Here are my 10 observations from President Obama’s hour long State of the Union address.
1. President Obama began the speech by making the case that 15 years into this century that we’ve turned the page from a century that was “dawned with terror” along with “two long and costly wars.” With the acension of ISIS and the fact we’ve had to return troops to Iraq what makes Obama certain we won’t do the same in Afghanistan. Will Afghanistan adopt the same model against terrorism as Yemen? As Obama speaks, a possible coup is underway in Yemen. Al Qaeda is not on the run. Far from it. Not only have we not turned the page, it has yet to be written.
2. Obama paid tribute to our troops. It’s too bad he couldn’t do the same for those veterans receiving care at the VA Hospital in Phoenix which had been plagued by scandal under his administration’s watch. Instead of visiting them last week, his motorcade just drove on by.
3. Obama would have us believe that our economy is the envy of the world, that his policies are responsible for increased oil and gas production and claims that 10 million people now have health insurance. If things are as great as Obama says they are then why did the electorate send fewer Democrats to Washington than they have in nearly seven decades?
4. Obama wants more ports, bridges, trains and free internet instead “of a single pipeline.” Why is this an either or proposition? Why is it that we can’t have ports, bridges, trains, free internet and the Keystone Pipeline XL.
5. If we are truly united against terrorism then why can’t Obama mention its Islamic inspiration as French President Hollande and Prime Minister Valls have done?
6. With a completely straight face, President Obama stated that Russia was isolated where it concerned Ukraine. Last I checked much of eastern Ukraine was in the hands of Russian rebels and just today Ukraine accused Russia of attacking its forces.
7. With an even straighter face, Obama said our diplomatic efforts have halted Iran’s nuclear program and that it has reduced its stockpile of nuclear material. What Obama didn’t mention was that we have dropped our demands that Iran stop enriching uranium and dismantle its centrifuges. Obama also claimed that if Congress passed additional sanctions against Iran it would alienate our allies. Would these allies be Russia and China?
8. While it is good to see Alan Gross a free man, how does lifting the embargo stop Cuba from imprisoning more of its people and more of ours? Obama can speak of standing up for democratic values, but how is our new policy towards Cuba going to advance multi-party elections, a free press and an independent judiciary?
9. As he has said in his preceding five SOTU addresses, Obama wants to close Gitmo. He repeated the canard that it was a recruiting tool for jihadists. And so is our alliance with Israel? Do we let jihadists determine our foreign policy? Besides it is really a good idea to close Gitmo if it means more recruiters for ISIS? If we are fighting ISIS why make them stronger by closing Gitmo?
10. Obama closed the SOTU with an extended section on doing something different and having better politics. He implored the Republican Congress to debate without demonizing. Yet only minutes earlier when speaking about climate change, Obama said, “I’m not going to let this Congress endanger the health of our children.” A bully is no position to lecture anyone on civility.
Let me conclude with this thought. There is good news and bad news. The good news is that two years from today, Barack Obama will no longer be President of the United States. The bad news is Barack Obama is President of the United States for two more years.
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That’s right, the Grinch (Joe Biden) is coming for your pocketbooks this Christmas season with record inflation. Just to recap, here is a list of items that have gone up during his reign.
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