could be enough to embolden John Boehner to take on the White House's veto and whip those votes into quick submission.
Okay, I said it was an outside chance. Anyway.
Today, the House passed a measure that would defund Obama's executive amnesty program, attached to a bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security through September. The final count was 236 for, 191 against, mostly along party lines but with ten Republicans jumping ship to vote against the bill and two Dems voting in favor.